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CUSP Direct Producer Resources

CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant information for individual farmers & ranchers:

Emergency drought relief is available to small and medium scale farmers and ranchers that qualify under the CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant Program. CDFA is partnering with organizations in different regions to administer these funds including application processing.

Presented below are the application periods and award distribution schedules for the CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grants. Please be advised that the application and award dates are subject to potential changes. We kindly request you to regularly check back for updates.

Organization Application Period Award Distribution Application Link
Asian Business Institute and Resource Center (ABIRC) Round 1: 08/2023 - 10/31/2023 Round 1: 12/2023
Round 2: 02/2024 - 04/30/2024 Round 2: 06/2024
Round 3: 08/2024 - 10/31/2024 Round 3: 12/2024
Round 4: 02/2025 - 04/31/2025 Round 4: 06/2025
Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) Round 1: 09/01/2024 - 11/01/2024 Round 1: 12/2024  
California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) Round 3: Closed Round 3: 06/2024  
California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Round 1: 08/2023 - 06/2025 Round 1: 08/2023 - 06/2025 Apply for CCOF
East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District (ESRCD) To be announced To be announced  
Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) Round 1: 10/2023 – 11/2023 Round 1: 01/2024  
Round 2: 01/2024 – 02/2024 Round 2: 04/2024  
Round 3: 04/2024 - 05/2024 Round 3: 07/2024  
Round 4: 07/2024 - 8/2024 Round 4: 10/2024  
Round 5: 10/2024 - 11/2024 Round 5: 01/2025  
Sierra Resource Conservation District (SRCD) Round 1: 11/15/2023 - 02/1/2024 Round 1: 03/2024 - 06/2024  
Round 2: 10/2024 - 02/2025 Round 2: 02/2025 - 06/2025  
Ventura Resource Conservation District (VRCD) Round 1: 09/2023 - 12/2023 Round 1: 12/2023 Apply for VRCD
Round 2: 01/2024 - 03/2024 Round 2: 03/2024
Round 3: 04/2024 - 06/2024 Round 3: 06/2024
Round 4: 07/2024 - 09/2024 Round 4: 09/2024
Round 5: 10/2024 - 12/2024 Round 5: 12/2024
Round 6: 01/2025 - 03/2025 Round 6: 03/2025
Round 7: 04/2025 - 05/2025 Round 7: 06/2025

Additional CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant Program Eligibility Information:

Producers who have received a COVID-19 economic relief grant will be eligible for drought relief funds one calendar year (12 months) after applying for economic relief funds. This is to prioritize historically underserved, small-scale producers throughout California who have not received any Federal or State relief grant funds to date. Those who received funding in 2021 will be eligible to re-apply for CUSP direct relief funds 12 months after receiving the first round of funds.

The Drought Relief Direct Farmer Grants administered through the CUSP partner organizations are reimbursement grants for expenses incurred as a result of the drought. Examples of covered expenses can include but are not limited to:

  • Drilling of new wells or repairs on existing wells if sole source of water for operation. To be eligible, an applicant must provide written verification from a Groundwater Sustainability Agency managing the basin or area of the basin where the well is located or proposed to be located approving the action, per Executive Order N-7-22.
  • Increased electric utility bills of 30% or more due to increased electricity rates
  • Surface water costs if increase from year prior
  • Cost of hauling water for livestock
  • Lowering ag well pumps if a primary source of water is lost
  • Emergency upgrades to irrigation system (paired with conservation) if not covered through CDFA OEFI programs or USDA programs and for other emergency scenarios.
  • Decreased crop yields/crop loss due to less water available or having to fallow land
  • Increased feed costs for dairies and livestock operations

NOT Covered:

  • Upgrading to a larger pump that will draw more water

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE - Technical Assistance (TA) for Producers to receive assistance on business planning, marketing strategies, and application support for federal and state relief grant programs including the CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant Program.

Critical technical assistance is available statewide for small-scale and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to apply for federal and state economic and drought relief programs, including the CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant program during open application periods. CUSP Program TA providers can also assist farmers and ranchers to adjust their business planning and marketing strategies and to become more resilient and recover from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the on-going California drought.

CUSP Technical Assistance Providers

Organization Contact Information
Asian Business Institute and Resource Center (ABIRC) Peter Thao, Program Director
(559) 402-0067
California Farmlink Stephanie Stevens
(831) 271-5076
East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District 3800 Cornucopia Way, Suite E
Modesto, CA 95358
Hmong Business Incubator Center (HBI) (202) 573-7309
4582 E. Harvey Ave STE 88
Fresno, CA 93702
Multiplier (Kitchen Table Advisors) info@kitchentableadvisors.org
North Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council Oona Heacock, Executive Director
(707) 978-4149
P.O. Box 6517
Santa Rosa, CA 95406
Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego Elizabeth Garcia
(619) 562-0096
Resource Conservation District of Monterey County Ashya Peterson
Sierra Resource Conservation District Yasmin Mendoza
Sutter County Resource Conservation District Rajvir Sahota
144 Gibson Rd.
Yuba City, CA 95993
(530) 844-3364

Quick Links

Program Status


Contact Us

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Office of Grants Administration
1220 N Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Phone: (916) 657-3231