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Thank you to everyone who joined us for this virtual event!

Building Community from Land to Table: The Confluence 2021

November 11-13, 2021

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An ONLINE event collaboration between Women in Ranching and Good Meat Camp for Women.

We had a blast with all attendees. If you missed it this year, stay tuned for highlights and announcement of next year's event!

  • November 11th

    6-8 PM MT Welcome Session

  • November 12 & 13

    9 AM - 3 PM MT

  • Keynote speakers confirmed

  • NicoleMasters_Square

    Nicole Masters

    Soil health coach and author of For the Love of Soil. November 12th.

  • Diane_Wilson_headshot_credit_Sarah_Whiting

    Diane Wilson

    Speaker, bog steward, writer (The Seed Keeper). November 13th.

  • Full schedule

Western Landowners Alliance and the Good Meat Project have teamed up to gather together women working at every level of our meat supply chain, while also caring for land, animals and community. From women who are stewarding our rangelands to butchers and chefs who are working to build local meat economies in their communities, and everyone in between, we invite you to share knowledge, collaborate, and inspire one another over the course of two and half days. This year’s VIRTUAL Confluence includes:

  • 13+ hours of ONLINE programming
  • 2-hour happy hour welcome session on Thursday night
  • Keynote addresses and Q&As with authors Diane Wilson and Nicole Masters
  • Educational panels on innovation and collaboration in land stewardship and the meat supply chain
  • Butchery and cookery demonstrations
  • Live music
  • Poetry
  • “Rotational Grazing” Networking Sessions
  • “Kitchen Table Chats” between women working along the meat supply chain
  • Community building exercises

We’ve curated a virtual experience that will guide participants on a shared journey to increase our collective hope and impact. Each day at the Confluence, we’ll step over fence lines and stretch our imaginations, with inspiring keynotes, presentations, networking sessions, and plenty of practical education. Expect a few surprises along the way.

  • This event has passed.

Keynote Speakers

NicoleMasters_Square

Nicole Masters

Soil Health Coach, Author, Horsewoman
Nicole Masters is an independent agroecologist, systems thinker, educator and author of For the Love of Soil. She has a formal background in ecology, soil science and organizational learning studies from Otago and Auckland Universities, in her home country of New Zealand.  She has been a leader in agricultural consulting and extension services in Regenerative Agriculture since 2003, and she’s the Director of Integrity Soils. Together with her team of soil coaches, Masters works alongside producers in the U.S., Canada and across Australasia, supporting large and small-scale producers to take their operations to the next level in nutrient density, profitability and environmental outcomes. She is one of a growing number of people who are facilitating the rapidly expanding world of quality food production and biological economies.
Diane_Wilson_headshot_credit_Sarah_Whiting

Diane Wilson

Writer, Speaker, Bog Steward
Diane Wilson (Dakota) is the author of The Seed Keeper, a novel forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in 2021. She is also the author of a memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past, which won a Minnesota Book Award and was selected for the One Minneapolis One Read program, as well as a nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, which was awarded the Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado. Her most recent essay, “Seeds for Seven Generations,” was featured in the anthology A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota. Wilson has received a Bush Foundation Fellowship as well as awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the East Central Regional Arts Council. In 2018, she was awarded a 50 Over 50 Award from Pollen/Midwest. Wilson is the executive director for the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a national coalition of tribes and organizations working to create sovereign food systems for Native people. She is a Mdewakanton descendent, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation, and lives in Shafer, Minnesota.

Event Schedule

HEADS UP: This event takes place in an online event venue with lots of cool features that may be new to you, including a customizable attendee profile, virtual lounge, personalized agendas, one-on-one meeting spaces, and more.

Registered attendees, please login before the Confluence begins to set up your profile and familiarize yourself with the digital surroundings:

NOVEMBER 11TH

6-8PM MT

Christina Barnes is a singer and songwriter from Santa Ynez, California. Her forte is western music about horses, heartache, hard work and happiness! Currently gigging in the Santa Barbara county area and beyond with Steve Ochoa Music and performing country, folk and jazz. 

Camas Davis and Amber Smith, our Confluence MC's, welcome the group.

Tal Sharabi, a somatic psychotherapist and mindfulness guide, brings us into our bodies and into community with one another. 

Naseem Rakha, award-winning broadcast journalist and author, talks to Connie Hatfield, who, with her husband, founded Country Natural Beef, a cooperative that brings together over 90 family-owned ranches across the West.

Tia Raiford talks with Camas Davis while she butchers a chicken. She'll share her unique story about how she became a chef, how and why she learned to butcher, who taught her, what the barriers were to learning, and what her vision for sharing knowledge and skills with other women looks like.

We're all here to learn from and share with one another. Each day we'll participate in breakout rooms for small group reflections and further exploration of themes brought up through presentations and speakers that day.

Chloe Smith is an American singer, multi-instrumental musician, and activist known for her role as one of the two frontsisters in Rising Appalachia — with older sister Leah Song — incorporating sultry vocals, rhythm, banjo, guitar, and fiddle into her work. Her music is based in the traditions of Southern soul and international roots music.

Aja Black is a mother, matriarch, musician, and half of the hip-hop roots music duo The Reminders. She is a Queens-born vocalist and catalyst of education through the arts as well as an undeniable force of style.

NOVEMBER 12TH

9AM-2:30PM MT

Eliza Blue, musician and shepherdess, opens the Confluence with song. Camas Davis and Amber Smith, our Confluence MC's, welcome the group. Tal Sharabi, a somatic psychotherapist and mindfulness guide, brings us into our bodies and into community with one another.

Ranching ecosystems are under increasing pressure from external factors like markets, insects and uncertain climactic futures. Ranchers too are being stretched thin in terms of how they respond to these pressures. Now more than ever we need to build our resilience and capacity to face these uncertain times. How do we adopt a regenerative mindset to improve outcomes for land, people and planet? Author Nicole Masters is a systems thinker with over 20 years of experience in regenerative land management. She calls upon her diverse background in adult education, behaviour change, and organisational learning, to weave together stories of success from those who listen to the land.

We're all here to learn from and share with one another. Each day we'll participate in breakout rooms for small group reflections and further exploration of themes brought up through presentations and speakers that day.

Kristina Glinoga, of Butchery 101 and Kari Underly of Range Meat Academy gather together to each butcher a chicken in their own way and tell their unique stories about how they learned butchery, who taught them, what the barriers were to learning, and what their visions for sharing knowledge and skills with other women are.

Women have long held roles in the caretaking and stewardship of land, and this panel will highlight the innovation, collaboration and necessary community-building work that occurs across our rural rangelands, the work that is most often led by women.

We’ll be talking to ranchers and those who support their critical stewardship work, with topics ranging from succession planning, creative land management approaches, increasing access to funding for conservation practices, the use of traditional, cultural burning and what barriers remain in federal policy, which if shifted, could better support traditional knowledge and stewardship across federal and tribal lands.

Panelists: Tuda Libby Crews of Ute Creek Cattle Company in Bueyeros, NM; Sally Trigg of Trigg Ranch in Mosquero, NM; Alexis Bonogofsky, Quivira New Agrarian program and WWF Sustainable Ranching Initiative; and Mary Adelzadeh, First Nations Development Institute & Intertribal Indigenous Stewardship Project.

Facilitator: Lesli Allison, Western Landowners Alliance

Most of our businesses operate around the general principle of a financial sales transaction - we all hustle to sell our meat, our farm products, or our ranch services. Within that transaction, where and how can we integrate our various desires to support and educate our communities, attend to our families, and directly address questions of food sovereignty, while still creating a revenue positive business? We’ll hear from women who have experimented with innovative and collaborative approaches to traditional meat/farm sales models in order to go beyond the one-way producer-butcher-consumer equation, by bringing in community education models, mutual aid, barter systems, creative messaging, alternative product offerings, and other non-traditional approaches while still creating positive revenue streams.

Panelists: AmyRose Foll of Virginia Free Farm, Erika Lynch of Babette’s Table, Jill Gould of Butter Meat Co. and Monica Rocchino of Local Butcher Shop.

Facilitator: Olivia Tincani of Olivia Tincani & Co.

Tal Sharabi, a somatic psychotherapist and mindfulness guide, brings us into our bodies and into community with one another.

There are lessons to learn from Mother Nature's love for disturbance. While our mixed market economy often programs our minds to focus on the reboot, recharge, or regrowth, it is just as critical that we learn to embrace the necessary disturbances that remain at the heart of resilience. This session with Kelsey Scott will explore how disturbances seem to influence our daily lives as women in ranching. Together, we will grow as stewards ready to learn from the disturbances life will undoubtedly continue to send our way.

We're all here to learn from and share with one another. Each day we'll participate in breakout rooms for small group reflections and further exploration of themes brought up through presentations and speakers that day.

COVID exposed the fragility of the meat industry, the promise of regional supply chains, and the bottlenecks and regulation that still thwart honest, accessible meat. What's next? In this candid conversation, hear from Paige Jackson, who, along with her husband and five kids runs Grass Grazed Farm, and fellow North Carolinian Meredith Leigh, author of The Ethical Meat Handbook, as they discuss ways to approach the creation of accessible meat supply chains from alternative angles, and the impact of farmer-consumer relationships as this work evolves. Through mutual aid and rogue marketing, is it possible to transform consumers into informed eaters? What does it mean to build community supply chain ownership rather than consumer product loyalty? Is it possible to create accessibility for those eaters while still making a living? This chat will visit the opportunities and barriers to a radically decentralized meat supply in the changing context of our society’s food literacy.

With unique and interestingly beautiful vocals, Veeder’s lyrics swell with references to her own life experiences growing up on a working cattle ranch in the rugged land of Western North Dakota.

Veeder’s ability to captivate audiences with stories of her love for the landscape, the culture and the people of small town America is what pulls at the heartstrings of audiences across the globe and made her original music such a success. Today Veeder’s home is all but isolated. The buttes and creeks of her family’s ranch and the town where she grew up sits on top of one of the country’s largest oil reserves, and Western North Dakota, Veeder’s home, has found itself in the middle of one of the biggest economic booms the country has seen.

After the release of Jessie Veeder Live 2010, an album recorded with her father’s hometown band, Veeder moved home to her family’s ranch to live and write about the changing life there and to make music with the people who have influenced her from the beginning. 

NOVEMBER 13TH

9AM-2:30PM MT

Camas Davis and Amber Smith, our Confluence MC's, welcome the group. Tal Sharabi, a somatic psychotherapist and mindfulness guide, brings us into our bodies and into community with one another.

Kate Hill, longtime cooking teacher, de facto grandmere to many a wayward young chef and butcher, cookbook author, and long-time barge captain, has spent the the last thirty years living in Southwest France, where she has continued to learn about Gascon food and ways of life from her fellow butchers, bakers, and Armagnac makers. Camas Davis, executive director of the Good Meat Project, was one of her first butchery students, and they have fostered a collaborative mentor/mentee relationship ever since. During this cookery demo, Kate Hill talks to Camas Davis about the many layers of learning and how she has turned those layers into a way of life.

We're all here to learn from and share with one another. Each day we'll participate in breakout rooms for small group reflections and further exploration of themes brought up through presentations and speakers that day.

Chelsea Deering manages D&D Feedlot West near Iliff, CO, with a crew of women pen riders, whom she has hired and trained. Leann Saunders created the first beef company to verify production practices and claims from the cow/calf producer all the way through the supply chain to retail outlets. In this conversation, Chelsea and Leann will discuss the unique qualities that women bring to the table and how their leadership impacts the bottom lines of agricultural organizations and businesses.

Across the West, there are long-trending issues of land prices continuing to outpace the land’s agricultural value, making it increasingly difficult for land stewards to access land affordably. Difficulties in access are broad and we must ask questions about income potential from the land, how many people can be sustained on the land and what has the experience around land loss been for those now underrepresented on our working landscapes. What can we do to shift these trends? On this panel, we will highlight some of the people and organizations who are focusing their energy and talent on supporting and developing opportunities for equitable land access

Panelists: Susan Witt of Schumacher Center for New Economics, Kelly Beevers of Ranchers Stewardship Alliance and Winnett ACES, A-dae Briones of First Nations Development Institute, and Mikki Sager of The Conservation Fund.

Facilitator: Esther Park of Cienega Capital

How does local meat processing affect a community and how does a community affect and inform local meat processing and the form it might take? In this panel we explore three very different community meat processing models, all spearheaded by women, and through each of these lenses, we explore the current state of meat processing in America.

Panelists: Christy Miller of Marfa Meats, Sarah Silva of Bay Area Ranchers Cooperative, Dahlia O'Brien of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia State University, and Michelle Cordaro of Gypsy Butchery 

Facilitator: Kathryn Quanbeck of Carman Ranch

Tal Sharabi, a somatic psychotherapist and mindfulness guide, brings us into our bodies and into community with one another.

Alex and Trina, two women with very different upbringings, find common ground and friendship in an effort to make ranching in grizzly bear country work. They will tell the story of what it is like to build a productive relationship among unlikely allies based on mutual respect. Together they are working to sustain the economic viability of working lands through a local watershed collaborative and an NRCS funded partnership that spans seven western states. 

We're all here to learn from and share with one another. Each day we'll participate in breakout rooms for small group reflections and further exploration of themes brought up through presentations and speakers that day.

Honoring our own wisdom as women leaders can be one of the great challenges we face, especially when our work is dominated by other voices. Sharing our stories and recognizing the profound wisdom and vision that women bring to their work helps us reconnect to our own unique purpose with clarity and passion. Drawing from the generations of women gardeners and seed keepers whose work laid the foundation for all who followed, Diane Wilson will share her own story as a Dakota writer, non-profit director, and Seed Keeper.

Caitlyn Taussig is a fourth-generation rancher from Kremmling, Colorado. She runs cow-calf pairs with her mother on their high-country cattle ranch. Caitlyn’s interests include travel, cattle care, learning to be a better roper, and studying up on bridle horses in the California tradition. Caitlyn has been singing since childhood and has performed at ranch brandings, cowboy gatherings, private events, guest ranches, bars and ranch ropings.

She draws inspiration for her songwriting from Colorado's rugged and beautiful landscapes, her experiences summering cattle at 9,000 feet, cowboying in rough high country and dark timber, working on the family ranch and feeding cattle in the harsh winter months, and listening to her late father’s wild stories. An article about the Taussig family appeared in the February 2016 issue of Western Horseman, and in January 2019 Caitlyn and her mother Vicki were featured in the front page NY Times Sunday business section story "Female Ranchers are Reclaiming the American West.”

 

Please note that all times in the schedule are subject to change.

Presenter Bios

Camas Davis

Good Meat Project

Amber Smith

Women in Ranching

Tia Raiford

Strong Roots 9

Naseem Rakha

Journalist, Author

Connie Hatfield

Country Natural Beef

Tal Sharabi

Interbeing Psychotherapy

Christina Barnes

Musician

Chelsea Deering

D & D Feedlot

Leann Saunders

Where Food Comes From

Kristina Glinoga

Butchery 101

Kari Underly

Range Meat Academy

Mary Adelzadeh

Intertribal Indigenous Stewardship Project

Lesli Allison

Western Landowners Alliance

Tuda Libby Crews

Ute Creek Cattle Company

Sally Trigg

Trigg Ranch

Alexis Bonogofsky

Quivira Coalition

Amyrose Foll

Virginia Free Farm

Erika Lynch

Babette's Table

Jill Gould

Butter Meat Co.

Monica Rocchino

The Local Butcher Shop

Olivia Tincani

Olivia Tincani & Co.

Eliza Blue

Musician

Meredith Leigh

Meredith Leigh Food

Paige Jackson

Grass Grazed

Kelsey Scott

Intertribal Agriculture Council, DX Beef

Jessie Veeder

Rancher, Musician

Kate Hill

Kitchen at Camont

Susan Witt

Schumacher Center for New Economics

Kelly Beevers

Topos & Anthros

A-dae Briones

First Nations Development Institute

Mikki Sager

The Conservation Fund

Esther Park

No Regrets Initiative

Kathryn Quanbeck

Carman Ranch

Christy Miller

Marfa Meats

Sarah Silva

Bar C Cooperative, Greens Star Farm

Dahlia O'Brien

Virginia State University

Michelle Cordaro

Gypsy Butchery

Alex Few

Western Landowners Alliance

Trina Jo Bradley

Caitlyn Taussig

Rancher, Musician

Heard about the 2020 Confluence

Sarah P.

Colorado

"The confluence this weekend fed my soul, reminding me of the connection that a diverse group of women can form. There are so many things I learned at a young age on the ranch and so many others that I was too stubborn to (like roping). Glad to be celebrating another year of life this coming weekend with the courage to keep learning and to do so being completely me."

Ellie G.

Oregon

“I learned so much this weekend that I’ll be processing it for the next year! Thank you again. It was so positive, uplifting, friendly and supportive. I feel like I have been starving for years, and it fed me in ways that nothing else has. I am so grateful.” 

Organizers

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