Chuck Schembre

Chuck Schembre

Chuck Schembre is a Regenerative Specialty Crop consultant for Understanding Ag, and serves clients across a broad geographical range in the United States, with an emphasis on California and the West.  He specializes in orchards, vineyards, and diversified vegetable cropping systems, and has experience working with small grains, hay crops, and pastures.  Chuck provides a diversity of services to his clients, addressing each client’s specific needs and opportunities to begin their regenerative journey, and advance strategies to take their regenerative practices to the next level.  As with all the consultants on the UA team, Chuck focuses on building soil health and farm ecosystem function through the implementation of UA’s 6-3-4 rules and principles, and he provides additional expertise in soil health analysis, regenerative crop fertility, biological disease and pest management, advance horticulture practices, input reduction strategies, and ecosystem restoration.  Chuck also assists clients in small livestock integration, specializing in orchard and vineyard livestock integration, providing the core understanding of adaptive grazing principles and how to manage livestock regeneratively while complying with food safety regulations. Chuck has studied and practiced many agroecological farming disciplines and draws on many of these disciplines in his own farming and consulting, including permaculture, biointensive growing, natural Korean farming, organic farming, and holistic farming principles.  He believes the most powerful common thread between all these disciplines is an emphasis to emulate nature’s design, promote life below the soil, and harness the power of the earth’s free resources – sun, water, air, and mineral.    

Chuck has been working in agriculture and natural resource positions for 20 years, which includes managing small-diversified farms, fruit orchards and larger scale vineyards, and working as a soil scientist, agronomist, and resource conservation specialist in California and Nevada.  Throughout Chuck’s multiple positions, he has served as a soil health educator, conducted many presentations and trainings, and has worked with 100’s of farmers and landowners providing on-farm technical assistance and soil health consulting.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Earth and Soil Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS), and Erosion and Sediment Control Specialist (CPESC).  

Chuck did not grow up on a farm and found his journey into agriculture through a passion for food and nutrition, and a desire to get back to the land.  He began volunteering on small organic farms, and he cut his teeth in production farming at the Cal Poly Organic Farm, a 15-acre, diversified commercial vegetable farm.  Chuck began seeking wisdom from many of the Ecological Farming Association pioneers in California, which he believes ignited his passion to pursue natural farming systems and his soil health journey.  Out of college, he served in the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project in Northern California, working on water quality projects and continued working at a diversified farm owned by a local tribe.  

Chuck continued to pursued farming after the AmeriCorp, managing diversified vegetable and fruit farms, focusing on agroecological practices and homesteading.  Chuck eventually moved on to manage vineyards in Northern California and landed a position to manage a regional soil health demonstration vineyard for the Napa Resource Conservation District (RCD) where he was able to trial and experiment with many cutting edge soil health practices.  While at the RCD, he helped found the North Coast Soil Health Hub and co-developed a soil health monitoring protocol for vineyards. He worked with many vineyard producers conducting soil health assessments, developing water quality farm plans, carbon farm plans, providing erosion control assistance, and water use efficiency evaluations.  The work at the RCD also allowed Chuck to integrate many technologies, such as soil moisture probe monitoring, vine water stress measuring, eddy conference, and remote sensing.    In an effort to live closer to family and a change in culture, Chuck and his family moved to Nevada and where he took over the direction and management of the Desert Farming Initiative, an educational, demonstration, and research farm focused on high-desert foods systems at the University of Nevada Reno, Experiment Station.  Chuck was able to advance this organization’s role in regenerative agriculture in Nevada.  

He currently resides in the high desert in Carson Valley, Nevada, with his wife and two children.  He finds beauty in the high desert, and he believes his experience farming and living in the most arid State gives him an advantage towards understanding the possibilities of building soil health in any climate.  In Nevada, Chuck provides his time through grassroot efforts to help advance soil health adoption by conducting education and providing assistance to private, local and state government entities who have a vested interested in developing legislation and funding opportunities to advance soil health in Nevada.


Your partner in regenerative agriculture

I am passionate about growing all types of plants for food and medicine, and love to grow as much food for my family as possible, teaching my children and the community, and pushing the limits and possibilities of small-scale food production in the high desert where I live.  I continue to educate myself with the advancing information of soil health sciences, while taking a practical approach when implementing the principles of regenerative agriculture and considering the unique challenges of every farm.  

As a consultant with Understanding Ag, I am passionate and confident about serving and assisting farmers —helping ensure their successful journey in regenerating their soil, farm ecosystem and economic resiliency.  I consider each consulting engagement a partnership, and I understand the complexities and stresses that come along with farming.  It is always my goal to bring positive and confident mindset, and proven solutions for solving the complex problems unique to each farm.


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