92 / SEEDWORLD.COM DECEMBER 2018 “Quality is huge,” she says. “We don’t always succeed but then it doesn’t get sold.” Nearly every morning, the Jensens are working to ensure quality in what they’re providing. They spot spray off types, and walk the fields and hand rogue grass fields. They don’t just grow seed for con- servation efforts, the Jensens practice conservation. They’ve been doing no-till for 30-plus years and soil health has been a long-time goal. Jacie explains that every year they’re trying something different. This year, they’re seeding cover crops, which is different than in the Midwest because of the rains. After the seed is harvested, it goes through a cleaning process and providing clean seed to customers is one of the most important aspects to ensuring quality. Down in New Mexico, Peabody explains that everything goes through their clean- ing process. “We keep our facilities extremely clean and make sure we keep our products separated and prevent any contamination,” he says. “We love what we do because it is about quality. Whenever a customer calls, we have confidence in our product and that it’s of good quality.” Once the seed has been grown, har- vested and cleaned, it’s ready for to be shipped out as is or mixed with other seed species, depending on the site needs. Seeding Success Because many of the lands impacted by wildfires are public lands, the native and conservation seed sector works closely with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Forest Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service to meet their needs in caring for the land and working to restore it. “The relationship between Forest Service, BLM and NRCS and ourselves is very important,” say Dustin Terrell of Buffalo Brand Seed. “The decisions they make can and will affect us in multiple ways and whether or not we as an indus- try can supply or have what they need at the time that they need it.” After a Colorado fire, the Forest Service hired Buffalo Brand Seed to supply seed for aerial application to the side of a mountain. “We got to go back up with the Forest Service and look at the site a year later,” Terrell says. “To see green again in a world that was all black a year before was really rewarding.” That’s what it’s really all about: preserv- ing the land and resources. “We have one planet. We have one place to live and X amount of soil. Without maintaining and managing it, we have no future. We have to take care of it ... we have to protect the things that sustain us,” says Mark Mustoe, founder and owner of Clearwater Seed in Spokane, Wash. Terrell says: “Everything starts with the seed, whether its seed for cattle and live- stock or seed for food.” Back in that dark Shasta College audito- rium, a woman whispers into her husband’s ear, “do we have hydrophobic soils?” The husband shrugs his shoulders uncertain about the conditions. “We’ll have to test it,” he says, as attend- ees listen intently to the lineup of speakers about how to evaluate the landscape around their homes and determine the best strate- gies for moving forward and restoring the land around their homes. SW