The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has awarded $5.23 million in grant funding to 86 projects as part of its Healthy Soils Program. The program is the first of its kind in the nation, and encourages farmers and ranchers to implement practices that reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases and improve soil health.
The Healthy Soils Program stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration between state agencies to support the development of healthy soils in California. Other statewide projects include the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC), which protects agricultural land from development and also helps reduce harmful emissions. Both programs are funded from the California Climate Investments Fund.
“California continues to the lead the nation in supporting smart climate programs that address on-farm challenges and promote agricultural sustainability,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, “Soil has the transformative power to help us stabilize our changing climate. By capturing greenhouse gas emissions and storing them underground, we improve both the atmosphere and soil.”
In 2016, CDFA allocated $7.5 million to develop and administer the Healthy Soils Program as part of its role in the California Climate Investments initiative, which helps state agencies invest cap-and-trade auction proceeds in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a variety of additional benefits to California communities.
The $5.23 million in HSP funding is split between 64 incentives programs and 22demonstration projects, both of which promote widespread adoption of conservation management practices statewide.
Information about the 2017 HSP Incentives Program is available at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html
Information about the 2017 HSP Demonstration projects is available at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/DemonstrationProjects.html.