Mitch Dumke, one of Three Springs Land and Livestock’s three partners, was a vegetarian and worked in the tech industry before moving into ranching. Now he is part of a ranch focused on regenerative agriculture to restore the ecology and create a healthy local food source.
“What we are renting to someone is only 40 acres, and collectively we have come together with three other ranches in regards to this request, in part because of this collective impact instead of us being a request for a small amount of land. We collectively have come together as four ranches, and we have just under 800 acres under management.”
Peoa-based Three Springs Land and Livestock just received a $25,000 grant from the community foundation for its sustainable ranching efforts. They will receive an additional $50,000 over the next two years to build their livestock operation. Their efforts include minimizing or avoiding chemicals, fertilizers, and using large equipment for plowing.
“In this case, we’re focusing specifically on livestock management and how managing these animals can create a healthier ecosystem and ultimately, for the fund, sequester carbon. That was the main focus and the outcome of the fund, and that was sort of what our grant was about.”
Dumke said unsustainable agriculture and livestock farming is harmful to soil ecology and the environment.
“Much of our production of vegetables and other food crops is also done in an unsustainable way. This also erodes topsoil and creates a lot of pollution. It is just as detrimental as a cow can be. “
Dumke said they follow general principles of regenerative farming and ranching practices when managing livestock and land.
“One of the biggest is to minimize soil disturbance when you’re driving down the road you see freshly tilled soil you think oh look at that rich soil if you come back three days later it looks like it crust and dry it out, and so we try not to tear up the soil, we keep it intact because underneath that soil is a whole system of life.”
Crop diversity, the use of animals rather than large equipment to till the land, and the rotation of pastures so that plants can restore and retain soil and water are some of the sustainable farming practices used by the partners..
“So if you let a cow chew a piece of grass, that’s fine. Don’t let her chew again because then they’ll kill her. But if you let her chew right away, and then you give 100 days to regrow is photosynthesis, carbon sequestration.
This year, the community foundation has allocated more than $150,000 in grants to climate initiatives, including Tree Utah, Recycle Utah, EATS Park City and the student-led Re-Uniform Project to reduce waste by reusing sports uniforms. .
Vice President of Equity and Impact Diego Zegarra said the foundation awarded $530,000 in grants to Summit County climate projects.
“We continue to hope for those high-impact projects that we can fund, so we invite community members, nonprofits, businesses to come work with us and partner with their big ideas so that we can continue to work towards a more sustainable community.”
You can find more information about the Park City Climate Fund at parkcitycf.org.