The Farm of the Future

Wednesday, September 30, 2020Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Add to Calendar

Virtual Event; Video Recordings Available

The Farm of the Future is a series of deep dialogues that will gather diverse kinds of thinkers and doers to work together on opportunities to advance sustainable agriculture involving animal production for viable and humane food systems. These dialogues are a joint project of the Penn Veterinary School and the Weitzman School of Design at Penn, organized by PennPraxis, which supports design action and thought leadership to advance inclusion, innovation, and impact in communities that design doesn’t serve.

Seven high-energy conversations over a compact 2-month period will stimulate collaborative exploration of a range of exemplary projects, research streams, and strategies to increase animal health and the sustainability of agriculture, which are interconnected with the health of humans and the earth. We will study food systems, the design of leading teaching farms, and campuses for agricultural and veterinary colleges, biodiversity, soil carbon, water, and waste strategies, innovative and regenerative practices, and means of disseminating new knowledge. The topics support interdisciplinary conversation about The Farm of the Future in the United States, as well as ways that New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s demonstration and teaching campus, can catalyze that future in Pennsylvania and beyond. Our dialogues will bring together faculty, students, stakeholders, farmers, agricultural innovators, ecologists, advocates and policymakers, and create an online educational library for people working to realize a sustainable future for farming.

The symposium will consist of seven 2-hour virtual sessions on Wednesday afternoons this fall. Each session will include distilled presentations by dynamic thought leaders on the day’s topic, followed by a 45-minute live discussion with the speakers. For all but the kickoff dialogue on September 30th, participants will have the option of reviewing material in advance of the live discussion at a time that best fits their schedule.

Visit the video library.

If you require any accessibility accommodation, such as live captioning, audio description, or a sign language interpreter, please email to let us know what you need. Please note, we require at least 48 hours’ notice. If you register within 48 hours of an event, we won’t be able to secure the appropriate accommodations.

Session I: Food Systems Challenges and the Farm of the Future

September 30, 2020, 2:00–4:00pm 
Live Session Only

Regional and Societal Challenges to Agricultural Sustainability

Russell Redding, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture

Land Acknowledgement and Welcome

Chief Vincent Mann, Ramapough Lenape Nation Turtle Clan

Introduction to the Farm of the Future Project and the New Bolton Center

Wendell Pritchett, Provost, University of Pennsylvania

Andy Hoffman, Dean of School of Veterinary Medicine

Gary Althouse, Associate Dean of Sustainable Agriculture and Veterinary Practices

Margaret Leardi, Director of Development, Penn Vet

Food Systems Challenges

Marty Matlock, University of Arkansas
The role of agriculture and food production in improving society and bringing sustainability to the forefront of the science of food, agriculture, and the environment

Catherine Brinkley, UC Davis
The One Health sustainability paradigm and planning for healthy communities and food systems

Session II: Designing Places of Demonstration

October 7, 2020 2:00–4:00pm

Designing Places of Demonstration: Exemplary Projects + Practices

Scott Erdy, Erdy McHenry Architecture
Design of acclaimed agricultural and veterinary buildings and campuses at Cornell, North Carolina State University, and Ohio State

Sierra Bainbridge, MASS Design Group
Winner of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award talks about designing for One Health

Session III: Carbon

October 14, 2020, 2:00–4:00pm

Carbon Management and Economics

Jennifer Wilcox, Penn Engineering + Kleinman Center for Energy Policy
Introduction to carbon management techniques

Aldyen Donnelly, Nori Carbon Removal Marketplace
Financing carbon sequestration in agricultural soils and creating market-driven strategies for carbon capture and storage projects

Soil Carbon Best Practice

Ben Dobson, Hudson Carbon
Carbon farming, scaling up experimental work and demonstration

Reducing Carbon at Penn Vet

Dipti Pitta, Penn Vet
Ruminant microbiome management for methane emission reduction

Session IV: Water Management

October 21, 2020, 2:00–4:00 pm

Local Watershed Context

Lamonte Garber, Stroud Research Center
Agricultural water quality protection and natural resource stewardship in the White Clay Creek and Red Clay Creek watersheds of New Bolton Center and beyond

Clare Billett, William Penn Foundation
Funding and strategies for watershed protection and novel agricultural stream buffers

Halina Steiner, Ohio State University
Designing water systems landscape for technical performance and legibility – collaboration and prototyping

Session V: Biodiversity

October 28, 2020 2:00–4:00pm

Farming and Nature: Pollinators, Woodlands, and Wildlife

Keith Bowers, Biohabitats, Inc.
Integrating natural systems with veterinary medicine and agriculture to respond to the challenges of the future

Dawit Zeleke, The Nature Conservancy
Practicing conservation agriculture and wildlife management in the Sacramento Valley

Jeremy Kaufman, Propagate Ventures
Collaboration with farmers to build long-term environmental and financial success of agroforestry systems

Conrad Vispo + Claudia Knab-Vispo, Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program
Facilitating cultural and ecological relationships to support healthy, productive agricultural landscapes and cross-collaborative research and outreach

Session VI: Farmer Innovators

November 11, 2020 2:00–4:00pm

Farmers on the Farm of the Future: Four Case Studies that Address Sustainable Economics of Agriculture

Kelly Mulville, Paicines Ranch 
Holistic design and practice for ecosystem mimicry and resilient agriculture

Mike Brubaker, Brubaker Farms 
Innovating on an 800-head dairy farm and the benefits of methane digesters

Bridgett McIntosh, MARS Equestrian + Carey Williams, Rutgers University
Equine land management practices

Johnny Rogers, North Carolina State University Extension
Adaptive grazing management strategies for profitability, animal health, and environmental sustainability

Session VII: Knowledge Dissemination

November 18, 2020, 2:00-4:00pm

Shifting Agricultural Practice

Gregory Bernard, Tuskegee University
Agricultural education for increased sustainability and access for minorities and historically under-served populations

Zhengxia Dou, Penn Vet
Designing a circular food system for sustainable animal production and biomass waste reduction

Gordon Hoover, Lancaster Farmland Trust
Agricultural outreach and community engagement for clean water

In Conversation with the Next Generation

Andy Hoffman, Tiffany Turrentine, and Youth Leaders, Walter B. Saul High School
Aspirations of the next generation for action on animal well-being, climate, and sustainable food systems