SACRAMENTO / August 8, 2017 / SOURCE: CDFA – The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The program, authorized by the Budget Act of 2016, receives funding from California Climate Investments, with proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions targeted to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities.

The HSP has two components: (i) the HSP Incentives Program, and (ii) the HSP Demonstration Projects.

For the HSP Incentives Program, an estimated $3.75 million in competitive grant funding will be awarded to provide financial assistance for implementation of agricultural management practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce GHG emissions. California farmers and ranchers, as well as Federal and California recognized Native American Indian Tribes, are eligible to apply for the HSP Incentives Program.

For the HSP Demonstration Projects, an estimated $3 million in competitive grant funding will be awarded to projects that demonstrate and monitor specific management practices in agriculture that sequester carbon, improve soil health and reduce atmospheric GHGs. Not-for-profit entities, University Cooperative Extensions, Federal and University Experiment Stations, Resource Conservation Districts, Federal and California recognized Native American Indian Tribes, and farmers and ranchers in collaboration with any of the aforementioned entities, are eligible to apply for the HSP Demonstration Projects.

Both the HSP Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects require that incentivized practices be implemented for a total of three years, with the third year of project costs required as matching funds.

For detailed information on eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit the CDFA Healthy Soils Program website at To streamline and expedite the application process, CDFA is partnering with the State Water Resources Control Board, which hosts an online application tool, Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST). All prospective applicants must register for a FAAST account at Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically using FAAST by September 19, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. PT.

CDFA will hold four workshops and one webinar to provide information on program requirements and the application process (see below). CDFA staff will provide guidance on the application process, provide several examples and answer any questions. There is no cost to attend the workshops. Individuals planning to attend should email his or her contact information, number of seats required and the workshop location.

Sacramento – Tuesday, August 15, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: HSP Incentives Program
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: HSP Demonstration Projects
California Department of Food and Agriculture
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
This meeting will also be available as a webinar for remote attendees. To register for the webinar, please visit the program webpage at

Orland – Wednesday, August 16, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: HSP Incentives Program
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: HSP Demonstration Projects
Glenn County Farm Bureau
Board Room
831 5th St, Orland, CA 95963

Fresno – Thursday, August 24, 2017
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: HSP Incentives Program
2.30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: HSP Demonstration Projects
American Pistachio Growers
Conference Room, First Floor
9 River Park Place East, Suite 410
Fresno, CA 93720

Ventura – Friday, August 25, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: HSP Incentives Program
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: HSP Demonstration Projects
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Ventura County
California Room
669 County Square Drive, Suite 100
Ventura CA 93003-9028

Prospective applicants may contact CDFA’s Grants Office at with general program questions.

Prospective applicants should refer to the HSP webpage ( for information regarding technical assistance workshops by non-profit organizations, Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) and California academic institutions. These workshops are intended to provide technical assistance with the application process and are also free of charge. Technical assistance is made available through a $25,000 partnership grant between CDFA and the Strategic Growth Council to achieve the mutual objective of providing technical assistance to HSP Incentives Program applicants.

The HSP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.