STOCKTON, Calif., Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Top agricultural experts from Mexico are learning about conservation American style. The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California, together with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), is hosting a weeklong training session to share the Agency's science and philosophy of on-farm conservation, established in the United States following the environmental calamity known as the Dust Bowl. The course, which runs through tomorrow, could provide a template of conservation planning fundamentals that could prove useful on farms and ranches in Mexico.
"NRCS and FIRCO have been strongly collaborating for the past two years in the area of climate-smart agriculture," said Carlos Suarez, NRCS California state conservationist. "This seminar will provide the tools to our Mexican counterparts in the science of conservation planning to assist them in the protection of their natural resources in a climate changing environment."
The delegation includes agronomists, agricultural engineers, economists, rural sociologists and other professionals from the Fideicomiso De Riesgo Compartido (FIRCO), a division of Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food. Attendees represent different states within Mexico and bring farming perspectives from their various regions.
"Our goal is to take the methodologies and strategies used by NRCS in California, that are applied to the soil, water, air, plants and animals, and help our agribusinesses be more sustainable in Mexico," said Ottavio Avilez, regional director for FIRCO.
NRCS has an ongoing professional partnership with FIRCO to promote an educational exchange about on-farm conservation. FIRCO representatives in Mexico hosted a group of NRCS California leadership in 2014. In turn, this FIRCO delegation is participating in NRCS's conservation planning course to replicate some of these new skills in Mexico.
The planning course is a hands-on educational experience created by NRCS for staff and partners. It is typically given twice a year at farms and ranches throughout California. In recent weeks, NRCS translated the weeklong coursework into Spanish.
TNC is hosting the course at their Staten Island ranch where for more than 20 years they have integrated conservation efforts with wildlife-friendly farming practices that are critical for sandhill cranes, shorebirds and other migratory birds. The ranch serves as a template for how to farm with a wildlife friendly management approach.
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SOURCE USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service