CALIFORNIA – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) opened its 2024 round of grant funding, January 22, for the Health Soils Program. The CDFA awards grants up to $100,000 for California farmers and ranchers to improve the quality of the soil on their farm.
According to CDFA, the Healthy Soils Program reduces greenhouse gasses equal to removing 8,423 cars from the road each year.
Past grant recipients have used the money to:
- Plant trees to serve as natural barriers and reduce wind erosion;
- Apply compost to enhance the soil;
- Plant cover crops to improve soil structure, prevent erosion, and add organic matter to the soil.
“We’re trying to use trees to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and sink it into the soil,” said walnut farmer and Healthy Soils grant recipient Sean McNamara.
The Healthy Soils grant is open to all farms and ranches – there is no acreage minimum or maximum. In addition, priority is given to farmers or ranchers who are members of a socially disadvantaged group, projects that benefit priority populations and first-time applicants.
Grant Technical Assistance
CDFA has funded organizations around the state to provide free one-on-one assistance to farmers and ranchers interested in applying for the grant. The list of organizations can be found here.
The grant application deadline is February 9, 2024. For more information about the Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grant visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html