Hay bales in the distance lined up next to a wheat field.
Agriculture TNC works with farmers in Wisconsin to build soil health and protect water quality. © Mark Godfrey / TNC

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Ricardo Costa Hired as Agricultural Strategy Manager in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Agricultural Strategy Manager Ricardo Costa.
Ricardo Costa Wisconsin's Agricultural Strategy Manager Ricardo Costa. © Emily Mills

The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin is excited to announce the hiring of Ricardo Costa as the chapter’s new Agricultural Strategy Manager. Costa will help the organization advance its work with farmers to improve soil health and protect water quality in Wisconsin’s lakes and streams.

Costa joins TNC after several years as Michigan State University Extension’s Field Crops Educator and Plant Pathology instructor, where he worked directly with farmers to develop and implement conservation practices. Costa holds a M.S. in Plant Sciences from the University of Missouri and a B.S. in Agronomy from Federal University of Mato Grosso in Brazil. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and 4R Nutrient Management Specialist.

TNC works with Farmers for Sustainable Food to support six farmer-led groups in Calumet, Dane, Door/Kewaunee, Lafayette, Sheboygan, and St. Croix counties whose members are putting conservation practices on their fields to improve sustainability on their farms and protect water quality. TNC provides farmers with incentive funds to adopt new practices, such as cover crops and reduced tillage.

Costa will work directly with these farmers to add new practices, help track their outcomes, and reach out to other farmers to share information and lessons learned. He will also help advance TNC’s Midwest agriculture strategy, which is focused on nature-based solutions that help to sustainably provide people with food and water.

“I am excited to have the chance to do this work for a global non-profit like TNC here in Wisconsin,” Costa says. “Nature-based solutions like cover crops, treatment wetlands, and reduced tillage are already being used by farmers who want to do the right thing for their communities while also benefitting the bottom line. Healthy agriculture is essential for people and nature.”

“We are happy to have Ricardo on board to expand our work with farmers, Farmers for Sustainable Food, and others in the agricultural community to strengthen on-farm conservation practices that help improve soil health and protect water quality in our lakes and rivers,” said Steve Richter, The Nature Conservancy’s agricultural strategies director in Wisconsin.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.