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South Texas Association of SWCDs Hosts Semi Annual Meeting at Corazón Ranch and Solar Farm

LAREDO - The South Texas Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) convened its annual meeting on September 26, 2023, at the Corazón Ranch and Solar Farm. Situated on 2,000 acres of private land east of Laredo, the Corazón Ranch and Solar Farm, owned by the Guillermo Benavides Family, was honored to accommodate the group of farmers, ranchers, industry leaders and stakeholders.

The event commenced with a comprehensive overview of the ranching operations at Corazón Ranch, then attendees were given the opportunity to take part in a guided tour of the state-of-the-art 200-megawatt solar farm, gaining firsthand insights into its operations.

Corazón Solar Farm's impressive generation capacity of an estimated 537 gigawatt-hours is equivalent to powering 38,000 households. Beyond its significant contribution to energy production, the solar farm stands as a beacon of environmental responsibility, reducing over a quarter of a million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Attendees were also shown how Corazón Ranch uses sheep for vegetation management around the solar panels.

The business session of the meeting featured reports from key industry figures, including Leroy Wolff, Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts; Guillermo Benavides, Texas Association for Water and Soil; Ortiz-Rios, USDA NRCS; and Garrett Bader, American Farmland Trust.

Arturo Gaitan, Bee SWCD District Director, was elected as the new President of the South Texas Association of SWCDs. Additionally, David Escobar, Loma Blanca SWCD District Director was elected as Vice President.

The meeting at Corazón Ranch and Solar Farm proved to be a platform for fostering collaboration, sharing insights, and recognizing the innovative strides made by leaders in soil and water conservation across South Texas. As the newly elected leadership takes the reins, the South Texas Association of SWCDs looks ahead to a future marked by continued excellence and sustainable practices in the realm of soil and water conservation.

"Protecting and Enhancing Natural Resources since 1939."

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