Check back soon for information about 2025 NMCEWL Annual Summit!


February 29, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Free to attend, lunch and refreshments included


Our annual summit offers a welcoming and creative space where we can put our words into action, and step into another year of adapting to a changing climate. In collaboration with Soil to Supper, a Quivira Coalition project, we will explore how production, policy, and people intersect to enhance working lands.

This year’s focus is on agricultural supply chains – from soil health to the processes that bring food and fiber into our communities – and the collaborations that support their strength. 

Participants will:

  • Learn about collaborative supply chain work happening in New Mexico;
  • Assess potential collaborative tools and resources;
  • Build capacity for navigating challenges in community; and
  • Exchange ideas for improving peer support among land managers and those who serve them.

We have a small pool of funds available to offer travel support for 50 producers of any type, as well as a small stipend for up to 25 livestock producers to attend. Please note if you would like this support in your registration form.


Day 1:

10:00 A.M.

Welcome and introductions

10:30 A.M.

A Rancher’s Perspective: Experiences and Opportunities in Building Soil Health When Marketing Direct-to-Consumer

Manny Encinias, Founder and President - Trilogy Beef Community

Executive Director of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute Adan Manuel (Manny) Encinias Ph.D, is the owner of Trilogy Beef Community, LLC and has been a vendor at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market since 2021. He is also the co-owner of the award[1]winning Buffalo Creek Ranch – La Gloria Cattle Company, the recipient of the 2022 Sustainability Commitment to Excellence Award presented by Certified Angus Beef. As a consultant, he has developed English-Spanish training programs through Now We’re Ranching Cattle Management Services.

His nonprofit leadership includes service on the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, the national Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network, and as Board Vice Chair of the Estancia Basin Water Planning Committee. He also founded Feeding the Future, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening the protein supply chain in Indigenous communities of the Southwest to achieve food sovereignty.

From 2019-2022, Encinias served as the Discipline Chair, Professor and Director of Workforce at Mesalands Community College. From 2002-2014, he was the Extension Natural Resource and Livestock Specialist at New Mexico State University. Dr. Encinias holds a Ph.D from North Dakota State University (Ruminant Nutrition), a Master of Science degree from New Mexico State University (Animal Science), and a Bachelor of Science degree from New Mexico State University (Animal Science). The Moriarty native and his wife, Corina, have seven children ranging in age from college to preschool.

11:00 A.M.

Breakout Session – space to think about, reflect, share ideas that emerge about the preceding talk in a smaller group

12:00 P.M.


1:00 P.M.

Federally Funded Project Overviews: Quivira Coalition, National Grazing Lands Coalition, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture, US Cotton Protocol

Lawrence Gallegos, National Grazing Land Coalition

Lawrence grew up in Taos, New Mexico, and spent a significant portion of his career in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado before re-locating with his family to Santa Fe. Lawrence is the sixth generation to run his family’s ranch. Lawrence studied agricultural and civil engineering at New Mexico State University and has a background in ranching, water resource management, NRCS and local government (he served three-terms as elected county clerk in Conejos County, CO). He was an early member of the Quivira Coalition and has served as president of the Sangre de Cristo Natural Heritage Area, Tio Grande Livestock Association, Rancher’s Choice Cooperative, El Codo and New Cenicero Ditch Companies and the board of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District. He currently serves on the board of Latino Farmers and Ranchers International Inc. and the Governing Committee of the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council. He is very excited to be working with the National Grazing Land Coalition.

Eva Stricker, Quivira Coalition

Eva is a dryland microbial ecologist with interests in how plant-microbe interactions in soil affect biogeochemical cycling such as carbon and nitrogen. She has a background in curriculum development for learners of all ages and backgrounds, for example through a science communication fellowship with the Explora Museum and a teaching assistantship that built ecology and evolution labs for the University of New Mexico Department of Biology. She has also trained in active listening and mediation as a way of better engaging with collaborators across all backgrounds. Eva was born and raised in New Mexico (weekends spent on a horse on her dad’s property in La Puebla), explored the coasts for college and her masters, and came back to New Mexico for her PhD working with the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research Station. At Quivira Coalition, she enjoys conducting field work around organic amendment research, developing curriculum, organizing, facilitating, and presenting outreach events such as in-field workshops and academic conferences, and overseeing and conducting technical support such as grant-writing and assisting others with grant-writing. In her free time, she enjoys vintage fashion, dance, music, and watching F1 car racing.

Bailey Nesmith, Climate Smart Cotton Program

Bailey Nesmith is the Southwest and Far West Region Grower Enrollment Specialist for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, working specifically with the Climate Smart Cotton Program. Prior to this role, Bailey worked at a cotton cooperative providing marketing and communications support. During her time at the cooperative she assisted growers, gins and other cotton industry members with their enrollment in cotton sustainability programs such as the Trust Protocol and Better Cotton. Bailey enjoys working with producers to hear their cotton stories and aiding with the technological requirements needed to demonstrate and verify their sustainability credentials. Bailey and her husband live outside of Lubbock and are raising two daughters.

Sunni Heikes-Knapton, Wolfe’s Neck Center

Born in Norway and raised on her family’s farm in South Dakota, Sunni brings a passion for the stewardship of working landscapes. Educated in biology and habitat management, she strives to support innovative ways for agricultural producers to feed our communities while improving soil health and climate resilience. Sunni joined Wolfe’s Neck Center as an Environmental Markets Program Manager in 2023 and is focused on engaging with markets to support their regenerative sourcing and climate goals, while using investments to leverage the value of USDA funds for adoption of climate smart practice by land stewards.

1:45 P.M.

Breakout Session

2:45 P.M.

Federally Funded Project Panel: A Deeper Dive 

3:30 P.M.

Breakout Session

4:15 P.M.


Day 2:

9:00 A.M.


9:15 A.M.

Ranch to Institution: The NM Grown Approved Supplier Program

Alena Paisano, New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association

Alena will talk about NMFMA’s work on incorporating values-based meat procurement into the New Mexico Grown Approved Supplier Program.
Alena Paisano is a local food systems practitioner dedicated to the development of just and local food systems serving our youth, families and communities. Alena currently serves as New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association’s Approved Supplier Program Director, and brings a rich history of professional and lived experience to the position. Through her work with the NM Grown program, she partners with farmers, food producers, nutrition professionals and community advocates to increase access to local foods in public meal programs serving our littlest eaters through elders.  Based out of Santa Fe, NM she is active in local/state food policy efforts as a community advocate and a mother, seeking to contribute to a healthier, more equitable future for our next generation.

9:45 A.M.

Breakout Session – space to think about, reflect, share ideas that emerge about the preceding talk in a smaller group

10:45 A.M.

Mobile Matanza: A collaborative endeavor of Taos-based organizations to expand meat processing capacity in Northern New Mexico 

Mercedes Rodriguez, Taos County Economic Development Corporation

Mercedes Rodriguez has worked diligently on creating projects and programs for a robust food system model in Northern New Mexico and is exemplary in program and organizational development, economic diversification as well as project management and evaluation. She has worked with organizations such as First Nations Development Institute, United Nations Commission on the Status of Women; NM Food Policy Council, NM Grown Program, Rural Coalition, and has an extensive background in working with local, state, and federal government agencies on development and implementation of policy around food and agriculture. When appointed as the TCEDC Executive Director in 2020, she took TCEDC to the next level by paving the way for the development of a food/ag aggregation center for Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.

11:15 A.M.

Breakout Session

12:00 P.M.


1:00 P.M.

Reunity Resources and Quivira Coalition – Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits of Composting

Trevor Ortiz, Reunity Resources

Trevor has been working since 2011 with Reunity Resources, a non profit dedicated to supporting sustainable and regenerative practices. He has helped to expand recycling of organic waste streams including used cooking oil, food waste, green waste and manure. Trevor currently directs multiple programs that upcycle these valuable byproducts into fuel, compost and mulch.

Amy Larsen, Quivira Coalition

With the Carbon Ranch Initiative team at Quivira, Amy contributes to program management, workshop facilitation, soil monitoring and research, and whole ranch planning. Amy hopes to better understand the diversity of soils across NM, as well as how we tend the land equitably, with consideration for future generations.

1:30 P.M.

Breakout Session

2:30 P.M.

Challenges and Successes in Navigating the Local Meat Supply Chain
Moderated by Madeleine Bedell

Madeleine Bedell

Madeleine Bedell grew up on a cattle ranch in Western Colorado helping her family raise cows, sheep and chickens. She participated in farmers markets, cattle drives and even helped her mom open a local foods store in Fruita, CO. Since then Madeleine has graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Business and Finance. She continues to be involved in local agriculture as a grant writer and business consultant.

Kathryn Bedell, DVM

Kathryn Bedell, DVM is a self-employed livestock producer, agricultural consultant and grant writer. She moved on to Roan Creek Ranch in 1999 after leaving Veterinary Practice to raise her children. In 2004 she began selling grass-fed beef after realizing she wanted to feed her family healthy, clean food. She added sheep to the ranch in 2007, pork to the product line in 2009 and opened Roan Creek Ranch Grocery in 2014. In 2019 she sold the store to another local food producer.Kathryn currently is the managing partner of BigHorn Branding. LLC an agricultural business services company.  We write grants, feasibility studies and business plans. We also consult on agricultural product development and do some project management.  BigHorn Branding is currently a contractor for the Southwest livestock Grazing Alliance and helping with their Soil to Supper Climate Smart Commodities Project providing technical assistance to producers wishing to move toward regenerative agricultural practices.Kathryn holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mount Holyoke College, a master’s degree in biology specializing in animal behavior from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a D.V.M. from the University of California, Davis. Kathryn has taught adaptive horseback riding, served on the energy advisory board in Garfield County, and has been an advocate for local food. Her latest projects include advocating for a regional animal slaughter and fabrication facility, a public market and a local food distribution network.  She currently is a member of the Colorado Agriculture Commission, the Mesa County Agriculture Advisory Panel and is a board member of The American Grassfed

Emily Cornell, Sol Ranch

Emily Cornell is currently leasing rangeland for a cow/calf grassfed operation as well as seasonal grazing of yearling cattle. She is skilled in the care of cattle including prevention and treatment of sickness, management of herd nutrition, grazing management, maintenance of water systems, genetic selection for breed development, maintenance and building of fence, planning of conservation projects. Emily is also skilled in scientific presentation, data entry, statistical data analysis, and biological monitoring. Emily has a B.S. in Environmental and Organismic Biology and minors in Chemistry and Spanish from Fort Lewis College.

Zach Withers, Polk's Folly Farm

Zach Withers is a pig farmer, butcher, and cider maker from San Antonito New Mexico. He runs Polk Folly Farm with his brother, Ethan, raising hogs, hens, sheep, and goats. They collect food waste from local businesses and feed this to their pigs, selling the meat at their farm stand in addition to other locally sourced produce.

3:15 P.M.

Breakout Session

4:00 P.M.

Closing group discussion

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