Media Contacts: Steve Lyle (CDFA), 916-654-0462 , firstname.lastname@example.org
SACRAMENTO, April 20, 2023 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce the availability of grant funding for two pilot block grant programs under the Healthy Soils Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, which advances California’s work to help communities build more resilient water supplies amid climate-driven swings between extreme wet and dry conditions.
The Healthy Soils Program (HSP), designed to advance conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gases, will make available approximately $29 million in block grants. The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), which incentivizes agricultural operations to invest in water-saving irrigation systems, will make available approximately $40 million for block grants. Climate change has made California’s dry and wet spells more extreme and unpredictable, making it critical that communities continue adapting to use water wisely.
HSP and SWEEP have traditionally been direct-to-farmer grant programs from CDFA. The purpose of the pilot block grant program is to test whether block grantees can accelerate the disbursement of funds and better coordinate community needs for technical assistance. Under these pilot programs, qualified organizations may apply for state funding and then disburse funds to eligible farmers, ranchers, or agricultural operations for on-farm projects.
Awarded organizations would provide technical assistance to implement on-farm projects or partner with technical assistance providers to provide this support. Eligible entities may request between $2 million and $5 million for each program.
CDFA will hold two webinar-based workshops to provide information on the program requirements and the application process. Participants can attend remotely by registering for thewebinars at the web addresses below.
Tuesday, May 2, 2023, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. PT
o Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsfu2tpzIvGNZs4BTAq2R_eT1U5k9YDwWR
Wednesday, May 3, 2023, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. PT
o Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcrceiorzsoG9J8u_WYbbHtHzoSViIoeY1c
The solicitations close at 5 p.m. PT on Monday, June 19, 2023.
Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program
The Healthy Soils Pilot Block Grant Program is a part of the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The objective of the HSP is to increase statewide implementation of conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) through financial incentives to California growers and ranchers. HSP also provides funding for demonstration projects that accommodate research and showcaseand promote widespread conservation management throughout the state.
For information on HSP Block Grant eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit the HSP website at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/BlockGrantProgram.html.
SWEEP Block Grant Pilot Program
The SWEEP Pilot Block Grant Program is a part of the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). SWEEP, first developed in 2014 in response to severe drought, provides financial incentives for California agricultural operations to invest in irrigation systems that save water and reduce GHG emissions.Projects may include multiple strategies that result in environmental benefits, including, but not limited to, irrigation scheduling technologies, improvements to irrigation system efficiency, pump efficiency improvements and installation of renewable energy.
For information on SWEEP Block Grant eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit the SWEEP website at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/block_grant.html