Elderberry in a hedgerow

Episode 297. Digging into Texas’ First Carbon Farm Plan

In this episode of Voices from the Field, we dig into Texas’ first Carbon Farm Plan with New Leaf Agriculture Farm Director Matt Simon, NCAT Climate and Agriculture Program Manager Elise Haschke, and NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Darron Gaus.  

Matt shares his “aha” moments in farming and his vision for ecological restoration and community-building on New Leaf’s 21-acre farm in Elgin, Texas.  

Carbon Farm Planning is a comprehensive conservation planning framework that centers carbon as the organizing principle on working lands. With generous funding from a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program grant and The Meadows Foundation, NCAT is working with Texas farmers and ranchers to pilot the Carbon Farm Planning conservation framework for a Texas context.



Darron and Matt discuss specific conservation practices in the New Leaf’s Carbon Farm Plan, such as how they’re testing no-till and strip-till in a few of the fields and planting windbreaks for multiple co-benefits, including fruit and nut cash crops, on-farm mulch production, and wildlife habitat.  

Those practices indicate an estimated annual emissions reduction equivalent to 22 metric tons of carbon dioxide, based on the COMET-Planner quantification tool. 

If you’re a farmer or rancher in Texas and interested in developing a whole-farm conservation plan centered around opportunities to capture and store more carbon on-farm, we want to hear from you. You can email Elise and Darron at eliseh@ncat.org or darrong@ncat.org to learn more about what’s going on in Texas. 

Register here for the May 22 Carbon Farm Demonstration Day on New Leaf Agriculture in Elgin, Texas.  

 Related ATTRA Resources: 

Growing Hope: Climate and Soils 

Carbon Farm Planning blog 

Carbon Farm Planning podcast 

Connecting Refugees to Sustainable Agriculture 

Other Resources: 

New Leaf Agriculture 

The Meadows Foundation 

Multicultural Refugee Coalition 

Carbon Cycle Institute – Carbon Farm Planning 

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education 

Comet- Planner  

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You can get in touch with NCAT/ATTRA specialists and find access to our trusted, practical sustainable-agriculture publications, webinars, videos, and other resources at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.