- Author: G. Bradley Hooker
Mitchell, a UC Cooperative Extension cropping systems specialist, will work with through the Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) Center, which promotes the principles of conservation agriculture: reduced disturbance, diversity and year-round soil health improvement practices. The internationally recognized sustainability method is now making inroads to California, particularly as a low-input high-retention approach to dealing with drought conditions.
CASI has established a network throughout California's Central Valley of high school teachers committed to the upcoming pilot program. Farm training sessions will extend the classroom learning the students currently gain in their coursework, with CASI experts sharing their knowledge and excitement for agriculture and agricultural science.
“In my own class that I am teaching this fall at UC Davis, the students themselves have selected as the topic for their panel discussion ‘California's new farmers,'” says Mitchell, “which is, I think, a fitting testament to the sheer importance of young people and the need to educate and inspire this next generation of folks who'll be responsible for agricultural production systems in the future.”