Sept. 18, 2015

Contact: Center for Sustainability

Cal Poly Center for Sustainability to Host ‘Restoration Agriculture’ Lecture Nov. 2

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Sustainability will host a presentation on “restoration agriculture” by Mark Shepard, owner of New Forest Farm in Wisconsin, from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, at the San Luis Obispo Grange.

Shepard will talk about his farm and explain restoration agriculture, including topics such as farm-scale permaculture, agroforestry, keyline design, perennial cropping systems, and water management for resilience in times of flood and drought. Keyline design refers to a landscape design system that combines water conservation and soil building.

Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC and founder of Restoration Agriculture Development Inc. and Restoration Agriculture International Inc. His New Forest Farm was converted from a row-crops and grain farm into a 106-acre commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association to produce food, feed, fuel and medicines. The farm is entirely solar- and wind-powered. Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Shepard has developed and patented equipment and processes for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest-derived agricultural products.

He has been a certified a permaculture designer since 1993 and received his diploma of permaculture design from Bill Mollison, founder of the international permaculture movement. Shepard serves on the board of the Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council. He is a farmer member of the Organic Valley Cooperative, the world’s largest organic marketing co-op, and is founder of Shepard’s Hard Cyder winery in Viola, Wis.

The lecture is sponsored by the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences’ Center for Sustainability as part of its quarterly lecture series. It is co-sponsored by Central Coast Bioneers, the SLO Permaculture Guild and the San Luis Obispo Grange, located at 2880 Broad St.

The lecture is open to the public; no reservation is required. A $5 donation is requested. The event will be preceded by a three-day workshop given by Shepard at Orella Ranch in Santa Barbara County from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1. For more information on the workshop, email

For more information on the Nov. 2 lecture, go to

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