Thursday, 27 February 2020

Livestock and Land Grant Funding Wraps Up with the Implementation of Six Demonstration Projects

compost workshop 2020On February 28, 2020 the Resource Conservation District concluded a four year grant funded by a US EPA Clean Water Grant through an agreement with the State Water Resource Control Board. The monies were used to implement the Livestock and Land program, which was started in Santa Cruz County by local conservation districts and NGO’s as a way to work affect positive changes to water quality concerns from livestock facilities. This round of funding targeted small ranches in the Pajaro River Watershed where we work with landowners on a voluntary basis to help reduce the potential of sediments and fecal coliform from entering local waterways.

LandLTour2020 31Through the course of the grant period, we provided outreach and educational workshops, trainings, tours, and one-on-one technical assistance. These events helped prepared landowners to make voluntary changes on their properties to enhance water quality in local creeks, simplify chores, and improve animal health. Three workshops, two tours and one technical training  were conducted, with a total of 111 attendees. Topics related to Best Management Practices (BMPs) for livestock facilities such as manure and mud management, understanding and planning for drainage, pasture management, winter preparedness, composting options and site planning. The RCD also visited 21 facilities and provided technical recommendations related to changes each facility could make to benefit their land and animals.
The program also provided over $100,000 in cost-share grants to six facilities that implemented the recommended improvements. Landowners collectively contributed an equal dollar amount for the projects with both in-kind and cash match. On February 8, 2020 we conducted a tour of four of the facilities to highlight the various BMPs used to successfully  manage manure and mud, several of which are highlighted our lastest Livestock and Land newsletter, pdfFrom the Horses Mouth.

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