A Living Laboratory for Regenerative Agriculture

By Giving List Staff   |   November 26, 2022

White Buffalo Land Trust has a vital purpose: to restore the ecosystem through agriculture and in the process directly address the climate, biodiversity, public health, and food security challenges we face today. It’s not a pipe dream for the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit as the trust has created the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at its 1,000-acre Jalama Canyon Ranch, a site 10 miles south of Lompoc that is serving as proof positive for the practices right here in our own backyard. 

The ranch is perfectly suited for this reimagining of agriculture as Jalama possesses all five of the primary ecological sites of Mediterranean climates: Grasslands, Oak Woodlands, Vineyards & Orchards, Sage Scrub, and Riparian Corridors. 

“We’re in a unique position with the opportunity to steward this 1,000-acre ranch,” says Founder and President Steve Finkel. “It’s truly a living laboratory that allows us to engage with each ecological site to grow food, fiber, and more in ways that create positive ecological outcomes. Our work supports climate, human, and soil health while bringing the bounty of the land into the marketplace.”

White Buffalo employs innovative monitoring and data collection systems to quantify its impacts and support research through its university partners including UCSB and Cal Tech. In turn, it shares the knowledge through diverse education and training programs to raise the ecological literacy of the whole community.

The need for bold ideas and impactful change in agriculture is critical. According to NOAA, the Coastal Curve from Santa Barbara through Los Angeles to the Mexican border is warming at double the rate of the continental U.S. Transitioning to Regenerative Agriculture offers solutions to climate change and builds more resilient and healthier communities. 

Even though Jalama has only been operational for 18 months, White Buffalo has already trained 125 farmers and ranchers in regenerative principles and food grown at the ranch is making its way to the marketplace. 

“We are just scratching the surface of what’s possible,” says Finkel. “Every day, every growing season, we better understand the relationships between agriculture and ecology, refining our ability to accelerate ecological restoration through agriculture. We’re just getting started!” 


White Buffalo Land Trust

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(818) 426-1398
Director of Development: Sam Franz

Together We Are a Restorative Force

Together, we have the opportunity to bring a different perspective of optimism to some of the most daunting challenges we face today.

At our 1,000-acre Center for Regenerative Agriculture at Jalama Canyon Ranch, we are practicing, promoting, and developing systems of regenerative agriculture for local, regional, and global impact through our hands-on land stewardship, data collection and monitoring, and education and training programs. We are reimagining a resilient and nourishing food system.

We don’t have to settle for sustaining depleted resources. We can do better than that. We have the ability, the capacity, and the skills to implement these practices and be genuine positive stewards of this planet. Check out this short film to see our relentless optimism in practice.


White Buffalo Land Trust practices, promotes, and develops systems of regenerative agriculture for local, regional, and global impact.

Begin to Build a Relationship

We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.

Our partnership with White Buffalo Land Trust is much more than philanthropic; their team inspires and educates our employees who in turn research and design regenerative goods and products that end up in the global marketplace. I believe what White Buffalo is doing is urgent for our planet and that our local partnership with them is creating global impact and expanding our larger strategy of putting our values to work.
Dave Powers, President and CEO of Deckers Brands

Be a Part of the Climate Solution

“We have assembled this incredible team at White Buffalo who are literally day by day implementing solutions that can change the world,” says Founder and President Steve Finkel.  Every donation will be put to use to advance the mission and address the environmental, climate, and biodiversity crises we face today. White Buffalo relies on individual donor support for 65% of their projects. 

“I believe today that we are in such a moment of imperative that there’s an application for every investment, because there is so much to be done,” insists Finkel. If the past is prologue, White Buffalo Land Trust’s past five years demonstrates that we have every reason to place our hope in them for our future. 

Key Supporters

Manitou Fund
Roberto Foundation
WOKA Foundation
Macdoch Foundation
JS Bower Foundation
GA Fowler Family Foundation
Natalie Orfalea Foundation
Metabolic Studio
TomKat Education Foundation
Coyuchi Philanthropy Fund
Dancing Tides Foundation
Brownstein Farber Hyatt Schreck
Santa Barbara Foundation
Zegar Family Fund
Williams Corbett Foundation
Land Trust for Santa Barbara
Gaviota Coast Conservancy
McMorrow Family Foundation
CA Dept of Agriculture
U.S. Dept of Agriculture