The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is currently accepting applications for two different grant opportunities being offered as part of the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). Farmers interested in either the HSP Incentives Program or the HSP Demonstration Projects have until September 19th to apply for funding.
The HSP Incentives Program has an estimated $3.75 million dollars available for farmers who implement management practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The maximum grant amount available for this type of program is $50,000 dollars.
There is an estimated $3 million available for HSP Demonstration Projects that demonstrate and monitor specific management practices that sequester carbon, improve soil health and reduce atmospheric GHGs. There are two different types of Demonstration Projects. Type A projects can be awarded up to $250,000 dollars and Type B projects can be awarded up to $100,000 dollars.
The grant programs are funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund with money coming from California’s cap and trade auctions. A total of $7.5 million dollars has been appropriated for the HSP projects and must be liquidated by June 30, 2020. The overall goal of these grant opportunities is to reduce GHG emissions.
Applications will be evaluated on a point system with multiple levels of review which will be conducted by CDFA as well as university experts. CDFA has partnered with the State Water Resources Control Board to provide an online application tool, Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST).
There are very specific instructions on how the application system works and all applicants will need register for a FAAST account. Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically using FAAST by September 19, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. PT. More information regarding program requirements and eligibility is available on the Healthy Soils Program website.