STAFF REPORTS

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program. The program provides funding for incentivizing and demonstrating soil health practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health.

The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects.

The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of soil health practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce GHG emissions. California farmers and ranchers, as well as Federal and California recognized Native American Indian Tribes, are eligible to apply.

The HSP Demonstration Projects showcase California farmers’ and ranchers’ implementation of HSP soil health practices. By using demonstration projects, awardees can help support widespread adoption of soil health management practices throughout the state. Not-for-profit entities, University Cooperative Extension, federal and university experiment stations, Resource Conservation Districts, Federal and California-recognized Native American Indian Tribes, and farmers and ranchers in collaboration with any of the aforementioned entities are eligible to apply.

A total of up to $1.6 million will be awarded for the projects, with no more than $500,000 allocated specifically for HSP Demonstration projects.

This grant process may prioritize funding to agricultural lands in counties where a state of emergency was declared in 2017 due to wildfires under executive orders signed by Governor Edmond G. Brown, Jr. These counties include: Butte, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Ventura and Yuba.

Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically by 5 p.m. April 13. Awards will be made based on a first-come-first-served basis and will be subject to administrative and technical reviews prior to being funded.

For detailed information on eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit the CDFA Healthy Soils Program website at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/.

CDFA will hold two workshops and two webinars to provide information on program requirements and the application process. CDFA staff will provide guidance on the application process, provide examples, and answer any questions. There is no cost to attend the workshops. Individuals planning to attend should email grants@cdfa.ca.gov with his or her contact information, the number of seats required, and the workshop location.

Webinars:

• March 19
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – HSP Incentives Program
10:30 a.m. – noon – HSP Demonstration Projects

• March 21
9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – HSP Incentives Program
10:30 a.m. – noon – HSP Demonstration Projects

To register for the webinars, visit the program webpage at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/.

Prospective applicants may contact CDFA’s Grants Office at grants@cdfa.ca.gov with general program questions. For information regarding free-of-charge technical assistance provided by non-profit organizations, Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), and California academic institutions, applicants should refer to www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils.