Agriculture, News & Events

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

Insights and information about the Agriculture Program

Agriculture Program Blog

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Healthy Soils Program

Highlighting the Healthy Soils Program are nine short videos funded by a Technical Assistance Grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Healthy Soils Program, in partnership with the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District. The nine videos cover the following subjects:

Compost, Conservation Tilling, Cover Cropping, Hedgerows, Mulching, Prescribed Grazing, Riparian Buffers, Whole Orchard Recycling, and Windbreaks.

HSP videos and information

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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

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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

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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

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Agriculture Program Photo Gallery

Ben Weise

AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION MANAGER

925-690-4145

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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.

Alejandro Anasal

Wildfire Conservation Coordinator

925-338-1828

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Alejandro Anasal

Skills: Info to come

Fun Fact: Info to come

Alejandro Anasal

Alejandro is passionate about using fire to steward forested landscapes and communities. He grew up in New York City before moving to Portland, Oregon where he attended Reed College, majoring in Biology. At Reed, Alejandro developed his interest in forestry and for his senior thesis chose to write about the impacts climate change will have on the forest communities of the Pacific Northwest. As a Forest Resource Assistant at UC Berkeley’s Blodgett Forest Research Station he participated in his first prescribed burn and has been interested in reintroducing beneficial forms of fire to management systems and communities ever since. He started at CCRCD in February 2023 and will be working to develop a Wildfire Conservation Program in Contra Costa County. He believes that shifting collective understandings of fire is a critical step in reorienting dominant culture’s relationship with the abundance the earth provides.

Ishai Cohen

Agriculture Conservation Coordinator

510-851-0260

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Ishai Cohen

Skills: Water conservation, Irrigation Audits, Data interpretation/analysis, Soil conservation.

Fun Fact: As a toddler Ishai lived on a cut flower farm. His first word was tractor. While working as a gardener, Ishai learned to backcountry ski, because being in the snow is much better than being in the rain.

Ishai Cohen

Ishai has over 20 years’ experience in the landscape field, with 8 of those as an irrigation specialist. He is also a licensed landscape contractor. In 2016, Ishai returned to school as a returning adult student, first earning a Certificate of Achievement in Nursery Management at Diablo Valley College, and then transferring and graduating from UC Berkeley in 2022 with a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies, earning the departmental citation.

After graduating from Cal, Ishai worked as a Scientific Aid in the Groundwater Permitting Unit at the Regional Water Quality Control Board, reviewing groundwater discharge monitoring and reporting data.

Ishai has a deep interest in all things grass, soil and irrigation and has focused his studies on those fields.