A local rancher and board member of the Amador RCD was awarded funding to plant cover crops. Dan Port and his wife Susan run Winterport Farms raising grassfed beef on forage produced with limited irrigation. Susan’s family has been farming in the Ione Valley since 1867. Earlier this year the Winterports Farms submitted an application to the Healthy Soil Initiatives Program, in which the State of California funds incentivizes projects with soil health projects on agricultural operations. The project emulates one of the regenerative agriculture practices (no till) used by Gabe Brown on his North Dakota Ranch was funding on June 5th 2019. Regenerative agriculture produces multiple environmental and economic benefits including reduced soil erosion and soil compaction, increased water infiltration and preservation of soil moisture, increased quantity and diversity of soil life, increased crop production, reduced need for herbicides and pesticides, and greenhouse gas reduction. These environmental benefits mean greater economic returns and stability for the producer from reduced costs and greater production. The increased water infiltration and preservation of soil moisture achieved by regenerative agriculture provides resiliency in agriculture by enabling farmers and ranchers to better withstand these periods of drought. The goal of this project is to conserve and enhance agricultural resources, increase farm profitability and resilience, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases. Desired outcomes over the three years of the project are increasing soil organic matter by 50%, and increasing water infiltration rates by 50%.
The Amador RCD is excited to have the first Healthy Soils Incentives Program project in Amador County be funded. Dan Port wrote the application himself; but the Amador RCD is hoping to be able to provide technical assistance in the next round of funding later this year. If your interested in applying for funding join the Amador RCD email list to hear more about upcoming funding.