Photo courtesy of Mad Agriculture

Mad Agriculture: Reimagining and Restoring our Relationship with Earth through Agriculture

Agricultural producers who manage for the carbon cycle improve soil health, sequester atmospheric carbon and improve crop production and quality. There is rising national demand for education and training on Carbon Farming for all types of agriculture. The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) has approved standards for Carbon Farm Plans in California and has recently launched a new planning approach, Soil Health Management Plans (SHMP), which embodies many aspects of California's Carbon Farm Planning. The new SHMP is very exciting because elements of Carbon Farm Planning are now available to all producers in the USA. However, the SHMP currently lacks a full integration of carbon farming principles and tools and an associated curriculum and training program to help other farmer planners and producers realize the full benefits of carbon farm planning.

Mad Agriculture is partnering with Colorado State University and Quivira Coalition in New Mexico to integrate carbon farming principles and tools into the new SHMP, and create a regional curriculum and companion training workshops for technical service providers and producers. The regional curriculum will be distributed in physical and digital formats via the NRCS, Conservation District field office and online platforms, such as Facebook farm and ranch groups, CSU extension and land grant universities. This work is a bold step for accelerating the use and implementation of carbon farming across the globe. The project will enable deeper regional experience and curriculum development, providing an important stepping stone toward creating a national curriculum for carbon farm planning.