The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting public comments on draft Requests for Grant Applications (RGA) for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) and Healthy Soils Program (HSP), utilizing $30 million authorized by the Budget Act of 2018, and funded through the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018 (SB 5).
The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program provides farmers and ranchers with grants to implement irrigation systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Projects funded through SWEEP commonly include elements such as soil, plant or weather sensors, micro-irrigation systems, pump retrofits or replacements, renewable energy, and variable frequency drives (among others). The draft RGA for the SWEEP program is posted at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep.
The Healthy Soils Program offers grants to farmers who take action to capture greenhouse gas emissions--such as carbon dioxide--in the soil to help combat climate change. The Healthy Soils Program will be implemented under two separate sections: an Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects. The Incentives Program will award grants to provide financial assistance to farmers and ranchers for implementation of agricultural management practices that sequester soil carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Demonstration Projects will award projects that monitor and demonstrate to farmers and ranchers in California, specific management practices in agriculture that sequester carbon, improve soil health, and reduce atmospheric GHGs.
The RGAs for both the HSP Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects can be found on the CDFA Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) webpages: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html and https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/DemonstrationProjects.html .
CDFA will hold three listening sessions at the end of August to provide information on how to comment on the draft RGAs and answer questions related to the programs. Listening sessions are scheduled for:
Northern California – August 30, 2018, 9:00 am to noon
Glenn County Farm Bureau
831 5th St.
Orland, CA 95963
Southern California – August 31, 2018, 9:00 am to noon
Imperial County Farm Bureau
El Centro, CA 92243
Central California – September 4, 2018, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Fresno County Farm Bureau
1274 W. Hedges Ave.
Fresno, CA 93728
Webinar participation will also be available on September 4 for those unable to travel to any of the listening sessions in person. To register for the September 4 webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/519454765226725891
Comments regarding the draft RGAs can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
Director of Public Affairs
California Department of Food and Agriculture