CDFA Announces Grant Funding for Healthy Soils Program

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Written by Jane Sooby on Wednesday, January 31, 2024
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The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $12 million in grant funding for Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Incentive Grants. The program is currently accepting grant applications through 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, February 9, 2024. 

The objectives of the program are to increase statewide implementation of conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). 

California farmers, ranchers, business entities, California Native American tribes, and nonprofit organizations can apply for awards. Applicants may request up to $100,000 per project. Priority will be given to applicants who are considered socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

“The Healthy Soils Program was developed to partner with farmers and ranchers and facilitate their preferred methods to draw down carbon onto their lands and store it in our soils,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Building up soil’s organic matter and biodiversity promotes its lasting health and productivity, while also reducing the possibility for erosion. With tremendous thanks to our governor and the California legislature for their ongoing support, the Healthy Soils Program has awarded more than $105 million to fund more than 1,500 projects over its lifetime, resulting in a combined greenhouse gas reduction of more than 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the projects’ lifespans. That’s like removing 24,000 gas-powered cars from the road for 10 years.” 

See the Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grants webpage for more information on how to apply: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html

Free technical assistance (TA) is available to applicants. TA providers’ contact information and other details, can be found at 
https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/technical/docs/2023_hsp_taps.pdf and https://ciwr.ucanr.edu/Programs/ClimateSmartAg/TechnicalAssistanceProviders/

Available TA providers include providers from the University of California Cooperative Extension Community Education Specialists (UCCS CESs) through their Climate Smart Agriculture program. 

"Through our strong relationships with diverse farming communities, our team supports the implementation of practices that build soil health, use water more efficiently, and provide an alternative for manure management,” said Amber Butland, a TA provider who works through the CES group. “We strive to provide the best assistance possible by offering translation services, grant application support, computer access, and one-on-one farm visits." 

The Healthy Soils Program stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments that promotes the development of healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands. 

The Healthy Soils Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap and trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. 

For information on eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit the HSP Incentive Grants website at www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/incentivesprogram.html

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Adapted from a CDFA news release published January 22, 2024.