July 15, 2019
Washington Union High School juniors, Sophia Garcia and Lilliana Ruiz, took part in the UAV/Ag Technology Field Day that was held at Bowles Farming in Los Banos, CA on July 15, 2019. The two students are part of the Wonderful Company's summer intern program and are working with UCCE Cropping Systems Specialist, Jeff Mitchell, out of the Five Points field station for two weeks. The field educational event was sponsored by UCCE Advisor, Scott Stoddard, of the Merced County office and featured a number of advanced technology providers as well as a hand-on demonstration of work that is being conducted at Bowles Farming and in Five Points related to a CDFA Healthy Soils Program project that Stoddard and Mitchell are part of. In his introductory presentation to the more than fifty participants who took part in the event and in keeping with the event's main theme, technology, Mitchell stressed that “Technology and biology are the foundations of agricultural progress,” and he shared work that has been underway in Five Points related to the biological side of this statement. He had participants join him in a series of demonstrations of the impacts that reduced disturbance and cover crop management may have on soil function. The demonstrations provided a stark counterpoint to the very high tech other displays that comprised the field day and that captured the awe of participants.
June 30, 2010
CASI wound down a successful series of Friday morning soil tours of the longstanding NRI Project on June 28th. Over the past several months, over fifty visitors toured the site and saw “up close and personal” how dedicated conservation agriculture and soil care management impact soil function and cropping system performance. Two prominent popular press articles written by Mark Schapiro of KQED resulted from the tour series including https://www.kqed.org/science/1943671/centers-of-insurrection-central-valley-farmers-reckon-with-climate-change and https://baynature.org/article/a-time-of-reckoning-in-the-central-valley/.
June 29, 2019
An ongoing series of You Tube video updates that are related to our CIG reduced disturbance organic vegetable project is available now. So far, two project update videos have been posted at the following You Tube links.
If you'd like to be added to the Collaborative Tools communication system that we've created for this group, please email Jeff Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll send an invitation to you to join.
- Author: Diana Nix
June 21, 2019
Longtime CASI member, Ron Jones of J & J Farms in Firebaugh, CA, brought his nephew and farming partner, Darcy Villere, out to the NRI Project study site as part of CASI's Friday morning soil tour program on June 21, 2019. J & J Farms is a diversified farming operation located just west of Firebaugh. Jones has been a member of CASI for over twenty years and was one of the original farmer partners on our early BIFS (Biologically Integrated Farming Systems) efforts back in the mid-1990s. Villere is relatively new to farming in the San Joaquin Valley but is clearly a very insightful and quick learner. CASI's Jeff Mitchell hosted Jones and Villere and not only shared with them what the NRI Project has learned over the years, but also he was particularly keen to learn about their efforts and plans for cover cropping at their own West Side farm. Mitchell invited these visitors to become part of the CIG Project farmer group that also shares many of the common farming goals that were discussed during the visit and tour.
- Author: Diana Nix
June 19, 2019
Lindsey Moore, a science photographer with KQED, visited the NRI Project field site on June 19th to shoot photos of the long-term study for conservation agriculture in California's San Joaquin Valley. KQED is the Public Broadcasting Service member television station for Northern California based in San Francisco. Moore was assigned the Five Points photo shoot that will contribute to an article that is being written by Mark Schapiro who had visited the field back in May to interview CASI's Tom Willey, Monte Bottens, and Jeff Mitchell. She recently completed her BA in photo journalism from San Francisco State University and is very much enjoying her work at the station that provides diverse and interesting opportunities to go out and capture photo records of a wide range of topics, activities and people. She was hosted by CASI's Mitchell who showed her the 20-year, “very important” NRI field, and the various problems that the CASI project team has been having this year with cover crop regrowth in the no-till cover crop system that is now being managed using organic farming techniques. CASI thanks Lindsey Moore and KQED for coming all the way out to Five Points to visit our study site!