Systems of Regenerative Agriculture
The roots of White Buffalo Land Trust reach back to the year 2001, when two white buffalo were born into a herd in Colorado. The buffalo calves were sisters and intended for sale to a casino until a group of Oglala Lakota relatives asked Lyndsey McMorrow and her mother Bobbie McMorrow to consider caring for and protecting the two buffalo on their land in Santa Ynez, California. Chumash and Lakota relatives gathered and gave instructions on how to look after the two calves.
Dedicated to this responsibility year after year, Lyndsey and Bobbie looked after the white buffalo and heard the continuing call to heal relations with the earth and in our communities. This call to serve led Lyndsey to a deep affinity for the developing work of Regenerative Agriculture. In 2016, Lyndsey participated in the Lead with Land program at the Paicines Ranch in California, which catalyzed her affinity into action. Unfortunately, Lyndsey’s health was deteriorating as her desire for action was growing. The intertwined destinies of Lyndsey and the white buffalo sisters continued; in November 2017 the first sister passed on, followed by Lyndsey three months later in February 2018.
Soon after Lyndsey's passing, her husband Steve Finkel, with the support of her mother and father Bobbie and Bill McMorrow, founded White Buffalo Land Trust to fulfill the work Lyndsey inspired during her life. One of the white buffalo sisters grazes on the first tract of land managed by the Trust. The Trust now serves as a leader in Regenerative Agriculture in our region and a connected hub in the growing global effort; inspired by the message of the White Buffalo and fueled by the never-ending love Lyndsey brought to the earth. The White Buffalo Land Trust is an invitation to participate in the regeneration and healing of the earth and the heart.
We are a team of active land stewards, field researchers, educators, and leaders committed to the work of developing California’s Central Coastal bioregion into a thriving food system built on the regeneration of soil, ecosystems, and community systems.
STEVE FINKEL, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Steve is the founder and president of WBLT. He is committed to building the foundation into a permanent service organization that will adapt and evolve as regenerative agriculture becomes the standard for land stewardship. Steve brings with him decades of entrepreneurial, environmental, and private sector experience. He believes the most effective organization is built on the excellence and merit of the team; and the commitment to the core values of integrity, quality, and clarity in results-oriented and service-oriented pursuits.
Jesse Smith, Director of Land Stewardship
Jesse is the Director of Land Stewardship and is guiding the development of our flagship farm as well as working with our team, contractors, and partners to grow the land under our management and the impact in our community. His passion and expertise in agricultural system design and community engagement are a cornerstone of our strategy to achieve a systemic paradigm shift towards a regenerative food economy and ecology.
Sarah Rathbone, Product Development
Sarah has joined our team to support the growth of our exemplary products program. Sarah brings with her a strong science background in addition to her entrepreneurial experience in creating innovative market pathways and developing food economies based on regional food system connectivity.
REGENERATIVE LANDSCAPE ALLIANCE, On The Ground Team
We have partnered with the Regenerative Landscape Alliance (regen.coop) for our ‘on-the-ground’ landscaping duties. Their team brings a set of expertise in rainwater harvesting earthworks, irrigation systems, water management, and water wise, native, and Mediterranean landscapes. Their organization is a member owned cooperative dedicated to a collaborative process that leverages the diversity of perspective, expertise, and strengths to effectively achieve desired outcomes.
Collaborators and Inspiration
White Buffalo Land Trust is committed to our regional work while also being part of a global network of changemakers shifting resources towards projects, people, and processes that value and benefit the ecosystem services that we all rely upon. We have been inspired by many and work closely with a select few to curate the collaborative network that will allow us the opportunity to do our best work, and support others in theirs. These are some of the organizations that we are excited to be working with:
Field Days and tours
We have a number of Field days throughout the year. Make sure to join our mailing list to find out when they happen. Farm tours are by appointment only. Because we are a working farm, priority will be given to educational groups and our partners for a visit to our flagship farm. We have several options for lengths of the tour and depth of information shared. Please contact us below and we will be in touch to confirm with you.