Agriculture Resilience – Carbon Farm Planning
Purpose: To expand opportunities of agricultural resilience at the farm and community level by testing ways to increase carbon cycling in southeastern production systems. The project focuses on evaluating North Carolina production systems through the lens of USDA’s COMET-Farm to inform conservation adoption, specifically soil health management systems. Project partners are training 40 technical staff on the use of COMET-Farm and Carbon Farm Planning. The training team will support 7 conservation districts and their selected producer to complete 7 carbon farm plans. Outreach activities include online engagement on social media platforms and field days in 2022.
Support: The project is funded by a $50,000 grant from USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, $55,000 grant from the NC Agriculture Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, and a $85,000 subcontract with Virginia Tech University under a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Collaboration Grant.
Current Work: Carbon Cycle Institute is the lead technical trainer. Other support partners include USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in North Carolina, Virginia and the Soil Health Division, USDA Agricultural Research Services, The Organic Growers School, Cultivating Resilience LLC, Thomas Jefferson Conservation District in Virginia, and the Amazing Grazing Program. Other trainees include NC conservation districts, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agronomic Field Services, the Roanoke Center’s Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project, and the Ruffed Grouse Society.
Accomplishments: The training class completed three online training modules and have formed 7 Carbon Farm Planning teams. The plans will be drafted in 2021 with information shared publicly in early 2022.