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Is it inevitable that our San Joaquin Valley must retire 1,000,000 acres from production, one fifth of all irrigated agriculture, by 2040 to comply with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act? A community of innovative visionaries thinks not. Join “Down on the Farm” host Tom Willey, in conversation with Don Wright of “Water Wrights” and Milk Producers Council spokesperson Geoff Vanden Heuvel over a ‘San Joaquin Valley Water Blueprint’.
Fifteen years ago, a visiting Illinois no-till row-crop farmer seized on the idea of adapting Midwestern regenerative soil management techniques hereabouts. Today, California Ag Solutions’ crackerjack team has Valley growers seeding 16-species cover crops, applying compost, and even grazing animals on croplands. These farmers have drastically reduced synthetic chemical inputs. Join CAS agronomist Cary Crum and “Down on the Farm” host Tom Willey in conversation about the regenerative revolution underway on Valley farms.
Each January, “Down on the Farm” celebrates the culture in agriculture. When our broadcast falls on New Year’s Day, local farmers have hauled pipe organ, poems, and viola into the studio. A growling virus demands that 2021 be more subdued. So, this time we’ll explore farmers wielding not just shovels but pens. Reedley vinedresser Fred Smeds, along with host Tom Willey will regale listeners with yarns from lives on the land.
Wild Farm Alliance advocates for knitting wild nature back into America’s farmscapes. Their Songbird Farm Trail is actively establishing one million nest boxes on farms from Baja to British Columbia. The Alliance publicizes research demonstrating that birds contribute significantly to pest control on farms. Join Executive Director Jo Ann Baumgartner and “Down on the Farm” host Tom Willey in discussion.
Sam Earnshaw is the Johnny Appleseed of California hedgerows. These living fences grew to define the boundaries and character of Britain’s farmscapes following the enclosure of common lands. Earnshaw and collaborators have planted some 30 miles of California native species hedgerow on farms up and down the state since 1996. To what end? Join “Down on the Farm” host Tom Willey and Sam Earnshaw talk hedgerow treasure.