Since its inception in 2002, the Livestock and Land program has dramatically increased outreach to livestock owners and education on resource conservation at livestock facilities. Workshops geared toward teaching landowners practical ways to reduce non-point source pollutants by implementing BMPs on their properties were offered in all three counties. Topics included erosion control, mud control, pasture and paddock management, plus methods for dealing with manure such as composting and storage. Attendance in the three counties topped 400 at eleven workshops. We also completed hands-on trainings in Santa Cruz County, Santa Clara and San Benito Counties.
|Rich Casale of the NRCS answers questions at a workshop.|
Since 2002, a total of eighteen properties have received cost-share assistance for implementing BMPs. Projects included manure and compost bin construction, adding gutters and downspouts to stalls, building a sediment settling basin, adding or improving drainage and erosion controls, and exclusionary fencing for enhanced pasture management.
In 2006, over thirty people attended a daylong tour of four Santa Cruz County Demonstration Sites. Attendees included property owners, contractors and erosion control specialists, various agencies, realtors and more.
|French Drain Workshop students constructing a dissipater at the drain outlet for one of the livestock Demonstration Sites.|
The program completed a Manure Market Study Survey to determine from what services local livestock owners might benefit. The results spawned the creation of an online Organic Materials Exchange which debuted in November 2006 and currently has numerous listings for manure, compost, and other organic materials. In addition, the program is working closely with local government to examine manure hauling options for landowners.
Finally, the Peer Leader Program, built on a neighbors helping neighbors philosophy, was designed to provide a simple and informal link between landowners and local agencies that provide educational tools and funding assistance. Peer Leaders completed a total of ten community outreach projects that resulted in thirty-three new referrals to the RCD for assistance.