In December, Mark Biaggi and Kevin Watt attended and presented at the annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Conference in Sacramento.
California Association of Resource Conservation Districts Conference
In December, Kevin Watt and Mark Biaggi attended and presented at the annual California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Conference in Sacramento. Consistent with TomKat Ranch’s guiding value of collaboration, the conference’s theme was “Growing Together to Meet the Moment.”
Kevin co-presented with Eliza Milio of the San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (SMRCD) and Jim Howard from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on the innovative 4-day training TomKat Ranch hosted in October, “Regenerative Agriculture and Conservation Planning” made possible by a grant from Western Sustainable Agriculture and Education. The presentation focused on the unique collaborative structure of the grant and training, key insights and lessons learned, and how similar trainings in other regions of California could be valuable opportunities for RCDs, NRCS offices, and other organizations advocating for regenerative agriculture.
The presentation was very well received by the 50 – 60 people in attendance. Many technical assistance providers from the NRCS and RCDs across the state showed a lot of interest in increasing access to education on Conservation Planning and principles of regenerative agriculture. Representatives from the NRCS even expressed interest in collaborating to qualify similar trainings for official Conservation Planner certification.
Mark Biaggi presented a talk on “Ranching in the Face of Climate Change and the Benefits of Regenerative Grazing” to approximately 30 – 40 people. The foundation of his presentation was that developing a resilient landscape is paramount to both ecological and economic success in the face of the immense changes taking place in the global climate.
Mark shared a few examples on the ranch, highlighted by photos, illustrating the role that livestock grazing and other adaptive management practices can have in building resilience to climate change—improving soil health, restoring ecological cycles, and improving overall ecosystem health.
The goal of attending conferences like CARCD is always to deepen partnerships and exchange ideas, and on both levels we found success. We look forward to continuing to develop training curricula and opportunities for the benefit of people who are caring for lands across California.