Carbon Farming Network


Over the last five years, CCI’s capacity building efforts have focused on building a Carbon Farming Network in California, in partnership with local Resource Conservation Districts. The CF Network has come a long way in a short period of time. To date, CCI has trained over 100 RCD carbon farm planners and helped establish nascent carbon farming programs at 32 RCDs across California. RCDs, working with farmers and ranchers in their districts, have completed 137 carbon farm plans, encompassing approximately 71,440 acres of agricultural lands, with a total estimated potential, if fully implemented, to sequester more than 1.7 million metric tons of carbon by year 20. The majority of participating farms and ranches (74%) have implemented at least one climate-beneficial practice in accordance with their carbon farm plan. An additional 99 carbon farm plans are in development over approximately 35,680 acres. Network members are currently working with producers in 39 counties, encompassing a diversity of climatic regions, ecosystems, soil types, and agricultural production systems, paving the way for broad adoption of carbon farming and soil health practices.

RCD Regional

Ag and Climate Hubs

To continue building the CF Network, 45 California RCDs have organized into seven Regional Agriculture and Climate Hubs encompassing over 12.5 million acres of agricultural lands. Regional Hubs capitalize on the strong institutional relationships that exist between RCDs, their historic collaborative relationship with the USDA NRCS, and the trust they hold with local agricultural communities. CCI, the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD), and our RCD partners are currently engaged in a three-year capacity building effort to train and support additional carbon farm planners, hire and train six new Regional Hub Coordinators, conduct regional needs assessments, develop five-year implementation plans, advance a statewide legislative strategy to support RCD Ag and Climate programs and services, and greatly expand climate-beneficial agriculture outreach and education efforts. For more information, see the RCD Regional Ag and Climate Hubs statewide handout.

Impacts of the Hubs

1. Build a workforce of trained and experienced agricultural conservation professionals

Trained conservation professionals ensure all California farmers and ranchers—regardless of race, income, or farm size—have support in transitioning to resilient, climate-beneficial production systems through equitable access to technical and financial assistance programs and services.

2. Invest in climate mitigation and adaptation planning in rural communities

Local and regional climate action and resilience planning efforts fully engage our agricultural communities and integrate agricultural climate solutions.

3. Access to emerging climate-beneficial ag markets

Support agricultural producers in developing and accessing markets for climate-beneficial products through tool development, farm planning, implementation dollars, and monitoring, reporting and verification services.

4. Strengthen state policies and programs to enable scaling of climate-beneficial agriculture

Provide agricultural producers and conservation partners a central role and collective voice in shaping local, state, and federal agricultural conservation programs and policies.

Hub Coordinators

Elena Bischak, PhD
CARCD Statewide Regional Hub Coordinator
Host: CARCD
Hub RCDs: Alameda County, Contra Costa, Loma Prieta, North Santa Clara, Solano, Suisun
Matthew Lunn
Regional Hub Coordinator
Central Sierra Hub
Host: Tuolumne County RCD
Hub RCDs: Amador, Calaveras County, Placer RCD, El Dorado County, Georgetown Divide, Sloughhouse, Tuolumne County
Emilie Winfield
Regional Hub Coordinator
North Coast Soil Hub
Host: Marin RCD
Hub RCDs: Gold Ridge, Humboldt County, Lake County, Marin, Mendocino County, Napa County, Sonoma

Margot Flynn
Regional Hub Coordinator
Sacramento Valley Regional Hub
Host: Colusa County RCD
Hub RCDs: Butte County, Colusa County, Feather River, Glenn County, Sierra Valley, Sutter County, Tehama County, Western Shasta, Yolo, Yuba County

Alexandria Miranda
Regional Hub Coordinator
San Joaquin Valley Regional Hub
Host: East Stanislaus RCD
Hub RCDs: Eastern Kern County, East Merced, East Stanislaus, Madera-Chowchilla, North West Kern, Sierra, Tranquility
Joshua Kouri
Regional Hub Coordinator
South Central Coast Carbon Farming Hub
Host: Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District
Hub RCDs: Cachuma, Coastal San Luis, Upper Salinas-Las Tablas, Ventura County
Rachel Petitt
Regional Hub Coordinator
Southern California Regional Hub
Host: RCD of Greater San Diego County
Regional Hub RCDs: Coachella Valley, Greater San Diego County, Inland Empire, Mission, Upper San Luis Reyes

Elena Bischak, PhD
CARCD Statewide Regional Hub Coordinator
Email: elena-bischak@carcd.org
Host: CARCD
Hub RCDs: Alameda County, Contra Costa, Loma Prieta, North Santa Clara, Solano, Suisun

 Elena joined the CARCD team in September 2023 as the Statewide Regional Hub Coordinator and Agriculture Program Manager. She earned her PhD in Environmental Systems from UC Merced in November 2023. Her doctoral work is centered on strategic organic waste recycling to improve carbon and nutrient cycles at the local and global scale, with a particular focus on sustainable sanitation systems. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the College of William & Mary. Elena became interested in climate-smart agriculture during her time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in central Senegal. During her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, playing tennis, and hanging out with her dogs.

Matthew Lunn
Regional Hub Coordinator, Central Sierra Hub
Email: Matthew@tcrcd.org
Host RCD: Tuolumne County RCD
Hub RCDs: Amador, Calaveras County, Placer RCD, El Dorado County, Georgetown Divide, Sloughhouse, Tuolumne County

 Matt has been working in the fields of agriculture and conservation for more than 5 years in Northern California regions; first as a ranch hand, then as a field supervisor for growers in high-end culinary markets, and most recently as a program coordinator for the North Bay Conservation Corps. With a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Justice Studies from Cal State San Marcos, he applies an environmental justice lens to his work and seeks out ways to support traditionally underserved producers wherever he can. Having inherited a “green-thumb” at an early age from working on his grandfather’s citrus orchard in Southern California, Matt still enjoys tending community gardens and dreams of one day running a market/demo farm with friends, to grow healthy food for visitors of Yosemite National Park and local tourism-driven communities.

Emilie Winfield
Regional Hub Coordinator, North Coast Soil Hub
Email: emilie@marinrcd.org
Host RCD: Marin RCD
Hub RCDs: Gold Ridge, Humboldt County, Lake County, Marin, Mendocino County, Napa County, Sonoma

 Emilie is an agroecologist whose work focuses on agricultural sustainability, soil health, and impactful collaboration. She is motivated by the intersection of climate change and agriculture and is thrilled to join the regional efforts of the North Coast Soil Hub. Most recently Emilie worked at the USDA California Climate Hub where she engaged diverse stakeholders to craft education and outreach materials on climate adaptation practices and climate-smart agriculture. Additionally, she spent 6 years managing farms and agricultural partnerships in NY and CA, supporting successful relationships between farms and restaurants and promoting local foodsheds. Emilie is dedicated to education around sustainable growing practices and soil health and teaches classes at a nonprofit in San Francisco. Emilie holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from UC Davis and a B.S. in Plant Sciences from UC Santa Cruz. She has conducted research on mycorrhizal fungi and root systems architecture in soil. She is enthusiastic about soil microbes and good food, and believes agriculture plays a key role in creating a more resilient and just future for communities and the planet.

Margot Flynn
Regional Soil Hub Coordinator, Sacramento Valley Regional Hub
Email: margot@svsoilhub.org
Host RCD: Colusa County RCD
Hub RCDs: Butte County, Colusa County, Feather River, Glenn County, Sierra Valley, Sutter County, Tehama County, Western Shasta, Yolo, Yuba County

 Margot is an agricultural ecologist who has been working in community outreach and on farm research for the last 4 years. Margot holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from Colorado College and a M.Sc. in Ecology from UC Davis where she worked in almond orchards to measure the impacts of regenerative management on water use. Margot’s passion for sustainable food systems has drawn her to the Valley where she is enthusiastic about merging her experiences in community engagement with her technical skills to support climate smart agriculture and help build a healthy, harmonious, and resilient region. When she’s not at work, she enjoys baking, making ceramics, and exploring California’s landscapes.

Alexandria Miranda
Regional Hub Coordinator, San Joaquin Valley Regional Hub
Email: amiranda@carboncycle.org
Host RCD: East Stanislaus RCD
Hub RCDs: Eastern Kern County, East Merced, East Stanislaus, Madera-Chowchilla, North West Kern, Sierra, Tranquility

 Alexandria is a first generation farmer, educator, and agricultural conservationist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from California State University, Fresno and has used her education within agriculture since 2012, from promoting and managing farmers markets, to leading nutrition education programs to providing technical assistance to farmers. She has worked with Resource Conservation Districts, building relationships with farmers, partnerships and programs since 2015 as an Agricultural Conservationist and Educational Outreach Coordinator. She is currently a board member for the East Stanislaus RCD and owns and operates Hen and Harvest Farm, a small regenerative farm of pasture-raised and rotationally grazed sheep, chickens and ducks in Turlock, California.

Joshua Kouri
Regional Hub Coordinator, South Central Coast Carbon Farming Hub
Email: josh@coastalrcd.org
Host RCD: Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District
Hub RCDs: Cachuma, Coastal San Luis, Upper Salinas-Las Tablas, Ventura County

 Joshua is a farmer, biologist, and educator from Oklahoma City with a master’s in plant biology from the University of Oklahoma. Over the past decade he has pursued a wide variety of research projects in ecology and conservation biology, as well as hands-on work as a farmer applying the principles of regenerative agriculture. He worked for the Oklahoma County Conservation District as part of the state’s Soil Health Team, providing leadership and guidance to farmers and ranchers working to make their operations more resilient and sustainable. Now in San Luis Obispo, he is excited to connect with the local agricultural community and be a resource in their efforts to steward the abundant natural beauty of the Central Coast.

Rachel Petitt
Regional Hub Coordinator, Southern California Regional Hub
Email: Rachel.Petitt@rcdsandiego.org
Host RCD: RCD of Greater San Diego County
Regional Hub RCDs: Coachella Valley, Greater San Diego County, Inland Empire, Mission, Upper San Luis Reyes

 Rachel Petitt has been a farm advocate in the non-profit sector for the past twelve years, supporting CSA legislation, dry farming initiatives, farm to institution market channels and other projects uplifting small scale producers nationwide. Upon earning a degree in Community Studies, Food and Agriculture from UC Santa Cruz, Rachel worked on a narcissus hybridizing farm, integrated vegetable and poultry operation, hop yard, and apricot orchard around Monterey and Yolo counties. She now resides in rural San Diego county.