About CCRCD Agriculture, News & Events

The mission of the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District is to facilitate conservation and stewardship of the natural resources in our county. With the help of our partners, Contra Costa RCD strives to provide technical and financial assistance to any willing farmer or rancher interested in conservation opportunities on their properties. Read about some of our program offerings below or get in contact with us using the contact form. If that sounds like you, please contact us. We look forward to hearing and working with you!

Cover Cropping Opportunities in Specialty Crops!

Since October 2020, we’ve listened to a number of agriculture professionals, research scientists, and a few farmers themselves talk about their vast knowledge of cover crops and specialty crops, their experiences with it, what to consider, what to avoid, and everything in between!

Agriculture Programs

Row Crop Conservation

The CCRCD has provided free technical assistance to row crop producers for over 70 years with the goal of conserving natural resources and building a strong farming community in Contra Costa county.
Learn more about :

USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program
CDFA Healthy Soils Incentives Program
LEARN MORE ABOUT ROW CROP TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Rangeland Conservation and Restoration

In partnership with the USDA NRCS and other public and private landowners throughout Contra Costa county, the CCRCD works with landowners to improve rangeland conditions to meet ranching, conservation, and fire prevention goals.
Learn more about :

Promote rangeland health and resilience
Improve rangeland conditions
Threatened and protected species on rangelands
LEARN MORE ABOUT RANGELAND CONSERVATION and RESTORATION

Carbon Farming

The CCRCD is proud to work with farmers that want to develop carbon farm plans and maximize carbon sequestration within their farm or ranch to promote soil health and enhance agricultural conservation.
Learn more about :

What is Carbon Farm Planning (video)
Developing a carbon farm plan
Frog Hollow Farm Carbon Farm Plan
LEARN MORE ABOUT CARBON FARMING

Contra Costa Resource Conservation District provides free conservation technical assistance to farmers and ranchers that manage over 11,000 acres of row crops and 160,000 of rangeland.

Introducing our Agriculture team!

Ben Weise

AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION MANAGER

925-690-4145
bweise@ccrcd.org

Ben Weise

Skills: Permitting, conservation on agricultural land, illegal dumping prevention

Fun Fact: Eagle Scout, former member of the University of California Marching Band, aspiring birder, and a Contra Costa native raised in Southern California.

Ben Weise

Ben started working with Contra Costa RCD in January 2017 after receiving two Masters degrees from Indiana University in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Policy following undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley. Ben manages the Voluntary Local Program, the EcoStewards Program, and other conservation programs focused on agricultural lands.

Derek Emmons

AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION coordinator

925-276-0725
demmons@ccrcd.org

Derek Emmons

Skills: Regenerative land management and community engagement

Fun Fact: Student of life that nerds out on eco-cultural restoration, hangs out on hilltops, at home cruising in the Subaru, swimmer looking for water.

Derek Emmons

Actively pursuing opportunities for collaboration, Derek engages land managers, urban and rural farmers to identify strategies that balance immediate social needs with the long-term vitality of our ecological systems.

Raised in the East Bay, Derek’s professional experience includes non-profit work in urban forestry, environmental education, permaculture design, and community development through Peace Corps Nepal.

Graduating in 2010 with a BA in Environmental Studies: Sustainable Food Systems from UCSC, Derek holds an MA in Geography from CSULB 2020.  His thesis research focused on the social drivers of riparian restoration on the working lands of the upper Tule River watershed of Tulare County, CA.

His current interests include identifying and showcasing farms demonstrating regenerative practices such as soil carbon sequestration, storm water infiltration, hedgerows, biodiversity enhancements, rematriation, and management for ecological flow regimes.

Derek’s vision of scaling up regenerative land management, agroecological resilience, and food justice includes embracing diversity with a holistic perspective on collective wellbeing.