With so many different practices that can be considered climate-smart agriculture, it can be challenging for growers to determine the best course of action when contemplating different approaches. UC Cooperative Extension Community (UCCE) can provide assistance with the selection and implementation of different farming practices. UCCE can also help with the application process for various agricultural programs offered through the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
“Our role is to provide outreach, education, and technical assistance for different climate-smart practices,” said Alli Rowe, UCCE Community Education Specialist working with climate-smart agriculture programs. “So, we will provide consultations with growers, go out to growers’ properties and evaluate what practices might work for their operation and their goals.”
Initiatives such as the Healthy Soils Program, the State Water Efficiency and Energy Program, as well as the Alternative Manure Management Program all offer farmers and ranchers a multitude of different benefits. However, the application process can be fairly technical and also require a substantial amount of time. “Our role is really designed to step in and relieve a lot of that paperwork headache and burden of application so that we’re helping growers complete the applications and get the funding that they need to implement these practices,” said Rowe.
Each of the CDFA programs help to provide opportunities for farmers and ranchers to implement agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage in soils, and improve water use efficiency. With the adoption of climate-smart approaches, California’s agricultural community can help address environmental needs as well as ultimately help to reduce on-farm costs at the same time.
“With California being such an important agricultural state and yet also very susceptible to the impacts of climate change, it’s very cool to have funding to support practices that help build resiliency and keep our farmers farming,” said Rowe.