Facilitator and Mentor Biographies
Facilitator: Gina Gutierrez
Gina Gutierrez is serving as Community Outreach Agvocate for the Global Farmer Network. She is a 5th generation dairy farmer from the central region of Mexico. In 2015, Gina started a Facebook page advocating for the dairy industry. La Vida Lactea now has nearly 60,000 followers. She completed a Master’s Degree in Corporate Law. She writes regularly for Ganadero and Holstein de Mexico magazine. In 2018, Gina won the Global Farmer Network’s Kleckner Global Farm Leader award.
Mentor: Judith de Vor
Raised in the city but married to a farmer, Judith de Vor is now a proud dairy farmer who is working with her animals every day. Together with her husband Rick and 3 kids, as a fifth generation they continue their love for the animals and the land while raising cows. They are working in a sustainable and regenerative way – as much as possible. Their environment, the society, nature and landscape management are important parts of the way they farm. Judith is running several projects for increasing biodiversity and endangered bird species are protected at the farm. Thousands of people are being welcomed each year on the farm. From open farm days to school classes, agricultural organizations and policy makers; they all come to the farm to learn and understand farming and food production. Judith believes dialogue is very important when it comes to making true connections.
Judith is an advocate for agriculture and part of TeamAgroNL and a Nuffield farming scholar. She promotes Dutch food and farmers and speaks at several events all over the world. With a background in political science, agricultural policies has her interest. She is also an agricultural social innovator. Judith is stimulating and supporting other farmers with new ideas, leadership and personal development with special attention to mental health. She is currently working on creating a new mentoring program.
Mentor: Kristjan Hebert
Kristjan farms 28,000 acres in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan, Canada, growing malt barley, hard red spring wheat, canola, fall rye, yellow peas and oats. He returned from university in 2008, determined to grow the family farm from the 2,000 acres that it was as he was growing up.
Kristjan used his interests in finance (he’s a CPA) and people to make the business decisions and assemble the team needed to grow. The farm forward contracts its crops and adjusts the crop rotation to some degree according to the sales contracts that can be accessed.
The farm uses no-till on most of its acres, with minimum tillage on the rest. Technologies include variable rate fertilization and a 6 – 9 year nutrient management plan that includes numerous ways to apply fertilizer. This offers some risk management in years like this one when fertilizer prices are high.
Kristjan is working in collaboration with his brother who raises livestock, to produce silage for the cattle, then grow a cover crop that’s available for grazing, in turn adding manure fertilizer to the land. From an environmental viewpoint, he thinks it’s important to get farmers and livestock producers working together.