Founded in 1997 by two conservationists and a rancher, the Quivira Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, dedicated to building economic and ecological resilience on western working landscapes. Annually, the Quivera board gets together to plan the Conference that is held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For the past two years the BMGR team has been lucky enough to experience this life-changing conference.
In November of 2016, the owners of BMGR and a couple of staff members returned to the annual conference for their 2nd year together. This year the topic being “Lights, Soil, Action.” The conference focused on Young agrarian farmers and the struggles they may face in acquiring land. In this day and age you find more young farmers wanting to work with the land rather than against it. But to acquire land in your mid-twenties has become nearly impossible. Factors including credit scores, loans, and not to mention the drastic increase in the cost of land over the past 20 years has made it nearly impossible for young workers to acquire land. The conference has been able to help many young farmers by connecting them with the older generational farmers and ranchers who do not have family to pass their land onto, or who want young sustainable farmers taking over their land. Just throughout the connections alone you see more generational farmers coming together with the new knowledge we have sustained about farming and putting those practices in play.
Throughout the 3 day conference we were enriched with educational talks by every day farmers, authors, scientists, several Native American tribes, and many more on ways to take care of the land, acquire land, and how to continue sharing this intergenerational knowledge. While also being educated on the Biodynamics in farming, carbon sequestering, metrics within the bare ground and soil rehabilitation. The list goes on and on. Most of the speakers that you will find at the Quivera Conference are sharing with you what they have learned throughout their personal experiences in farming or rehabilitating the land.
Here you find ranchers and from all over the United States coming together just to share their experiences and learn from others. What a beautiful way to share this knowledge.
Every year the conference hosts a keynote speaker. This year we were blessed with getting to hear from the amazing Temple Grandin.
For those of you that don’t know Temple Grandin, let me give you a short introduction. Temple is considered to be the most accomplished and well- known adult with autism in the world. She is the author of several animal handling books such as “Animals in Translation” and “Animals Make Us Human.” Both of which were New York Times bestsellers. Her life story was made into a film by HBO that has won several different awards including 7 Emmy awards, and the Peabody award.
I had heard a little about Temple prior to the conference, but I never realized how life-changing sitting through her talk or sharing a lunch table with her would be. Understanding animals the way Temple is able to is truly a gift and she is not oblivious to that fact. Temple has spent her career educating those who work with farm animals on the best and most humane ways to work with them whether they are headed to the butcher or just living off the land. She is truly an inspiration for all.
The Quivera Conference is held Annually in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Don’t miss out on this educational opportunity in 2017 and beyond.
To find out more about Quivera please visit quiveracoalition.org
2016 Speakers Included:
Kate Ziegler (Zeigler Geologic Consulting)
Wes Jackson (The Land Institute)
Tim Sullivan (The Nature Conservancy)
Lindsey Shute (National Young Farmers Coalition)
Nikki Cooley (Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals)
& over 15 more.