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Bill and Diana Waycott of Nipomo Native Seeds Receive Conservationist of the Year Award

Bill Waycott was presented with the Conservationist of the Year Award from the Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) for making outstanding conservation-related improvements to agricultural crops through plant breeding. The presentation took place March 12 at the Board of Supervisors’ chambers.

Bill and his wife, Diana, own and operate Nipomo Native Seeds, LLC, in Nipomo, producing hybrid vegetable seeds, California native seeds and bio-control agents for organic strawberry production.

After serving in the American Peace Corps, Bill studied plant breeding with the goal of improving the available food supply. He has worked on several species of crops to introduce natural disease resistance, enhanced human nutrition, improved water-use efficiency, and suitability for mechanical harvest. Bill has worked on the Plant Genome Project for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and, more recently, introduced more than 30 varieties of vegetable used by farmers in San Luis Obispo County and throughout California.

"I have known and worked with Bill for many years," said RCD President Neil Havlik. "After years as an expert seed geneticist, Bill and Diana started their own business growing plants for seed production and biological pest controls in a facilit

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 y in Nipomo that they built themselves. With all of this, Bill still has time to work on native plant issues as President of the local chapter of the Calfornia Native Plant Society, organize and lead hikes, work as a volunteer trail worker at the Pismo Preserve, Irish Hills and the Dana Adobe, and address the Supervisors on matters such as proper restoration for the Justin Vineyard oak-clearing controversy, and the development of the County cannabis ordinance. Both he and Diana are dedicated citizens who consistently give of their time and energy to community projects and programs.

"We are learning a lot as we work with the RCD and partners to improve our seed productivity and adopt more sustainable methods going forward," said Bill Waycott. "We are already seeing dramatic improvements in soil tilth, water-use efficiency, and plant health by using best practices and an eco-friendly approach to land management in this county."

 

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Two February Workshops Helped Attendees Apply for CDFA Financial Incentive Programs

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On February 6, the Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) and the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau hosted two workshops—the Healthy Soils Program (HSP) and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). Attendees learned about the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s financial incentive programs that growers and ranchers could apply for.

The CSLRCD Project Manager, Hallie Richard, took the attendees step by step on how to fill out the application and on the process of submitting the application to CDFA. The workshops were well attended and CSLRCD expects CDFA to announce another round of incentive programs.

Healthy Soils Program (HSP) — The program provides financial incentives to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health. CDFA was appropriated $5 million in FY 2018-19 from the California Climate Investments Program and $10 million from Proposition 68 Parks & Water Bond 2018 fund.

State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) — SWEEP’s objective is to provide financial incentives for California agricultural operations to invest in irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and save water. The program achieves both objectives through funding of holistic irrigation designs and supports project components such as sensors, new irrigation methods, pump retrofits or upgrades, fuel conversion, and renewable energy. CDFA was appropriated $20 million in FY 2018-19 from Proposition 68 Parks & Water Bond 2018 fund.

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Job Announcement — CSLRCD Conservation Project Manager

The Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) is committed to enhancing the overall integrity of ecological functions throughout our District. We offer interesting work that truly makes a difference in our community, and a flexible work environment.

Position Title: Conservation Project Manager

Location: Morro Bay, CA with services throughout District

Primary Responsibilities:

• Manage and oversee the various projects assigned to you

• Regularly review all grant contracts, scopes of work, and budgets to stay on track and meet deadlines

• Manage and track the invoicing, reporting and budget for the grants assigned to you

• Maintain a working knowledge of all current and pending regulatory programs and requirements

• Prepare environmental documents and permitting documents

• Build and maintain strong strategic partnerships

• Interact and maintain positive communications with numerous stakeholders

• Research grants, develop fee-for-service contracts, and foster relationships with potential funders

Hours: Full-time position

Salary: $20 - $25 depending on experience.

Minimum Requirements:

• BS degree or equivalent experience in soil science, agronomy, climate science, environmental science, natural resources or related areas.

• At least three years experience working in the natual resources field.

• GPS/GIS: field data collection, data management, data analysis, map creation.

• Applicant should have strong written and oral communication skills. Attention to detail and self motivation are essential. The successful candidate must be able to work with limited supervision.

Additionally, the ideal Conservation Project Manager applicant is able to provide technical support to the organization in one or more of the following program aspects: soil and water monitoring, stormwater management, climate change adaptation, watershed planning and facilitation, and agricultural conservation measures and practices.

Please send cover letter, resume and three references to jcrabb@coastalrcd.org (Jackie Crabb) and include “Job Announcement” in the subject line. Deadline for application is Friday, April 19.  

 

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Noon May 24 at UCCE Auditorium, San Luis Obispo