Winchester farm promoting climate-conscious practices across the Commonwealth
CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The National Resource Conservation Service has been working with Kentucky farms to help promote climate-conscious farming practices. Something Alice Melendez at Mt. Folly Farm is excited to share.
“They have been studying the capacity of different farming practices to both store carbon in the soil and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Melendez.
Mt. Folly Farm, located in Winchester, is owned by Laura Freeman. Laura sold her company, Laura’s Lean Beef, back in 2008, but she is now working with a new generation of Kentucky farmers and her daughter Alice to bring the agricultural focus back towards the environment.
“It’s about reducing the need for outside fertility,” said Melendez. “Which for us has come from joining the livestock and the crop operation together.”
Mt. Folly Farm received a grant from the USDA to help share their climate-smart farming practices with the community of farmers in the commonwealth and push for the implementation of these methods, including planting more trees, utilizing biochar for fertilizers and calling to older farming practices of connecting crops and livestock to reduce waste.
“If you change the way that you farm to incorporate more trees, to have more cover, to till less, you are going to protect your land,” said Melendez. “And so the things that turn out to be storing carbon in the soil are also better for the right now.”
While Melendez knows there is a long way to go until farmers across the state are all utilizing these climate-smart practices, she says she is excited for the impact that future Bluegrass farmers will have on the entire Ohio River Valley.
“I want the land here in Kentucky to be just thriving and full of life. And I think that a new take on an older style of farming could bring that to our lands,” Melendez said.
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