The vision of the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation is a world in which the boundaries between the human and natural world are indistinguishable. One in which the totality of human needs are produced in a way that regenerates the ecosystems in which we inhabit. Global biology is so leveraged that man-made catastrophic climate change is a thing of the past. Soils are so outlandishly healthy and productive that communities are able to provide for their own needs locally and feeding the world is no longer a necessary concern. A world where biodiversity within our managed systems is abundant and flourishing. The water, mineral and energy cycles are functioning to their maximum potential. Rural communities are universally prosperous and beautiful once again. In short, we envision a world where people, plants, animals and the planet are stewarded in a way that respects their inherent value and regenerates both human and natural communities. For we believe human and planetary health are inextricably and eternally linked.
The mission of the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation is to support farmers, ranchers and tribes, the managers of the vast majority of the nation’s land surface, through research, education and advocacy. With our support our nation’s stewards will be empowered to activate the great potential of biology to sequester atmospheric carbon, increase the quantity and quality of fresh water, reduce ocean acidification and dead zones, increase biodiversity and support thriving rural communities.
Executive Director MARK MULLER comes to RAF from the McKnight Foundation where he served for over six years as program director of the Mississippi River program. He has spent most of his career working to help transform our agricultural and food systems, starting with part-time jobs while in college supporting farmworkers, providing Integrated Pest Management services to farmers, and spending a season on a diversified organic vegetable farm. Mark has a BA in physics and a MA in environmental engineering. He and his spouse have three children and have lived in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis for the past 20 years. They are part owners of a family farm in Iowa.
KEVIN BOYER is the Founding Director of the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation. Before starting RAF, he spent 5 years managing the Regenerative Rangelands and Composting programs at The 11th Hour Project of The Schmidt Family Foundation. Kevin has worked for several food and farm-related nonprofits, and he grew up in Tulare County, California (one of the agriculture capitals of the world) surrounded by conventional agriculture. He maintains an active role in a California citrus farm that is transitioning to regenerative practices.
FRED BRIONES is the Founding Director of the Native American Fiber Program. He is also an enrolled tribal member at the Big Valley Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians. Fred has been weaving baskets for the past 20 years and was inspired to begin weaving by his grandmother who reminded him of the power in the baskets related to the ability to unlock his dreams. Fred works as a business strategy consultant for First Nations Development Institute and the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation to build the Native American Fiber Program and Indian Hemp Economy. Fred has B.A. Chemistry M.B.A both from the University of Hawaii system.
BETSY TAYLOR – Advisory Board Member.
For over thirty years, Betsy Taylor has built a solid reputation as a philanthropic advisor, social change leader, motivational speaker and problem solver. Betsy has led several non-profit groups and campaigns, served as Executive Director of the Ottinger Foundation, Stern Family Fund, and Merck Family Fund and currently advises a small number of donors and foundations. Author of three books and frequent public speaker, Betsy Taylor is known for challenging her clients to think big and to tackle the root causes of social and ecological problems. She specializes in bringing diverse stakeholders together to achieve a shared vision in support of bold action for a better world. For the past four years, Betsy has worked to build the field of regenerative agriculture through grant-making, network development, global convenings, and general cheerleading about the potential of our lands to sequester carbon pollution while boosting food security and habitat protection.
SALLIE CALHOUN – Advisory Board Member.
Sallie owns and manages Paicines Ranch, a 76,00-acre ranch in central California. She is an impact investor, activist, and philanthropic funder in regenerative agriculture. Her work focuses on improving the health of agricultural soils and sequestering carbon in soil to mitigate climate change, while creating healthier people and planet. She is the founder of the No Regrets Initiative, which seeks to use all available forms of capital—human, natural, investment, and philanthropic—to affect change in the agricultural system.
Prior to becoming a rancher and farmer, Sallie spent almost 25 years as an engineer, COO, and high-tech entrepreneur; she was co-founder of Globetrotter Software, Inc. where she served as COO/CFO. She is now the managing member of Cienega Capital, an impact investing firm, and the president of the Globetrotter Foundation, a family foundation.
SARAH BELL – Advisory Board Member.
Sarah is Program Director for the Food & Agriculture program at The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and she directs the Foundation’s program in ecological agriculture and regional food systems. She sits on the boards of Pie Ranch in Pescadero, CA and the Environmental Grantmakers Association and holds a B.A. in both English Literature and French from the University of Colorado. An enthusiastic supporter of permaculture and former student at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, Sarah lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.