Old Salt Fest Gets Conversational in The Land Talk Lounge - Old Salt Co-op

Old Salt Fest Gets Conversational in The Land Talk Lounge

Find Mountain and Prairie podcasts, panels covering a wide variety of topics, and much more in this year’s Land Talk Lounge. 

Beyond food and music, the Old Salt Festival holds onto the purpose of creating community. One of the ways we aim to accomplish this is via conversations. Obviously, many conversations can be had across the festival, with old friends, new friends, makers, and more. But this year, we’re getting really intentional about it. 

We paired up with Hope Rock, the Western Landowners Alliance, and the Western Sustainability Exchange in an effort to open more doors to different conversations across the scope of the festival. And they’ve done an incredible job putting together a lineup that is accessible for everyone. 

Mountain and Prairie Podcast with Ed Roberson, Hal Herring, and Betsy Gaines Quammen

This year, podcaster and all-around creative Ed Roberson is back to facilitate a bevy of great conversations with heavy-hitting names here in the West. Our two headlining conversations this year are the fabulous writers Hal Herring and Betsy Gaines Quammen. 

Welcome Back Ed & Mountain and Prairie!

Ed Roberson Old Salt Festival

Ed Roberson is a Colorado-based conservationist and the creator of Mountain & Prairie, a top-ranked podcast that has been recognized by the Aspen Institute, MeatEater, Patagonia, Apple Podcasts, The Nature Conservancy, High Country News, Cowboy Artists of America, Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Montana Governor’s Office, and more. For nearly two decades, Ed’s career has focused on land, water, and conservation in the American West– he worked as Conservation Director at Palmer Land Conservancy, a ranch broker throughout the Intermountain West, and a board member and advisor to numerous Colorado conservation organizations.

Meet Hal Herring

Hal Herring Old Salt Festival

Hal Herring is a seasoned outdoorsman, writer, and conservationist hailing from August, Montana. With a lifelong passion for the natural world, he is a prominent voice in advocating for wilderness preservation and sustainable land management. Hal's writing — featured in renowned publications like Outdoor Life, The Atlantic, and Field & Stream — eloquently captures the beauty and urgency of environmental issues. A dedicated hunter and angler, he draws inspiration from the wild landscapes he calls home, embodying a deep commitment to conservation and a profound respect for nature.

Meet Betsy Gaines Quammen

Betsy Gaines Quammen Old Salt Festival

Betsy Gaines Quammen is an accomplished author, conservationist, and historian with a profound dedication to environmental advocacy. Holding a Ph.D. in Environmental History from Montana State University, her work seamlessly weaves together the intricacies of ecology, culture, and religion. Quammen is prolific, with writing in the New York Times, New York Daily News, and the History News Network, and she is the author of ‘American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God, and Public Lands in the West and True West: Myth and Mending on the Far Side of America’. Quammen brings a western sensibility like no other to the festival. 

Check Out The Entire Schedule for the Land Talk Lounge Below

Join us in the lounge throughout the weekend for exciting conversations about the future of ranching and land stewardship in the West. Meet and mingle with land stewards, chat with writers, researchers, wranglers, and other amazing guests of the festival. 

Bring your curiosity for lightly facilitated discussions about the connections among graziers, eaters, landscapes, resources, and wildlife, along with fun and interactive soil health demonstrations.


12pm: Kick off the Land Talk Lounge with a howl of a conversation about Ranching with Wildlife.

1:30pm: Bring the kids for this super-cool soil and rain simulation with USDA NRCS. See first-hand the importance of our soils in this live science experiment!

2:00pm: Dive deep with us to explore The Water Underground, all about the connection between land management and our aquifers.

3:30pm: Mountain & Prairie LIVE podcast with Ed Roberson and Hal Herring!


10:00pm: Rainfall simulation soil science experiment with USDA NRCS

10:30pm: Reconsider the old saying “you are what you eat” with Fred Provenza, Nicole Masters, and guests, as we chew on Nutrient Cycles for People and Planet

Calling all Aggies! Come to the Lounge at 11:45 to meet other producers, field practitioners, and dirty fingernail friends. Introduce yourself, support one another, and nerd out!   

12pm: Rainfall simulation soil science experiment with USDA NRCS

12:30pm: Enjoy a conversation over lunch about More Than Meat: Collaborative Relationships in the Regenerative Supply Chain and what companies value regarding stewardship.

1:45pm: Rainfall simulation soil science experiment with USDA NRCS

3:30pm: Mountain & Prairie LIVE podcast with Ed Roberson and Betsy Gaines Quammen


10am: Honor ancient connections to the land in a conversation with Indigenous land stewards about our present relationships.

12pm: Don’t miss Grazing Together: The Importance of Collaboration and Rest on the Land for a chance to hear from Old Salt ranchers and others on how they manage livestock for land health.

1:30pm: Take the mic and share your Old Salt Fest-inspired creativity in this Open Mic session hosted by Hope Rock. Some of your favorite musicians may stop by as well!

3:30pm: Live Mountain & Prairie podcast featuring Storytellers as Changemakers

4:30pm: Meet local advocate, entrepreneur, and athlete Mike Foote & Missoula County Commissioner and rancher Juanita Vero as they engage in a Conservation Conversation with Ed Roberson.


The Lounge is facilitated by Hope Rock, Western Landowners Alliance, and Western Sustainability Exchange.