Biocarbon Associates was founded by Raymond Baltar in January 2014 to promote the regeneration of healthy, living soils through biochar production and its use in agriculture, as well as the development of other strategies to rebuild soil health and biodiversity to promote community resilience in the face of climate change.
In 2004 Raymond was profoundly influenced by The Ecology of Commerce, a book written by author and sustainable business pioneer Paul Hawken, that outlined and advocated for a new path for business and commerce that focused on respecting and regenerating our natural systems upon which all life, and all commerce, depend. Inspired by Hawken’s perspective Raymond started researching the links between Business-As-Ususal practices and the degradation and plundering of the natural environment—looking for opportunities and technologies that could help address and restore the massive damage that has been done to our environmental support systems in the name of commerce.
After serving on the Executive Committee of his local Sierra Club chapter and on the steering committee for a solar energy advocacy group (Solar Sonoma County) he took a 9-month course on sustainability given by The Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy in Santa Rosa, where he learned about the many problems (and opportunities) inherent in our wasteful modern culture—as they are manifested on the local, community level.
This led to a decision in January 2009 to become a part of the social entrepreneurship movement by attending the Green MBA program at Dominican University of California to learn the skills necessary to turn these problems into opportunities, and he graduated with an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise in 2011.
Raymond became interested in biochar and sustainable food systems while at Dominican, and his Capstone project involved writing the business and marketing plan for a proposed 1 MW biomass gasification facility at the Sonoma County Landfill that would also produce a large amount of biochar.
After graduate school Raymond served as the lead author and strategist for another biochar-related business plan, a venture that also included a biodiesel manufacturing facility and algae research and development startup to be located a proposed Eco-park in Moss Landing, California.
He has served as the Director of the Sonoma Biochar Initiative since 2011, where he managed the 2013 Citizen Science Project and the 2013-2015 Conservation Burn Workshop series, as well as helping to guide the project’s mission, administration, finances, and volunteer staff.
He served as Chair of the 2012 USBI National Biochar Conference at Sonoma State University, and was hired in 2014 as the lead researcher and author of a biochar marketing and distribution study for the Redwood Forest Foundation’s USDA Conservation Innovation Grant project.
Biocarbon Associates has access to some of the most experienced, nationally-known experts working in the biochar field today, so whether you need advice on appropriately-scaled technologies to produce biochar in your operation (from a small farm-scale unit to multi-million dollar facilities), an integrated assessment of the practicality of production and/or use of biochar in your agricultural operation, or would simply like to train your crew on less polluting ways to conduct open burns, we have the resources and knowledge to give you expert advice.