When Dino Giacomazzi, a dairy farmer from Hanford, Calif., first met Kristen Hughes, a project manager at Sustainable Conservation, she introduced herself by saying, “I am an environmentalist from San Francisco, and I like farmers,” he recalls. He was intrigued. Before meeting Hughes, Giacomazzi took a dim view of environmental groups, which did not acknowledge that “farmers are stewards of the land and have tools and knowledge to protect our resources,” he says.

But Sustainable Conservation...

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