New Generation of California Ranchers Characterized by Diversity, Stewardship

Research into how California ranchers are adapting to climate change revealed a new generation of California ranchers who base their livestock production practices on environmental stewardship. Writing on The Conversation, researchers noted that new ranchers in the state tend to be young, more often female, and ethnically diverse. They are more likely than existing ranchers to have diverse livestock herds with small ruminants or a mix of livestock and smaller landholdings. Many of these new ranchers used production methods chosen for their benefits to the environment, such as mob grazing that promotes carbon sequestration and improves soil health, or grazing designed to reduce fire danger. The authors say there are some funding sources that provide support to ranchers for their environmental stewardship approach, but they conclude that wider funding and informational support is needed to help these new farmers establish themselves and stay in business.