Speaker Information

Lasch Farm

Adam and Betsy Lasch own and operate a highly diversified crop and livestock operation near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  Since implementing 100% no-till and cover crop practices, they have seen marked improvements in soil quality, water infiltration, soil biology, nutrient cycling, and decreased inputs.  They are focused on increasing resiliency through interseeding, mixed species intercropping and expanded rotations. Adam uses these experiences to help guide other farmers down the path toward greater soil health and higher whole farm profitability. He also provides consulting services to private non-farm groups, government entities, and watershed communities to expand efforts to increase awareness of what soil health can do to increase water quality

Gregg Sanford

Dr. Gregg Sanford is a senior scientist in the UW-Madison Agronomy Department and lead agronomist responsible for managing the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST). As a cropping systems agronomist, his work focuses on the effects of management (e.g. no-till, perennial, cover crops, organic) and cropping system diversity in optimizing the productivity, profitability, and environmental outcomes of diverse agricultural systems. Dr. Sanford has published extensively on topics such as carbon sequestration, soil health, cropping system resilience, and strategies for reintegrating crop and livestock systems. 

About WICST: WICST is a large scale (60 acre), long term (33 year), cropping systems experiment located at the UW-Madison’s Arlington Agricultural Research Station. With systems spanning conventional, organic, cash-grain, dairy-forage, perennial bioenergy, and livestock grazing enterprises, WICST is arguably the most diverse long-term cropping systems experiment in the world and one of the longest running organic research experiments in the U.S. WICST serves as an invaluable resource for farmers, students, scientists, and policy makers, providing high quality longitudinal data that is essential for addressing the grand challenges facing farming in the 21st century.

Roger Rebout and Sons Farm 

Brothers David, Doug and Dan, along with David’s oldest son Eric, farm together just outside of Janesville, WI. The family operates 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans with some acres of winter wheat and alfalfa. The farm practices strip-tillage. Strip-till is a minimum tillage conservation practice which combines the benefits of conventional tillage (soil drying, warming and seed placement) with the soil-protection of no-till (residue left from previous crop and no soil disturbance) outside of the seed rows. The farm recently participated in a six year research project with the UW Discovery Farms Program which studied the impacts of cover crops on water quality.

Ryan Heiderman

Ryan Heiderman is the Discovery Farms Nitrogen Projects Coordinator. Ryan is responsible for the development and coordination of Discovery Farms nitrogen-related projects. Ryan received his B.S. in Soil Science from UW-Madison, M.S. in Forestry from North Carolina State University, and Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho. He is interested in applied research which provides knowledge and tools for farmers to make informed land management decisions.

Wei Ren

Dr. Wei Ren is an associate professor at the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky. She uses numerical modeling, multi-source observations (e.g., field measurements, sensor monitoring, remote sensing imagery, etc.), and big-data tools to investigate agroecosystem dynamics (productivity, soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient leaching, etc.) under global environmental changes. In this Summit, Dr. Ren will introduce her recent research about multiscale assessment of climate-smart-agriculture management practices (e.g., conservation tillage, cover crop, and biochar) in achieving food security, promoting soil carbon sequestration, and building climate resilience.