CRCD starts Carbon Farm Plans
Cachuma Resource Conservation District starts to develop Carbon Farm Plans (working with farmers and ranchers to implement practices that increase carbon sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, etc.), Russell Chamberlin attends some meetings.
Team is Assembled
A team forms to assist with this including the Cachuma Resource Conservation District, the Community Environmental Council, UC Agriculture and Natural Resource, and other researchers from the UCSB/UC Cooperative Extension.
Russell is approached by members of the Marin Carbon Project. The Marin Carbon Project is a consortium seeking to enhance carbon sequestration in rangeland, agricultural, and forest soils through applied research, demonstration and implementation. They begin a trial project, applying compost to rangeland.
Expand the Project
Russell and the Chamberlin Ranch decide to expand past the initial trial.
They receive some funding from the Food Action Plan (with help from Emily Miller and CEC) to really get the project off the ground.
CA Healthy Soils Grant
CEC applied in 2017 for a Healthy Soils grant through the California Department of Food and Agriculture in order to continue and expand the project at Chamberlin Ranch.
- The same team stayed on to assist with the project
- There are requirements for demonstrations/workshops teaching about projects funded by this grant (people come to visit and can learn more and ask questions, etc.)
Grant Will Conclude
The grant will be up in 2022, following an extension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “a collaboration of team members who might otherwise oppose one another on public policy issuesThis is the ESSENCE of what the SBC Food Action Network does! for example, but people coming together to improve the landscape and willing to use cattle”
- “Encouraging for the members but also the public, seeing how opposing factions can come together to meet common goals”
- Continued growth on land from the compost application
- More people becoming interested in carbon farm plans and healthy soils program, variety of practices funded through the program
- Started with 1 carbon farm, now up to 7, mostly because they have seen benefits from the Chamberlin ranch
- Because of the successes more people are interested, involved, and engaged, more interested in trying it out themselves
- “community education: challenge to get people out to the site to check things out, able to get 100+ farmers and ranchers out to the site to let people know about what we were doing, partnered with 4-5 farmers/ranchers to start similar projects, taking advantage of field days to get other people hooked in”
— excerpts from conversation with Russell Chamberlain about the project