Sand County Foundation has named Briana Schnelle its Agricultural Conservation Specialist.
Sand County Foundation, based in Wisconsin, is a national non-profit that works at the intersection of agriculture and environmental improvement with farmers, ranchers, forestland owners and other private landowners.
“Briana’s applied experience working directly with ranchers to improve soil health, grazing management and wildlife habitat will be an asset to our agricultural team,” says Dr. Heidi Peterson, Sand County Foundation Vice President of Agricultural Research and Conservation. “Her knowledge will be integral for establishing rangeland demonstration sites in the West.”
In addition to contributing to Sand County Foundation’s agriculture conservation projects, Schnelle will continue to manage two projects that were part of her previous work with Point Blue Conservation Science in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. As part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soils Program, these projects look at the effects different rates of compost applications and diverse seeding mixes have on soil health, plant production, and greenhouse gas emissions on California rangelands.
Schnelle’s work in California involved collaborating with private landowners and ranch managers to develop conservation plans that encouraged bird conservation, watershed vitality, soil health, carbon sequestration, wildlife-friendly management and bird conservation in Greater Sage-grouse Habitat Priority Areas by restoring sagebrush-steppe ecosystems.
“It is exciting to come home to Wisconsin and get the opportunity to work with our food and fiber producing farmers and ranchers to further Sand County Foundation’s innovative science-based outcomes,” Schnelle says.
Schnelle is an Oregon, Wisconsin native who completed her Bachelor of Science in zoology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She and her family will reside in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area.