Education & Training
The Carbon Cycle Institute provides high quality education and training opportunities to our partners. While rooted in universal ecosystem processes and principles, an understanding of carbon farming and carbon farm planning remains elusive for many producers and natural resource professionals. CCI continues to play a pivotal role in guiding the emerging carbon farming community toward a more complete understanding of the concept, its methodologies, its metrics and its implications at the farm, global and intermediate scales.
CCI is continually evolving to meet the growing demand among producers, Conservation Districts, and other key partners in and out of California for Carbon Farm Plan development that exceeds existing capacity. To meet the growing demand CCI has:
Worked with the Colorado State University COMET team to develop an on-line, multi-module carbon farm planning education platform designed to be paired with a guided training with the CCI Staff.
The curriculum has been vetted by trained carbon farm planners, and tested through deployment in collaboration with the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation. The curriculum will be deployed in CA in June of 2021 and allow for greater deployment of Carbon Farm Planning Training nationally.
Partnered with academic institutions to scale carbon farm planning education and training opportunities for students, farmers and ranchers, conservationists, and natural resource management agency staff. More on University Partnerships.
Carbon Farm Planning
Carbon Farm Planning (CFP) emerged from the nexus between the climate crisis and traditional farm conservation planning, as a whole farm approach to optimizing carbon capture on working landscapes. The Carbon Farm Planning team works with a farmer or rancher to assess all the opportunities for GHG reduction and carbon sequestration on their land The process combines traditional whole-farm planning and resource assessment approaches with up to date climate science to develop a comprehensive, carbon-focused farm plan.
A set of online greenhouse gas (GHG) quantification tools (COMET) developed by researchers at Colorado State University, with support from NRCS, CCI and the Marin Carbon Project, facilitates the process of developing a CFP and allows the quantification of GHG benefits of the plan. In addition to GHG reductions and carbon sequestration in soils and vegetation, there are important co-benefits of implementing a carbon farm plan, including higher productivity, increased soil water holding capacity, and improved hydrological function, biodiversity, and climate resilience.
Ultimately, the Carbon Farm Planning process supports the transformation of producers to Carbon Farmers by supporting their understanding of carbon as a powerful organizing principle for managing their land. Through the Carbon Farm Planning process, carbon farming experts work with producers to identify opportunities for carbon sequestration throughout the farming system. CCI strives to:
Provide essential background and key concepts for understanding the ecological and economic significance of Carbon Farming.
Provide a framework of knowledge to facilitate development of a Carbon Farm Plan.
Provide necessary tools, materials, and ongoing support for writing a Carbon Farm Plan
CCI provides a monthly open discussion “Café Hour” training series, providing technical support/education to carbon farm planners focusing on topics selected by participants. Café Hour workshops are held on-line via Zoom, greatly facilitating access for participants across the state and beyond. Where feasible, Café Hour trainings are conducted by partner carbon farm planners as part of our Train-the-Trainer approach and targeted Conservation Districts, NRCS, and Cooperative Extension staff working on building carbon farming programs across the country. A total of nine webinars were hosted in 2020.