CDFA accepting comments on soil health program

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Now taking public comments on its draft Request for Grant Applications

CDFA is accepting public comments on its draft Request for Grant Applications (RGAs) for the next round of healthy soils funding to be awarded through its Climate Smart Agriculture Incentives Programs. These programs include the Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects.

The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of agricultural management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The HSP Demonstration Projects showcase California farmers and rancher’s implementation of HSP practices.

 

 

The draft RGAs establish parameters by which competitive grants for the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects must be submitted and evaluated. The draft RGAs can be found on the following webpages under the CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI):

HSP Incentives Program:
https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html

HSP Demonstration Projects:
https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/DemonstrationProjects.html

Public comments on the draft guidelines will be accepted from December 17, 2019 through January 7, 2020 at 5 p.m. PT (15-day comment period). Comments regarding the draft guidelines must be submitted to the specific email address noted on each draft document listed above.

This draft has several new changes based on public comment received at a stakeholder meetings and at the public meetings of the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel. To accommodate longer application timelines, CDFA is proposing, for the first time, a rolling application period over four months unless all funds are expended prior to the end date. CDFA also heard about the need to make the application more user friendly and worked to streamline some of the questions in the application itself.

“We hope these changes will make this program more accessible to a larger number of farmers and ranchers in California,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “As one of the first programs in the nation to focus on carbon sequestration using working private lands in California, we hope to contribute to greenhouse gas reductions and ensure our agricultural soils are healthy and productive into the future.”

 

 

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, more 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.

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