The latest budget revision from Governor Gavin Newsom will bring additional support to California’s farmers and ranchers. Several important programs for agriculture are set to receive substantial investment beyond what was initially proposed back in January. Newsom submitted the $267.8 billion budget last week. Funding for critical programs administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will be getting a significant boost.
“After a year of so many disruptions, it’s really exciting that the May revise builds on the $285 million that was proposed in the Governor’s January budget with an additional $641 million over the next two years,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said during a call with reporters. “It is very important that we use that money as efficiently and as effectively as possible for an investment in agriculture’s ongoing sustainability and resilience.”
California currently has a projected surplus of $76 billion. The May Revise budget proposal will bring CDFA funding to a total of $926 million over two years. Investments fall into the categories of healthy, resilient and equitable food systems, climate-smart agriculture for sustainability and resiliency, and economic recovery and high road job growth.
“There’s an additional $70 million of investment for our Healthy Soils Program. There is a new investment, compared to the January budget, of $60 million for livestock methane reduction,” Ross noted. “There’s new $30 million investment for pollinator habitat projects and $20 million for the development of conservation planning programs…We also have $2 million one-time funding for our BeeSafe program.”
The budget revision includes other investments in important programs for farmers, outside of CDFA. Another $150 million will be provided to support alternatives to open agricultural burning in the San Joaquin Valley. An additional $193 million will be provided for the FARMER Program over two years to replace older agricultural equipment. “That’s a remarkable investment and is an important one for agriculture,” Ross noted.