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Glenn County Leads the Way in Soil Health

Partners across California are collaborating to celebrate Healthy Soils Week 2019.

Healthy Soils Week-#1

NRCS is happy to partner with groups across California to recognize Healthy Soils Week 2019 to sustain this vital resource.


 

 


Soil Health is taking California by storm. One of the earliest places it took root in the Golden State was in Glenn County. There, the local Resource Conservation District, in close partnership with the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, responded to a core group of progressive farmers interested in pursuing practices to make their soils healthier and their farms more productive. University of California Extension Service and other partners joined NRCS and the RCD to make the principles of soil health optimally successful under local conditions. Glenn County is still on the cutting edge of soil health--increasing knowledge, skill and the use of soil health practices every year.

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Healthy Soil Supports Local Foods in Glenn County

By Kandi Manhart
Executive Officer, Glenn County RCD

Glen Co RCD-1Glenn County partners lead the way in healthy soils. Did you know soil quality can play a role in how your food is grown? Read on for a little history and learn more about Glenn County partners who have been working towards ensuring healthy soils to support our local foods.

The relationship between Resource Conservation Districts (RCD), a special district, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service, is long standing and the reason you will find them co-located in the same office most of the time. Their partnership is sometimes described as a “marriage” relationship strangely enough. And, in Glenn County, not only does the RCD and USDA-NRCS work closely together but the two agencies commonly work with the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and Farm Bureau (a non-governmental agency) due to, well, just making sense the agency leaders like to say.

The love of healthy soils is not new in Glenn County with these partners. As you may have noticed ‘soil’ is part of the founding of RCD and USDA-NRCS which reaches back to the Dust Bowl era in the 1930s. Due to the importance of healthy soils, Glenn County RCD, USDA-NRCS, UCCE and Farm Bureau partners together to help promote and encourage healthy soils and have so for many years. Some say their partnership is a model to be replicated and that is true… all due to the foresight of a local farmer and Certified Crop Advisor who is well known in the Glenn County community.

Partner roles, what are they? RCD is known as being the liaison between private landowners and government agencies to find common ground and achieve goals together, USDA-NRCS offers cost-share funding through Farm Bill Programs to encourage implementation of additional best management practices, UCCE brings research and scientific approaches, while Farm Bureau supports the agricultural industry and is membership based made up of farmers and ranchers. Together, the four partners create a well-rounded support team to help our farmers and ranchers do what they do best -- grow our local foods. 

Glen Co. RCD-2It is the Glenn County partner’s goal to help provide opportunity to farmers and ranchers while sharing information and learning more from each other, which ultimately help our local foods be placed on our local dinner tables. These Glenn County partners have a love of healthy soils and, most importantly, their drive to work with farmers and ranchers who care for our agricultural and natural lands is par-none. In fact, they even created a farmer-lead steering committee to guide the healthy soils efforts in Glenn County.

Did you know soil quality can play a role in how your food is grown? To answer the original question, soil quality does play a role in growing food. Healthy soils are important! Healthy soils ensure that agricultural lands are sustained for future generations and are essential for the production of a bountiful supply of safe food and fiber. Yes, lots of local food on your local dinner table. Lastly, healthy soil, equals healthy food, equals healthy people.

To learn more, contact Glenn County RCD at www.glenncountyrcd.org or call their office at 530-934-4601, ex. 5.