New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
Farm of Future Symposium 2020

The Farm of the Future

A Symposium offered by Penn Praxis, Weitzman School of Design,
and the School of Veterinary Medicine

What Is the Farm of the Future?

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 School of Veterinary Medicine 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.

About the Symposium

The symposium consists of seven 2-hour virtual sessions on Wednesday afternoons this fall. Each session includes distilled presentations by dynamic thought leaders on the day’s topic, followed by a 45-minute live discussion with the speakers.

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.

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.  

Thank you to our donors. We appreciate your support for the Farm of the Future!

Symposium Sessions

Session I: Food Systems Challenges and the Farm of the Future
September 30, 2020: 2-4 pm | 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 New Bolton Center

  • Wendell Pritchett, Provost of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Andrew Hoffman, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Gary Althouse, Associate Dean of Sustainable Agriculture and Veterinary Practices
  • Margaret Leardi, Director of Development, School of Veterinary Medicine

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: 2-4 pm

Designing Places of Demonstration: Exemplary Projects & Practices

  • Scott Erdy, Erdy McHenry Architects
    • 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: 2-4 pm

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: 2-4 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 the New Bolton Center and beyond

Strategies for Collaboration at New Bolton Center

  • Clare Billett, William Penn Foundation
    • Funding and strategies for watershed protection and novel agricultural stream
  • Halina Steiner, Ohio State University
    • Designing water systems landscapes for technical performance and legibility – collaboration and prototyping
Session V: Biodiversity
October 28, 2020: 2-4 pm

Farming and Nature: Pollinators, Woodlands, and Wildlife

  • Keith Bowers, Biohabitats, Inc.
    • Sound practice and pioneering research for a challenging future: exemplary projects
  • 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: 2-4 pm

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: 2-4 pm

Shifting Agricultural Practice

  • Gordon Hoover, Lancaster Farmland Trust
    • Agricultural outreach and community engagement for clean water
  • Zhengxia Dou, Penn Vet
    • Designing a circular food system for sustainable animal production and biomass waste reduction
  • Gregory Bernard, Tuskegee University
    • Agricultural education for increased sustainability and access for minorities and historically under-served populations

In Conversation With the Next Generation

  • Andrew 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
Farms of the Future - Thinking Forward