Paicines Ranch classes and clinics
Paicines Ranch Education and Innovation Sharing
Paicines Ranch Education and Innovation Sharing
Paicines Ranch Education and Innovation Sharing
Paicines Ranch offers free range 100% grass-fed beef and lamb

Education and Innovation Sharing

Each year the ranch hosts a variety of classes that use the ranch setting to educate and train a variety of people from ranchers to horsemen to bird enthusiasts and beyond.

Currently scheduled classes

Low-Stress Sheep Handling Clinic with Curt Pate

A One-day Hands-On Workshop, offered on two separate dates:
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9 am to 4 pm OR
Sunday, December 3, 2017, 9 am to 4 pm

The clinic is comprised of two components – an overview lecture followed by an interactive and hands-on sheep handling training out in the field with Curt.

Class size is limited to 10 participants for the ‘Hands-On’ Learning Component.

Lecture and Observation ONLY seats are also available.

Participation in the ‘hands-on’ component of the workshop is limited to 10 people for a fee of $75, which also includes the lecture. Tickets to attend ONLY the lecture with the option to observe the live sheep handling component are also available for a fee of $25. Workshop fee does not include meals. Please bring your own lunch.

Workshop Description:
Topics for this low-stress sheep handling clinic taught by Curt Pate will include all aspects of stockmanship, including gathering, grazing, sorting, processing, and loading; stewardship, animal behavior, treating and moving sheep in an effective manner either on foot or horseback, sustainability, and consumer satisfaction. Curt’s presenting style is lively and interactive, using props, humor and tailored to fit each unique audience.

WAIVERS must be signed and submitted prior to participating in the workshop. Online WAIVERS can be signed directly and submitted through the Paicines Ranch website HERE.

Lodging for the workshop is available at the Paicines Ranch Airbnb site.

Questions about the workshop?  Please contact Elaine at Paicines Ranch:

About Curt Pate:
For more than a decade, Curt Pate has been conducting demonstrations and clinics on stockmanship, horsemanship, and livestock safety. His abilities conducting stockmanship demonstrations and as an effective communicator have made him a sought-after clinician both on the national and international scene. His personal experience incorporating effective stockmanship principles supports a “for profit” mindset and focuses on highlighting the increased economic benefits of handling stock correctly. In addition, Curt recognizes the growing public scrutiny surrounding livestock production and the impact that improved livestock handling practices create for the sustainability of the livestock industry.

Curt spends his time conducting stockmanship demonstrations and training as well as managing a small grazing operation in western South Dakota. With his ability to think outside the box, his ability to challenge others to do the same, and a willingness to share his skills, Curt has set himself apart in conducting stockmanship clinics. His lifelong experience in ranching adds credibility and enables him to communicate his methods effectively to sheep and cattle ranchers throughout the country. In addition, Curt continues to seek out new learning opportunities to increase and hone his knowledge and skills and enjoys sharing this knowledge with others.

Learn more about Curt Pate »

Register for Workshop »

Soil Ecology Workshop with Dr. Christine Jones

Wednesday, December 13 – Thursday, December 14, 2017

Soil Ecology for restoring soil fertility, plant health, and sequestering carbon. Join us for a 2-day workshop with renowned soil ecologist, Christine Jones at Paicines Ranch on Wed. Dec. 13 through Thurs. Dec. 14., with an additional offering for workshop attendees to enjoy a 'farm-to-table' dinner on the first night, Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the ranch. Both days start at 9 am and end at 4 pm. Workshop includes a local and fresh lunch. Student discounts and a limited amount of scholarships are available.

Workshop Description:

Understanding and working with soil ecology offers perhaps the greatest potential for creating regenerative agricultural systems. This two-day workshop with Dr. Christine Jones will offer an in-depth and practical understanding of:

  • The role of mycorrhizal fungi, bacteria, and other microbes in sequestering carbon
  • Increasing soil nutrient availability and plant health
  • Increasing nutrient density of crops
  • Increasing resilience of soil in an unpredictable climate
  • Reducing off-farm fertility inputs by optimizing photosynthesis
  • Principles and applications to support stable soil carbon sequestration

Christine’s teaching style is interactive, dynamic, and draws from a truly amazing depth of understanding of soil ecology. She has a unique ability to make complex systems easily understandable and relevant and has been one of the most powerful influences on the success of our management practices here at Paicines Ranch.

Topics Covered:

In particular the following topics will be covered over the two days of the workshop:

  • Superhighways of the soil: the magic of mycorrhizal networks
    An aspect of plant community structure that is gaining increased research attention is the presence of 'common mycorrhizal networks' (CMNs) in multi-species cover crops, cash crops grown with companion plants and high-diversity pastures. It has been found that plants in communities assist each other by linking together in vast underground superhighways through which carbon, water and nutrients are exchanged. Common mycorrhizal networks increase plant resistance to pests and diseases as well as enhancing plant vigor and improving soil health through increased rates of carbon sequestration.
  • Soil carbon: from microbes to mitigation
    Stable soil carbon sequestration is a synergistic biophysical process involving interactions between a wide range of functional groups within the soil microbiome. Many of today's common agricultural practices simplify ecosystems, resulting in the loss of the diversity required for stable sequestration. Declining levels of stable soil carbon in turn create negative climate feedbacks at local, regional and global scales. Although the stabilization of carbon occurs at the nanoscale in microbial hot-spots, the creation of suitable microsites is dependent on broader landscape processes underpinned by regenerative land management techniques. Practical steps that can be taken to support stable soil carbon sequestration will be discussed.
  • Nitrogen: the double-edged sword
    The use of inorganic nitrogen in agriculture is recognized as a highly inefficient - and polluting - practice. Globally, over $100 billion of nitrogen fertilizers are applied to crops and pastures every year. Between 10 and 40% of the applied nitrogen is taken up by plants. Much of the remaining 60% to 90% is returned to the atmosphere as ammonia or nitrous oxide - or leached to aquatic ecosystems as nitrate. Due to its high mobility, inorganic nitrogen has become a key stressor for terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. This session will explore how a whole-farm approach to the restoration of soil biodiversity can replace the need for inorganic nitrogen fertilizers.

Register for Workshop >>

EcoFarm Pre-Conference Field Day at Paicines Ranch Mimicking Nature - Integrating Livestock into Cropping Systems

With Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta and David Johnson
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Hosted on the historic Paicines Ranch, which encompasses 7,600 acres of rangeland, vineyards and row crops, this special pre-conference field day will give attendees the opportunity to see regenerative practices on farm and learn about the overarching frameworks and core principles from top leaders in the field.

The day starts with an introductory overview of the new regenerative agriculture movement, followed by presentations about the underlying science on soil health and whole system thinking. We’ll demonstrate how to put these principles into practice –including the production of specialty compost and the use of high-species- diversity cover crops, and holistic planned grazing to improve farm productivity, soil function and carbon carrying capacity.

Walking the fields and vineyards at Paicines Ranch, participants will be able to see examples of livestock integrated into annual as well as perennial cropping systems, and learn about Point Blue’s Rangeland Monitoring Network and newly developed cropland monitoring project - ongoing studies that monitor how management decisions influence the ecology of rangelands and cropping practices in California.

We’ll end with the interactive installation A Taste of Place, an actual soil tasting and catalyst for reflection on the day’s lessons instigated by artist Laura Parker. Presenters: Tim LaSalle, former CEU of the Rodale Institute; Gabe Brown, Brown’s Ranch, ND; Ray Archuleta, NRCD; David Johnson, New Mexico State University; Chelsea Carey, Point Blue Senior Soil Ecologist; Mel Preston, Point Blue Rangeland Field Ecologist; Kelly Mulville, Paicines Ranch Manager.

Register for Field Day >>

Regeneration Through Agriculture: A Learning Journey at Paicines Ranch

Monday, March 19 – Wednesday, March 21

Paicines Ranch, in partnership with Karen Karp & Partners, is offering a 2-day immersive Learning Journey at the ranch designed to illustrate the power of regenerative agriculture in grassland, cropland, and vineyard agroecosystems – and the power of people to extend its practice and impact. Expert-led demonstrations, group discussions, unexpected activities, and delicious meals, facilitated by Karen Karp and Ben Kerrick of KK&P— in the unparalleled setting of Paicines Ranch—will illustrate the potential in building a more sustainable and resilient food and agriculture system. Invitation Only. Contact

If you are interested in organizing a class to be taught at the Paicines Ranch, please, contact us for help planning your event. If you have a suggestion for a class you would like to see us organize, let us know via email.

Education Gallery

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