Farmers Behind Your Food: Giacomazzi Dairy Farm, California
Dino Giacomazzi is a fourth-generation California dairy farmer who embodies what it means to farm responsibly and sustainably. On his 900-acre farm, with 900 dairy cows, Giacomazzi took part in one of the first conservation tillage projects in California. Conservation tillage involves leaving crop residue on the field after the harvest to reduce soil erosion and runoff. Giacomazzi’s project did just that, enhancing soil, water and especially air quality in an area that typically has high air pollution levels.
Not content to achieve these successes on his own property, Giacomazzi has become leader in the community, advocating the benefits of conservation tillage to other dairy farmers. He uses social media channels and hosts demonstrations and field days at his farm to connect with others inside and outside of the agricultural community.
“Ever since I started thinking about conservation as a practice, I have been seeking a reward, the reward of leaving this farm for my son in better condition than my father left it for me,” Giacomazzi said. “It isn’t as much of a desire as an obligation since my father, grandfather and great-grandfather had done that for me. Conservation farming is really the only way I know how to do it… adapt to change, preserve the land, try to make money and move the family farm forward.”
Dino Giacomazzi was recognized by the Sand County Foundation as the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award winner in California.
**This story was originally published by the Sand County Foundation.
**Photo credit: Paolo Vescia