The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) is accepting applications for climate-smart technical assistance grants.

The state program was established in 2018 to encourage the implementation of alternative manure management, soil health methods, and water efficiency practices. The efforts are implemented through three programs: the Alternative Manure Management Program, Healthy Soils Program, and State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP).

To advance the department’s goals of serving socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, CDFA awards to organizations that offer services in languages other than English will be slightly higher. The bonus is capped at $150,000 per program, or $450,000 if the grant includes all three programs. English-only grants are capped at $90,000 per program.

“This new round of funding with a higher allocation for technical assistance organizations serving farmers and ranchers who speak languages other than English represents a positive step toward continuing to address the tenets of AB 1348 (the Farmer Equity Act of 2017) and the recommendations contained within the Farmer Equity Report,” said CDFA Farmer Equity Adviser Thea Rittenhouse.

Participating organizations must coordinate with CDFA to verify project completion, document outcomes and obtain training, among other things. Grants cannot exceed three years. Recipients are required to use 25% of the award for technical assistance for socially disadvantaged producers. 

Entities eligible for the climate-smart grants include nonprofits, Resource Conservation Districts, and the University of California Cooperative Extension. Applications will close July 27 at 5 p.m.

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