#1: Tony and Andrea Malmberg

We're proud to report that Tony and Andrea Malmberg, of Union, Oregon, experienced ranchers and holistic planned graziers, are the first entrants in the Soil Carbon Challenge.

When. The first two carbon plots were established and sampled on August 16, 2010, and the third was established and sampled on September 24, 2010.

Where. North and east of Elgin, Oregon, the Malmbergs' property consists of gently sloping grasslands with some patches of timber. Elevation is about 3600 feet (1100 meters) above sea level and average precipitation is about 15-20 inches (380-500 mm) annually. The predominant soil is a mollisol, Lookingglass silt loam.

Why. "We have an unlimited source of energy that's totally free," says Tony. "The sun. To maximize that free source of energy, our ecosystem process needs to be hitting on all four cylinders, that is the water cycle, mineral cycle (including carbon), energy flow, and community dynamics. Monitoring data provides me with measurable indications to confirm we are moving in the direction we want with our resource base."

How. When their land came out of the CRP contract on October 1, 2010, Tony and Andrea began planned grazing to convert sunlight into marketable beef. They plan on enhancing their resource base, their quality of life, and profit, and be able to increase forage production significantly, along with other ecosystem functions. Ongoing monitoring will be an essential tool for them.

full article