Center for Sustainability

Center for Sustainability

Agriculture for Tomorrow

A College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) Program

Cal Poly landscape

Stewards of Tomorrow

Preparing leaders in sustainability through education, research, outreach, and operations.

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.

  —Mahatma Gandhi

Climate Solutions Now: Regenerative Agriculture

                                               Climate Solutions Now 

Agriculture and Food Systems Track
Saturday, October 2, 2021

Presented by the Initiative for Climate Leadership and Resilience, this will be an all-virtual conference on climate change and sustainability issues comprised of 85+talks and discussions in 12 parallel tracks. 

The Center for Sustainability is thrilled to be hosting the Agriculture and Food Systems track, with a focus on Regenerative Agriculture and featuring these amazing speakers!  


10:00 a.m. Carbon Farming 101

Carbon Cycle Institute advances the carbon cycle as the fundamental organizing process underlying land management and on-farm conservation in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to the global climate crisis.  Addressing the climate emergency will require not only dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions but also the large-scale removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Agricultural and natural lands are our most valuable tools in massively scaling up rates of CO2 sequestration across the globe while also building climate resilience and ecological health. 

Dr. Jeff Creque and Lynette Niebrugge will present the foundational principles of Carbon Farming and how to get started seeing the landscape through a carbon lens.


11:00 a.m. The Science of Regenerative Agriculture

Ecdysis Foundation performs cutting edge research for transforming agriculture through regenerative principles.  Their mission is to learn from innovative farmers and ranchers and to provide practical, actionable scientific support for scaling-up agricultural practices that simultaneously foster biodiversity, environmental health and rural livelihoods. 

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren and Tommy Fenster will discuss the science of regenerative agriculture and their recent work on almond production systems in California.


Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences at Cal Poly aims to prepare passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.  NRES is home to a stellar soil science program that provides support for research utilizing Cal Poly's natural and working lands. 

2:00 p.m. The Soil, Ecology and Climate Connection

Dr. Yamina Pressler, Assistant Professor of Soil Science and Restoration Ecology as well as co-founder of For the Love of Soil, has a deep fascination for soils and the organisms that inhabit them.  She will discuss the underground world unseen to most of us, and the profound relationship they have to life and climate above ground.


2:30 p.m.  Building Carbon in Central Coast Cropping Systems – Lessons learned from local field trials

Dr. Charlotte Decock, Assistant Professor of Soil Health and Fertility, will give an overview of the healthy soils projects she is working on both at and around Cal Poly.  Over the past years, Cal Poly researchers have studied how practices aimed at building soil carbon perform in Central Coast cropping systems. In this talk, I will showcase examples of soil conservation practices implemented in vineyards, lemon orchards, forage production and strawberry production. I will discuss considerations for practice implementation, and highlight changes in soil properties that can be expected in the short versus the long term.


3:00 p.m. The Policy Framework: Agriculture as a Solution to Climate Change

California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) is a coalition of  sustainable and organic farming organizations that advocate for state and federal policies to ensure the resilience of California farms and ranches in the face of climate change.  They support and advance sustainable agriculture’s powerful climate solutions and work toward creating a resilient, just and healthy agricultural system. 

Tessa Salzman, Field Organizer and Cal Poly alum, will discuss current state and federal policy levers, future priorities and how we get there. Join this session to learn about existing programs and bold proposals being advocated by CalCAN.  


3:30 p.m. Getting Involved with Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Systems

SLO County Food System Coalition
 (SLOFSC) brings together stakeholders from diverse sectors of our community and works to enhance the sustainability and quality of our local food system.  As a resource providing inspiration, collaboration and advocacy, they achieve impacts that create a more equitable, profitable, resilient, and health promoting food system.

Ellen Burke, Assistant Professor of Sustainability in the Built Environment and Chair of the SLOFSC, will join Tessa, Charlotte and Yamina for a panel discussion on 'Getting Involved with Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Systems.' 

Ways to Get Involved with the SLO County Food System Coalition (Handout)


Claire Balint, Interim Director of the CAFES Center for Sustainability, will be the moderator for these sessions.


For questions, please contact us at 

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