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What is the Trusted Advisor Partnership?

A Unique Soil Health Training  |  For CCAs by CCAs!

If you’re an independent, certified crop consultant (CCA) working in North Dakota looking to increase your earnings and get a good handle on soil health systems and how they can work for you and your growers, then you know the importance of being able to apply the latest science all year round.

Improve grower retention and increase your earnings without having to gut it out through long days of academic lectures or spending hours on the web sifting to information that you’re not sure can be trusted.

Watch Our Intro Video

Welcome North Dakota Independent CCAs

Are You Ready To Start Your Journey?

Your Journey Starts Here

The Trusted Advisor Partnership takes you from overwhelmed and confused by all the conflicting soil health information out there to confident in your soil health knowledge, your ability to determine truth from myth, and your ability to share and implement your knowledge with your growers.

Throughout the training, you will have access to CCAs who are already successfully implementing soil health systems in their own businesses. By the end of this program you will have…

  • Confidence in your knowledge of soil health systems and why they matter

  • The ability to determine truth from myth on the web and elsewhere
  • Clearly communicate soil health information with your growers and colleagues
  • Become a part of an active CCA network that will help support you and your business
  • All the soil and water CEUs you need without sitting through agonizing hours of lectures.

Confused and overwhelmed by all the conflicting soil health information out there
Able to identify trustworthy resources and tell the difference between truth and myth
Creating a short list of soil health practices that will work for your growers
Drafting soil health plans for your growers & getting feedback from your CCA network
Seeing an increase in clients and earnings

A Training Opportunity Developed by CCAs


Foundations of Soil Health

This module provides the basics of soil health principles and how you can use them in your business.


Protecting the Soil

CCAs discuss how to reduce erosion, manage residue, and improve soil structure.


Building the Soil

CCAs share their experience on managing rotations, incorporating cover crops, and increasing diversity.


Looking Ahead

CCAs show real world examples and get creative with implementing soil health practices.

Ready to Change Your Growers’ Lives?

What's Included?

Each module will be easily digested in one sitting and will contain a combination of:

  • Overview of what’s being covered
  • Videos
  • Audio/Podcasts
  • Downloadable PDF materials
  • Summary of key take home points

About TAP

The Trusted Advisor Partnership (TAP) is a first of its kind collaboration. We’re bringing food and beverage brands, academia, and NGOs together to create cutting-edge soil health training for independent crop consultants. Agronomists who enroll will walk away with the knowledge and confidence to help clients implement in-demand regenerative practices on their operations. Over the next five years, TAP will engage 60+ CCAs, introducing soil building strategies to 500,000 acres.

Read More

The strength of this project comes not only from the soil but the depth of its leadership. From extension specialists to entomologists and monitoring and evaluation expertise, we’ve assembled an interdisciplinary team capable of driving long-term impact in North Dakota’s agricultural landscape. At the helm is Dr. Abbey Wick, North Dakota State University (NDSU) Associate Professor and Extension Soil Health Specialist, with support from 501(c)(3) Sustainable Food Lab, CCAs and instructors Lee Briese and Jason Hanson, and many others.

Our vision is of a future in which technical agronomic support is accessible everywhere and buyers are paying farmers for profitable conservation practices, resulting in a more resilient and stable ecosystem for growers, rural communities, and companies sourcing crops.

Our Team

Dr. Lee Briese

Certified Crop Advisor, Centrol Ag Consulting

Jason Hanson

Certified Crop Advisor, Rock & Roll Agronomy

Jean Haley

Program Evaluator, Haley Consulting, LLC

Dr. Jason Harmon

Professor, Entomology, NDSU

Dr. Katherine O’Brien

Research Specialist, Entomology, NDSU

Tara Swingen

In-House Advertising and Consulting


Elizabeth directs the Sustainable Food Lab’s values based consulting and pre-competitive work streams in professionalized grain and livestock systems including oversight for large scale soil health programs in the US and Australia.  She spent the early part of her life on a dairy farm in Vermont, and then later on a large organic vegetable operation. Prior to the Food Lab she worked for the University of Vermont Center for Rural Studies, Trust for Public Land, Donella Meadows Institute, and US Senator Patrick Leahy. Her advanced degrees are in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.


Kelly is a Program Director for Sustainable Food Lab’s Agriculture and Environment team, focused on large-scale grain and livestock systems. She works to bring together companies, growers, NGOs, and community members to find solutions to scaling regenerative agriculture. She brings a background in public opinion research, strategy, communications, best practice advising, corporate sustainability, sourcing and contracting, and project management. Prior to the Food Lab, she worked for Anheuser-Busch InBev, Corporate Executive Board, and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. She holds an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a B.A. in International Relations from Northwestern University.


A New Hampshire native, Ben grew up a stone’s throw away from the Sustainable Food Lab offices, but his agribusiness experience carried him westward from Massachusetts to Colorado and, most recently, California. He is excited to return to his Upper Valley roots as Program Manager at the Food Lab, where he focuses on equipping producers, agronomists, and corporate leaders with the strategies and resources to tap the promise of a regenerative food system. Prior to joining the Food Lab, he led U.S. field operations for Nectar Technologies, a precision beekeeping tech startup. He cut his teeth in carbon farming as an early hire at Indigo Agriculture after earning a BA in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College.


Steve is the Agriculture Science Lead at General Mills, where he leads programs and forms partnerships across North America to support farmers in implementing regenerative agriculture, and to better understand the environmental and economic impacts of regenerative systems. Steve started at General Mills in 2017 after receiving his PhD in Soil and Crop Sciences from Colorado State University.


Jay Watson leads efforts to advance progress on General Mills global impact initiatives, notably the 2030 regenerative agriculture commitment and enterprise climate ambition. In his role, Jay collaborates with farmers, farm advisors, NGOs, suppliers and retailers to deploy programs seeking to improve ecological and economic outcomes of agricultural systems in targeted supply sheds.

Prior to joining the Global Impact Team in 2017, Jay spent 10 years in a variety of buying roles within the company’s global sourcing organization. Jay holds B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Economics from Arizona State University and a MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.


Margaret was born on a dairy farm in Kentucky. She has spent her life and career working to improve social, economic and environmental outcomes for rural communities around the world. She has a BA and BS from Brown University, training from Massachusetts Institute for Technology in System Dynamics and a Master’s Degree from Princeton University in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. Her career focused on improving sustainable food systems in government, NGOs and the private sector in places as varied as Mozambique, Brazil, the U.S. and India. She is the Sr. Director of Sustainability Strategy and External Engagement at PepsiCo where she works on their strategy to expand climate resilient and regenerative farming practices around the world. She believes that the most enduring change comes about when aligning diverse partners with different expertise and driving outcomes through finding shared value from the farmer to the environment to the consumer.


Maeve Anderson is the Regenerative Agriculture US Partnerships Manager at PepsiCo. She holds a BS in Environmental Science from Cornell University, and has spent her career so far in the agricultural industry, working to improve social, economic and environmental outcomes for farmers in the US and beyond, while reducing the impact of agricultural production on the environment.


Born and raised in Kansas, Brad worked his family farm before attending college at Kansas State University, graduating with a BS in Milling Science. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the milling industry to his role at King Arthur, which he joined in 2013. As Director of Mill Relations, Brad manages the partnerships for flour supply and regenerative agriculture efforts.


Katie Morison is a Manager in Responsible Sourcing for The Hershey Company, where she leads the company’s work on advancing sustainability in its dairy and sugar supply chains, as well as its supplier diversity program. Before joining Hershey’s in 2020, she worked in corporate sustainability management and consulting in the Middle East region for six years.


Nicholas Mylet is the Global Director of Sustainable Agriculture at Anheuser-Busch InBev. He works to drive meaningful impact across farming ecosystems to keep beer inclusive, natural, and local. Prior to Anheuser-Busch InBev, he worked in farming, consulting, and agriculture technology. He holds an MBA from the University of California Berkeley and a BA from Tufts University.


Stefani Millie Grant is Senior Manager, External Affairs & Sustainability for Unilever, a food and personal care products manufacturing company.  In her role, she works with brands; procurement; suppliers; and farmers to implement Unilever’s Sustainable Agriculture Code and deliver Unilever’s sustainable and regenerative sourcing goals in the U.S. and Canada.  Ms. Grant also works with elected officials and NGO’s on Unilever’s sustainability efforts.

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