The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting applications for its Healthy Soils Program. The program incentivizes implementation and demonstration of on-farm soil health practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health. 

CDFA appropriated $75 million from the General Fund and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund through the Budget Act of 2021 to support the HSP.

“We are excited to offer a significant amount of funding toward the effort of building soil health on California’s farms and ranches”, said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “It is a much-needed step toward climate change mitigation and resiliency especially after a one-year funding gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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

HSP Incentives Program

The HSP Incentives Program will accept applications on a rolling basis until 5 p.m. PT on Friday, February 25, 2022 or until available funds are expended, whichever is earlier. California farmers and ranchers, as well as federal and California-recognized Native American Tribes are eligible to apply. For additional information on eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/incentivesprogram.html.

CDFA will hold three no-cost webinar-based workshops to provide information on incentive program requirements and the application process. Participants can attend remotely by registering for webinar access: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nov. 18, Dec. 16 and Jan. 20.

Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_p6Kxg55GTbSdXU5ddpsNGw

Attendees can register once and attend any of the webinar sessions.

Additionally, there is free technical assistance for prospective incentive program applicants provided by CDFA-funded Technical Assistance Providers and Climate Smart Agriculture Community Education Specialists at the University of California Cooperative Extension. For details, please visit: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html and https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/technical/index.html.

HSP Demonstration Projects

The HSP Demonstration Projects showcase California farmers’ and ranchers’ implementation of HSP soil health practices. Demonstration projects enable awardees to help support widespread adoption of soil health management practices throughout the state. Not-for-profits, 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 these entities are eligible to apply.

The HSP Demonstration Projects applications are due by  5 p.m. Dec. 31. Late submissions will not be accepted.

For information on eligibility and program requirements, visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/DemonstrationProjects.html.

CDFA will hold two no-cost webinar-based workshops to provide information on Demonstration Projects requirements and the application process. Participants can attend remotely by registering for webinar access: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18 and Dec. 2.

Registration link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_88NF3atwTZy98VGPeHQDhg

Attendees can register once and attend any of the webinar sessions.

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. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities and low-income households across California. For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.