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Carbon Summit In ID Aims To Grow Sustainable Ag Movement

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More sustainable agriculture practices have several benefits, including less water usage.

 

An event in Idaho this week hopes to plant seeds for the sustainability movement in agriculture.

The Carbon Summit will be held at the College of Idaho in Caldwell Wednesday and Thursday, featuring speakers with a range of expertise.

Jason Marmon, director of the sustainability nonprofit U.S. Energy and program advisor to the summit, said the comprehensive event will cover everything from energy to diversity in the sustainability space, for folks who believe there is a better way of doing things in agriculture.

"This event is around sustainable solutions and that's a huge conversation," Marmon explained. "And so you've got to bring in a lot of different personalities, ways of thinking, experiences, and you have to try to find some common ground with people."

Marmon noted topics for the event include corporate practices in agriculture, the renewable-energy transition and shifting farms to a regenerative agriculture model.

He pointed out for people who can't attend or watch the livestream this week, the summit will be available on YouTube once it's wrapped up.

Brad McIntyre, owner of McIntyre Pastures and a fourth-generation farmer in Caldwell, will speak at the summit. At his family farm, they have used no-till practices for eleven years and cover crops to help with soil health for nine years.

He said the sustainability practices have yielded a lot of benefits, such as fewer passes through fields.

"So we use less diesel, less wear and tear on equipment, we're buying less parts," McIntyre emphasized. "So overall, the soil's healthier, we're not having to spend as much money. All those things become better, and it helps the whole system."

McIntyre added the practices also help cut down on water use, something that's in focus this year as drought fears rise across the West.

The Boise-based nonprofit U.S. Energy is hosting the event. The theme of the summit is SEEDS, which stands for Sustainability, Energy, Education, Diversity and Safety.