2024 Field Work Projects by State | LOR Foundation

2024 Field Work Projects by State


Mattea Freel (Center Conservation District) | Hooper, Colorado
Add wool pellets to the soil surface to understand if they improve the soil’s water-holding capacity on a large-scale potato farm in Colorado’s San Luis Valley.

Bryant Mason (Renegade Acres) | Paonia, Colorado
Use tensiometers (devices for measuring soil moisture) on a peach orchard to compare the moisture conditions of the soil and the plant and use the data to inform recommendations for orchard irrigation management.

Sandi Pounder | Del Norte, Colorado
Implement an in-ground capillary system to deliver water to the roots of newly planted apple trees with a goal of saving labor, reducing water use, and improving downstream water quality.

Ross Rodgers and Avalon Gulley | Cortez, Colorado
Reduce water use by creating microclimates using Compressed Earth Blocks—a building material made of compressed soil typically used for sustainable architecture—as windbreaks above rainwater retention basins.


Jamin Smitchger | Viola, Idaho
Construct a water holding and spillway structure on a seasonal creek to provide hydroelectric power for farm operations during the winter and to run an irrigation pump in the summer with the aim of more efficiently using water for operational power, irrigation, and water storage.

David Vastine and West Harris (Double D Bar Ranch) | Melba, Idaho
Design and install a structure to bolt onto irrigation pivot towers that will allow for the ongoing irrigation of a field while using an electric fence to efficiently manage a system of rotational grazing.


Jody Manuel | Havre, Montana
Plant the perennial wheat grain Kernza alongside alfalfa and use a specialized harvesting machine (a stripper header) to enhance soil health and conserve moisture.

Leon Stangl (Yourganic Farm) | Corvallis, Montana
Develop a mechanical mulcher prototype that attaches to a manure spreader to efficiently create and apply an organic mulch that will increase soil moisture–holding capacity.

Rebecca Weed | Belgrade, Montana
Develop a wool-based pillow that can be used on a stream to slow water flow, reduce bank failure, and enable the growth of soil-stabilizing plants.

Richard Williams (Sugar Beet Row) | Whitehall, Montana
Apply the Bokashi fermentation method (a composting technique) to food waste, and then press it into the ground with a subsoil plow tool to increase soil health and water-holding capacity without disturbing the soil structure.

New Mexico

Roger Fragua (Flower Hill Institute) | Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico
Deploy a sub-soil irrigation network that precisely delivers water and supports beneficial soil biology directly in the root zones of native plum and apricot trees, golden currant and serviceberry bushes, as well as traditional crops such as blue corn, Anasazi beans, Hopi squash, and heirloom chile peppers in an arid, evaporation-prone area at Flower Hill Experimental Farm in Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico.

Kristin Swoszowski-Tran (Ledoux Grange) | Mora, New Mexico
Fabricate and install novel fog harps—a kind of atmospheric water collection device inspired by how trees collect moisture from fog—to harvest fog and dew for application in agriculture.