The Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grants provide financial incentives directly to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health.
Donor Name: California Department of Food and Agriculture
County: All Counties
Type of Grant: Grant | In-kind | Matching Grants
Size of the Grant: $10,000 to $100,000
Grant Duration: 3 Years
The Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grants are part of the Healthy Soils Program (HSP), which 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 California Climate Investments (CCI) appropriated $50 million to CDFA for the Healthy Soils Program, authorized by the Budget Act of 2023. CDFA will make available approximately $11 million for awards through the Incentive Grants Program.
- The grant term is three years.
- The maximum award is $100,000.
- All activities must occur within the grant term. Costs incurred outside of the grant term will not be reimbursed.
- CDFA reserves the right to offer an award amount different than the amount requested.
- Cost share
- Awardees can use matching funds or in-kind contributions during the grant term, but CDFA does not require or prioritize them.
- In line with CCI assumptions, CDFA does not allow HSP funds to be used to support the same practice(s) on the same field(s) that other funds support, such as funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). However, HSP funds may be combined with other such funds within a broader farm plan, supporting different practice(s) on the same field(s), or the same practice(s) on different field(s).
- The Program does not allow awardees to use HS Incentives awards as cost share for any other awards made through the HS Program Incentive Grants, HS Demonstration Program, or the HS Block Grant Pilot Program.
- The Healthy Soils Program quantifies the GHG emission reductions and carbon sequestration of all awarded projects and practices and reports them to the California Climate Investments. Therefore, no implementation of an agricultural practice incentivized by HSP should be used to create credits for any regulatory compliance or voluntary carbon markets.
Grant Recipient and Project Eligibility
The HS Program Incentive Grants are designed to incentivize California farmers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric GHGs, improve soil health, and provide cobenefits. The program’s primary goal is to promote long-term and widespread adoption of these practices throughout the state.
Grant Recipient eligibility requirements:
- California farmers, ranchers, agricultural business entities, and California Native Americans, are eligible to apply.
- Nonprofit organizations as agriculture operations are eligible to apply.
- Grant Recipients must be at least 18 years old.
- Cannabis cultivation operations are not eligible to apply.
- Hemp cultivation operations are eligible to apply.
Project eligibility requirements:
- Projects must be located on agricultural operations in California. For the purposes of this program, an agricultural operation is defined as row, vineyard, field and tree crops, commercial nurseries, nursery stock production, and greenhouse operations producing food crops, or flowers as defined in Food and Agricultural Code section 77911.
- Projects located on grazing lands (including grasslands, rangelands, and pastures, as defined at the bottom of Appendix A) are eligible.
- Grant funds cannot be used for projects that use potted plants and plant growth media other than soil.
- Grant funds cannot be used for research and product development activities.
- All entities receiving grant funds must have a physical California business address.
- Awards are limited to one per agricultural operation using a unique tax identification number per round of funding, including applications submitted to Block Grant Recipients. Elements including, but not limited to, unique tax identification number, personal name, business name, or field, cannot be used for multiple applications.
- Each project can request up to $100,000.
For more information, visit CDFA.