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Grazing for Change conference speaker and host: Abbey Smith, owner and operator of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management

Abbey Smith, Jefferson Center for Holistic Management, grazing for change, holistic management

Abbey Smith serves the Savory Network as their network coordinator. She is also owner and operator of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management with her husband, Spencer. The Jefferson Center is an organic cattle ranch and Savory Network Hub in Fort Bidwell, California.

She spent two months in South Africa living with families on holistically managed cattle farms after graduating magna cum laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in animal science and a focus in communications and ethnic studies. She attended graduate school at the University of Nevada, Reno where she received a master’s degree in interactive journalism. At UNR, she wrote a business plan for an online business to connect consumers and producers of local food. Through the competition, Abbey met her former employer of nine years and was recruited into the online/digital business world. During the last nine years she rose to a position of leadership within the company, Swift Communications, and was involved in many new ventures. She loves to work in in fast-paced, team environments working on projects in emerging markets. Before graduate school, she served as the director of a non-profit organization for natural resource conservation called The River Center in Modoc County, California. This position taught her how to manage a budget and bring groups of people together, often times with conflicting viewpoints, in order to find common ground.

She grew up on a commercial cattle ranch in Indian Valley, in Plumas County, California. Her loving, large, loud family has lived in the valley for seven generations. Family is a source of joy to her. She considers herself lucky to count her brother and other family members as her best friends and mentors in life.

Her goal in life is to build a beautiful world for her daughter, Maezy, which is why she and Spencer are working to advance Holistic Management. She enjoys doing yoga, throwing kettlebells around, gardening, riding horses and hiking with her daughter. Her happiest moments are on the ranch with her family. She loves running and runs alone, except when in Africa.