Mesa County, COUnited States
About John Rizza
John is the Small Acreage Management Specialist for CSU Extension and USDA-NRCS in western Colorado. In 2013 he and his partners offered the first Colorado Master Steward program to 12 participants, who own more than 51 acres of land. The purpose of the program is to increase the knowledge of the importance of proper stewardship and support the implementation of stewardship practices on the land. Landowners learn about the benefits of land stewardship, receive practical, hands-on instruction, and are given knowledge to actively and effectively implement stewardship practices. Each topic is customized by local experts in order to provide landowners with the technical information they need to make informed decisions that will protect the resources on private lands. Developing partnerships with local agencies and organizations has been a key to promote the program and ensure the availability of stewardship opportunities in the future. As a direct result of the class, participants have already begun implementing better noxious weed management, improved grazing rotation schemes, properly composting wastes, and become more efficient at managing their irrigated pastures. Beginning in April, 2014, the second offering of the course will be in Montezuma County.