March 9, 2015

Contact: Anna Beraud

Soil Carbon Coalition Founder to Host Rangeland Workshop at Cal Poly’s Cheda Ranch March 21

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly’s Center for Sustainability in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences will hold a free public workshop on rangeland and soil management with Soil Carbon Coalition founder Peter Donovan at Cal Poly’s Cheda Ranch from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.  

The workshop will be comprised of two segments. During the morning session, Beth Reynolds, Cal Poly faculty advisor for small ruminants, will give a tour of the unit, and Donovan will talk about the importance of soil organic matter and its implications for land management.

During the afternoon session, Reynolds, Cal Poly Animal Science faculty members Aaron Lazanoff and Marc Horney will lead a hands-on workshop outlining the different aspects of rangeland management.

The daylong workshop is designed to teach participants about the tools of rangeland management, including soil health, diversity of plant species, grazing practices and the importance of electric fencing.

The combination of lecture and hands-on exercises will provide participants with experience in testing for improvements in land and creating grazing plans. They will also learn about the difference in multispecies grazing and the important infrastructure of a range operation. 

The workshop will be geared toward agricultural professionals, farmers and ranchers, conservationists, community members and students.

It is not necessary to register to attend the workshop; however, lunch reservations are required. Those interested can order a barbecue tri-tip or vegetarian chili meal for $10. Make reservations by Monday, March 16, by contacting the Center for Sustainability at 805-756-5086 or

About Cheda Ranch and the Cal Poly Sheep and Goat Unit

Cheda Ranch, Cal Poly’s former dairy, is home to the Animal Science Department’s Sheep and Goat Unit, which utilizes sustainable grazing practices. The Sheep and Goat Unit provides students with an introduction to planned grazing, basic veterinary skills, and a profitable business model. Cheda Ranch is located off Highway 1, about a quarter of a mile north of Stenner Creek Road on the Cal Poly campus. To locate Cheda Ranch, find location #121 on the campus map at:

About the Soil Carbon Coalition

The Soil Carbon Coalition is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance the land management practices that help turn atmospheric carbon into soil organic matter. Founder Peter Donovan has been touring the country spreading awareness about the opportunities to increase carbon and water-holding capacity in soil and collecting baseline soil carbon measurements. To find out more about the Soil Carbon Coalition, go to:

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