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The Meet Your Herdmates Sodcast

Education Podcasts

There are many people who know something about ruminant animal agriculture and the essential role it plays in meeting the needs of today’s world and the world of 2050. Their expertise may be in some aspect of soil, plant, animal or human health. Or it may be in topics related to environmental stewardship, public policy, or sustainable development. The Ruminati is my attempt to assemble them and introduce them to each other. The goal of this sodcast (see what I did there?) is to make their information more widely known. Welcome to the herd!


United States


There are many people who know something about ruminant animal agriculture and the essential role it plays in meeting the needs of today’s world and the world of 2050. Their expertise may be in some aspect of soil, plant, animal or human health. Or it may be in topics related to environmental stewardship, public policy, or sustainable development. The Ruminati is my attempt to assemble them and introduce them to each other. The goal of this sodcast (see what I did there?) is to make their information more widely known. Welcome to the herd!




66 Matt Poore, PhD

Matt's a farmer with a day job at North Carolina State University - Amazing Grazing: Pasture-Based Livestock Education Program - The Alliance for Grassland Renewal - and its newsletter, “Novel Notes” Herdmates episodes: Garry Lacefield -; Joe Bouton - NC State Local Grass-Fed Beef Production Guidelines Books (Amazon links) - Man, Cattle and Veld by Johann Zietsman Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture by Gabe Brown Capturing Sunlight: Skills & Ideas for Intensive Grazing, Sustainable Pastures, Healthy Soils, & Grassfed Livestock by Woody Lane


65 Carl Stafford

Carl Stafford is a forage and grazing management champion. A witness to the changes in agriculture. Carl is a Senior Extension Agent serving Culpeper County, Virginia in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech. He's served forage agriculture across the US. Virginia Forage and Grassland Council - Graze 300 VA - American Forage and Grassland Council -


64 Ben Campbell

Ben Campbell is a: Third- & first-generation rancher; Recovering engineer; Conservationist; and Environmental advocate. He's one of the guardians of the grasslands. "Since 1970, 84% of grassland species have been lost." "If you borrow something, you return it in better condition" Grazed Right - "Guardians of the Grasslands" - "Guardians of the Grasslands" Launch Event - Lost Rivers Grazing Academy - Jim Gerrish & American Grazinglands Services LLC - Ranching for Profit School - Soil Health Academy - Cattlemen's Young Leaders - Waldron Ranch - & an article from Canadian Cattlemen - Engineers Without Borders Canada -


63 Kristine Tapley

"Since the '70s we've lost 87% of prairie obligates." We've lost four football fields-worth of grassland lost per minute (from 2014-2018). Kristine Tapley, Regional Agrologist, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Owner Operator Cow-Calf Operation, Old Shore Cattle Company, Langruth, Manitoba. “The thriving beef industry that can compete on that landscape will keep wetlands and grass on the landscape. We also see that this message and that relationship between conservation and cattle that we think is so integral is only missed by the public.” "Beef Symposium - Kristine Tapley - Building Resiliency as a Young Beef Farmer: Our Plan So Far" - "Guardians of the Grasslands" - Ducks Unlimited Canada - Ducks Unlimited - Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) Certification - International Year of Rangeland and Pastoralists -


62 Tim McAllister, PhD

The wonder of the essential ruminant, the treasure of our grasslands. Dr. Tim McAllister grew up on his parents’ cow/calf farm in Innisfail, Alberta. He obtained a B.Sc. (Agr) and M.Sc. from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and a Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition and microbiology from the University of Guelph, ON. He accepted an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary in 1991 and joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, AB in 1992. Dr. McAllister has been a research scientist in Rumen Microbiology, Feed and Nutrition since 1997. His research focuses on microbiology, nutrition and beef production and on food and environmental safety issues related to livestock production. Dr. McAllister has been recognized internationally for his leadership role and significant contributions to agricultural research and innovation in the areas of ruminant nutrition/microbiology and molecular biology as they apply to animal health, environmental health and food quality for the benefit of the agricultural industry in Alberta, Canada, and beyond. Dr. McAllister's profile page - Dr. McAllister's Google Scholar page -


61 Alan Franzluebbers, PhD

Organic matter, soil health, soil biology, and soil ecology - the foundation! Alan Franzluebbers is a Research Ecologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh NC. He has more than 30 years of research experience starting with a master’s program in Nebraska, PhD in Texas, post-doctoral position in Alberta Canada, and as a full-time soil scientist in Georgia and now in North Carolina. Research is being conducted on soil ecology and management for development of more sustainable agricultural systems. Soil health methodologies and soil organic carbon sequestration are tools often used to interpret the effects of management on soil resources. Recent areas of research are in multi-species cover cropping, agroforestry, integrated crop-livestock systems, nitrogen management, and conservation-tillage cropping. Alan is a Fellow of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Soil Science Society of America, and American Society of Agronomy. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Forage and Grassland Council, and recently served on the Board of Directors for the Soil Science Society of America. "Know Soil Know Life" -


60 Brian Sanders

Documentary filmmaker, podcaster, health coach, businessman. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and then turned to technology and sold an app company. He’s used his technical background and love for fitness & nutrition to also work as a Health Coach and be the co-founder of the health, media, and technology company SAPIEN (, Brian Sanders is the filmmaker behind the feature-length documentary "Food Lies" and host of the Peak Human podcast. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He works as a Health Coach at Evolve Healthcare and co-founded the health education company SAPIEN. He also works to spread the awareness of regenerative agriculture and increase access to well-raised animal products through his company Nose to Tail. Brian's "Peak Human" podcast - 'Food Lies' looks at the sordid history of our dietary guidelines, the epidemic of chronic disease and obesity that followed, what the new science is telling us humans should actually be eating, and how to eat that food sustainably Game Changers DEBUNKED (The Film) Just the Science - Game Changers DEBUNKED (The Film) w/ Deleted Scenes - Brian on twitter - @FoodLiesOrg and Instagram - @food.lies


59 Jim Gerrish

"If we are interested in ecosystem function, if we are interested in wildlife diversity, going on a 100% plant-based diet is absolutely the worst choice that anyone can make." Grazing expert, author, consultant, and speaker Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands consultant providing services to farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands across five continents. Jim received a BS in Agronomy from the University of Illinois and MS in Crop Ecology from University of Kentucky and joined the faculty of the University of Missouri where he conducted beef forage systems research and outreach for 22 years. The University of Missouri-Forage Systems Research Center (FSRC) rose to national prominence as a result of his research leadership. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provided foundation for many of the basic principles of Management-intensive Grazing (MiG). At the same time, he stayed in touch with the real world on a 260- acre commercial cow-calf and contract grazing operation. In doing so, he took a worn out marginal crop farm and converted it to a highly productive grass farm. After moving to the Pahsimeroi Valley of Idaho, Jim keeps his day-to-day grazing tools sharp through management of a ranch unit consisting of 450 acres of center pivot irrigated pastures, 90 acres of flood ground, and several hundred acres of rangeland. Jim has authored two books on grazing and ranch management. “Management-intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming” (2004) and “Kick the Hay Habit: A practical guide to year-around grazing” (2010). These and other materials are available at He has written a regular monthly column in The Stockman Grass-Farmer magazine ( for over 20 years. Jim was co-founder of the very popular 3-day grazing management workshop program at FSRC. These schools. Fifteen other states have conducted grazing workshops based on the Missouri model and Jim has taught in eleven of these states. He is an instructor in the University of Idaho’s Lost River Grazing Academy held annually near Salmon ID. He is a frequent speaker at producer-oriented workshops, seminars, and field days around the US and Canada. Jim was deeply involved in the Green Hills Farm Project (, a grassroots producer group centered in north-central Missouri and emphasizing sustainability of family farms. His research and outreach efforts have been recognized with awards from the American Forage and Grassland Council, Missouri Forage and Grassland Council, National Center for Appropriate Technology, USDA-NRCS, the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Progressive Farmer, and American Agricultural Editors Association. Call @ 208-588-3900 for information on how to get Jim to your next event or your ranch.


58 David Franzen, PhD

Professor, Extension Soil Specialist, Soil Science Department, North Dakota State University From Dr. Franzen's University of North Dakota webpage - "Until a few years ago, I was aware of historical loss of topsoil from North Dakota, but I was unaware of the huge scale of losses incurred, and the scale of ongoing losses. A voice-over YouTube PowerPoint presentation is now available for viewing. It is 38 minutes long. In addition, the NDSU Soil Health website has several items on this topic. A strategy to move towards a no-till/strip-till tillage system should be a long-range goal of every producer in this state, and growers that practice these systems should be on the land-rent ‘A-list’ of every landowner in the region. If not, future farmers will be farming subsoil, not topsoil. Some farmers already have this challenge, and know that these fields are the first to suffer from salt damage, soil crusting, poor soil tilth, wetness issues, greater susceptibility to drought and greater nutrient requirements. They might not be aware that these poor soil qualities are the result of historic and often continuing topsoil loss, but they are." Dr. Franzen's "A History of Phosphate Export/Wind Erosion in North Dakota and the Region" presentation - "NDSU Soil Health – Strength from the soil" -


57 Richard Teague, PhD

"Can Soil Health Equal Rancher Wealth? Adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing is regenerating soils, watersheds, critical ecosystem services and livelihoods in North America. Early data shows soil carbon is the essential currency for this vibrancy. We are building on these early results with multi-disciplinary research conducted with regenerative ranchers in different regions of US." Dr. Richard Teague is a Retired Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Texas A&M University's AgriLife Center at Vernon, Texas. The purpose of his research is to conduct a ranch-scale, multi-county assessment that addresses objectives in the context of improving Soil Health and ecosystem services in grazing ecosystems as the foundation to improving ranch-based livelihoods and as they relate to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. This involves determining: 1) the extent that grazing strategies influence key ecosystem services in the Southern Plains of the USA; and 2) the extent that different grazing management strategies can be used by livestock producers to mitigate and adapt to alternative climate change scenarios. Carbon Cowboys - 2015 International Year of Soils (FAO) -


56 Jason Rowntree, PhD

Agriculture is a complex natural system. Keep the culture in agriculture Dirt's under our fingernails, soil's under our feet. Associate professor of Animal Science (Michigan State University) and C.S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture , Dr. Jason Rowntree coordinates Lake City and UPREC AgBioResearch and Extension Centers where he addresses economic, environmental and social complexity in agriculture. He studys how grazing livestock can improve land and mitigate climate change by capturing carbon and providing other ecosystem services. He strives to increase local food systems that strengthen local communities. He is former chair of the Grassfed Exchange, a leading U.S. grass-fed beef educational organization, serves on the board of the American Grassfed Association, is an accredited Holistic Management Educator and is an advisor of Standard Soil, a startup corporation that aims to meet the nation’s growing demand for grass-finished beef while restoring the ecosystems they manage. Jason's objective is to develop low-cost, low-input beef production systems for the Upper Great Lakes. His research and extension focuses on forage utilization of grazing beef cattle, extending the grazing season and forage-finishing. Another facet of his work is to improve economics of small and medium size beef producers through local and regional beef production and distribution system development. Bovine tuberculosis is a challenge to northern Michigan beef cattle producers, and they aim to develop holistic approaches to beef cattle and white-tail deer management through selective forage plot establishment, hay feeding and fencing strategies. Lake City Research Center - AgBioResearch Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center - "Soil carbon storage informed by particulate and mineral-associated organic matter." MF Cotrufo, et. al - "Simulating measurable ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics with the mechanistically-defined MEMS 2.0 model." Yao Zhang, et. al. - "Ecosystem Impacts and Productive Capacity of a Multi-Species Pastured Livestock System." J. E. Rowntree, et. al. -


55 Lynn E. Sollenberger, PhD

From a multi-generational farm in Pennsylvania to respected forage researcher and educator. Forages in Florida and beyond. Logical decisions don't always restrict our interests. Dr. Lynn Sollenberger is Distinguished Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Agronomy at the University of Florida. His appointment is 50% research, 40% teaching, and 10% service in the areas of grassland ecology and management. He teaches four classes in areas related to his programmatic focus. Professor Sollenberger’s research currently emphasizes ecosystem services of grasslands and integration of legumes into grasslands as a strategy for increasing efficiency of animal production, delivery of ecosystem services, and mitigating climate change. Ask IFAS (forage) - Jose Dubeux' facebook page - Panhandle forage info -


54 Jennifer Tucker, PhD

Forage Fanatic! Dr. Jennifer Tucker is an Associate Professor of Beef Nutrition and Forage Management. Dr. Tucker was raised on a small beef cattle operation in South Central Kentucky where she grew up showing cattle, raising various crops including tobacco and vegetables, and helping to improve the pastures on her family's farm. Growing up Tucker was an active member of 4-H, FFA, and the Kentucky and National Junior Angus Associations, competing and winning several competitions including livestock judging, team sales, demonstrations, national cook-off, and public speaking. Tucker’s experiences from these organizations helped catapult her into a career she never imagined at such a young age. It would seem that the trip from Tompkinsville, KY to Tifton, GA were a straight trajectory, however her path was anything but. “Growing up cattle, crops, and public speaking were just things I did with my family. I never realized the relationships I built and the experiences I had would play such an important role later on in life. In fact when I graduated high school I set out on a path far away from the farm and ag-life!” Fortunately for us her plans got redirected! “Southern Forages: Modern Concepts for Forage Crop Management” by D.M. Ball, C.S. Hoveland, and G.D. Lacefield. UGA Forages - UGA Beef - UGA Extension Publications -


53 Tangriani Simioni Assmann, PhD

Tangriani holds a doctorate in Agronomy at the Federal University of Paraná and INRAe -FR – Clermont-Ferrand. Her thesis was on nitrogen cycling in integrated crop-livestock systems. In 2015 she served as a visiting scientist in the Soil Management and Ecology team led by Dr. Alan Franzllubers at North Carolina State University. She is a full professor in the Department of Agronomy at the Federal University of Technology – Paraná – Pato Branco. She teaches “Soil Fertility”(undergraduate) and “Nutrient Cycling” (graduate). Her research focuses on system-level fertilization, a concept that relies on biological nutrient cycling between rotation phases to achieve nutrient use efficiency, thereby reducing mineral nutrient inputs, avoiding losses, and maintaining long-term soil fertility. This approach contrasts with the more typical paradigm of fertilization of individual cash crops within a rotation, where the residual effect of fertilizers is considered minimal and is typically ignored. System-level fertilization considers all crops (pastures and cash crops) in the fertilization scheme with rotational carryover (i.e. either directly from inorganic forms or indirectly through organic N mineralization) as key components.


52 Joe Bouton, PhD

Serendipity in life. Mentors in careers. Importance of forage breeding. Addressing bottlenecks in Southeast US forage agriculture. Dr. Joe Bouton earned his B.S. degree at Miss. State Univ., and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the Univ. of Florida. He was a Professor (now Emeritus), Univ. of Georgia; and a Director, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. He now owns Bouton Consulting Group LLC. Dr. Bouton taught courses in plant breeding and genetics; and his research centered on development of forage cultivars. He released 28 cultivars with 12 still being sold, but is best known for development of ‘Alfagraze’ alfalfa, “Jesup MaxQ” tall fescue, and ‘Durana’ white clover . He now reviews research projects, writes producer articles, and gives talks at student seminars, and farmer and scientific meetings. “The Wonder Grass: The Story of Tall Fescue in the United States” by D.M. Ball, G.D. Lacefield, and C.S. Hoveland. Bouton, J. (2007). The economic benefits of forage improvement in the United States. Euphytica, 154(3), 263-270. "Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics, and History" by Mary Kilbourne Matossian


51 Adegbola Adesogan, PhD

Working " sustainably intensify smallholder livestock systems in order to improve the nutrition, health, livelihoods and incomes of the poor." Dr. Adegbola Adesogan is a professor of ruminant nutrition and director of the Food Systems Institute and Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. His research focuses on sustainably increasing animal-source food production and consumption; improving forage production, quality and preservation; and using feed additives, forages and byproducts to sustainably improve animal production and health. Dr. Adesogan's Univ. of Florida page - The Food Systems Institute - Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems - Adesogan, A. T., et al. (2019). Animal source foods: Sustainability problem or malnutrition and sustainability solution? Perspective matters. Global Food Security, 100325. doi: UNICEF report - World Health Organization, 2014. World health assembly global nutrition targets 2025: stunting policy brief. Papers mentioned: Hulett, J. L., et al. (2014). Animal source foods have a positive impact on the primary school test scores of Kenyan schoolchildren in a cluster-randomised, controlled feeding intervention trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 111(5), 875-886. doi:10.1017/s0007114513003310 Neumann, C. G., et al. (2007). Meat Supplementation Improves Growth, Cognitive, and Behavioral Outcomes in Kenyan Children. The Journal of nutrition, 137(4), 1119-1123. doi:10.1093/jn/137.4.1119


50 Benjamin Bikman, PhD

Benjamin Bikman, Associate Professor at BYU. Author of "Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It". Dr. Bikman’s research focus is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that mediate the disruption that causes and accompanies metabolic disorders, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. Driven by his academic training (Ph.D. in Bioenergetics and postdoctoral fellowship with the Duke-National University of Singapore in metabolic disorders), he is currently exploring the contrasting roles of insulin and ketones as key drivers of metabolic function. He frequently publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals and presents at international science meetings. But he's also driven to communicate his research to the wider public. Bikman Lab at BYU - Insulin IQ - HLTH Code -


49 Isabelle Baltenweck, PhD

Dr. Baltenweck is a development economist with twenty years of post-doctoral experience in agricultural systems in Africa, South and South-East Asia, with a focus on livestock value chains. Starting her career as a development economist with an emphasis on adoption and impact assessment studies in livestock systems, she has increasingly sharpened her skills in gender and social equity research, looking at how women and men’s needs and capabilities differ in terms of accessing and using technologies and practices, also resulting in varied, and sometimes opposite, impact. She has worked at the interface of research and development, working with private sector, farmers’ groups, ministries, NGOs and investors. Her work has a direct relevance to the activities of development practitioners and the private sector, and resulted in publications targeted at that audience. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) - ILRI News - Why Livestock Matter - CGIAR -


48 Nicholas Norwitz, PhD

Nick on twitter - @nicknorwitz Nick's story Nick's new paper in "nutrients" - "Precision Nutrition for Alzheimer’s Prevention in ApoE4 Carriers" "The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" Dr. Nicholas Norwitz is a new shining star in nutrition science. This 25-year-old Ivy League Valedictorian obtained his PhD at Oxford University in just two years and is now pursing his MD at Harvard Medical School. His research expertise is ketosis and brain aging; however, he has published scientific papers on topics ranging from neuroscience to heart disease to gastrointestinal health to genetics to bone health to diabetes. Nick’s passion for Food as Medicine is founded a personal history. At eighteen years old, he developed severe osteoporosis, a bone disease that crippled his promising running career. Next, Nick developed ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease so severe as to cause him to lose twenty percent of his body weight in weeks and end up in the palliative care ward of a hospital with a heart rate in the twenties. Through scientific self-study, Nick discovered his salvation in a ketogenic diet. He reversed his osteoporosis and colitis and is thriving! But Nick is grateful for his apparent misfortunes. In his words, “The most remarkable part of my story is that it’s not unique. The healthcare system isn’t built to address metabolic diseases. For that, we need metabolic medicine rooted in nutrition. My lifelong goal is to help reform the system and educate people. Plus, I’d like to think being a patient has made me a more compassionate person.”


47 Nina Teicholz

"The executive editor of “The Lancet” wrote, “this is a disquieting book about scientific incompetence, evangelical ambition, and ruthless silencing of dissent that has shaped our lives for decades…researchers, clinicians, and health policy advisors should read this provocative book.” A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said, “This book should be read by every scientist…[and] every nutritional science professional.” In the BMJ (British Medical Journal), the journal’s former editor wrote, “Teicholz has done a remarkable job in analysing [the] weak science, strong personalities, vested interests, and political expediency” of nutrition science. "The Big Fat Surprise was named a 2014 *Best Book* by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mother Jones, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal." While most folks from the human nutrition & metabolic health side of the Ruminati Herd will be familiar with her, "Big Fat Surprise," and her continuing work, she's always worth listening to! "Nina is a professor (adjunct) at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Executive Director of The Nutrition Coalition (a group devoted to evidence-based nutrition policy), an investigative science journalist and author. Her international bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise has upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat–especially saturated fat–and challenged the very core of our nutrition policy." Nina's full bio - Nina on Twitter - @BigFatSurprise Nina’s website - The Nutrition Coalition website -