Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program
The Healthy Soils - Block Grant Pilot Program is a part of the Healthy Soils Program, which stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments that promotes the development of healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands. The Block Grant Pilot Program is designed to facilitate financial assistance to California agricultural operations through regional block grant administrators.
The grant term is four years. The minimum and maximum award per block grant application is $2,000,000 and $5,000,000 respectively.
For the purpose of this program, there are three entities of interest.
1. Block Grant Recipients
The eligible entities include (1) Resource Conservation Districts; (2) University of California, California Community Colleges, or California State Universities; (3) Federally- and California- Recognized Native American Indian Tribes; (4) Local or regional government agencies such as air pollution control districts; (5) State agricultural marketing programs, and federal marketing programs that represent California commodities; and (6) Nonprofit organizations such as Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, irrigation districts and land trusts.
2. Grant Beneficiaries
The eligible entities or individuals (1) California farmers, ranchers, business entities, and federally and California Recognized Native American Indian Tribes; (2) Nonprofit organizations as agriculture operations.
Grant Beneficiaries must be at least 18 years old.
Project eligibility includes:
· Projects must be located on agricultural operations in California.
· The project boundaries must be within the state of California.
· Awards are limited to one per agricultural operation using a unique tax identification number per grant cycle.
Ineligible entities and project conditions:
· University and research farms are not eligible.
· Cannabis cultivation operations are not eligible.
· Projects that use potted plants and plant growth media other than soil are not eligible.
3. Technical Assistance Providers
Applicant organizations are required to provide technical assistance to Grant Beneficiaries as required by AB 2377. The eligible entities for TAPs are (1) Resource Conservation Districts, (2) University of California Cooperative Extension and (3) Nonprofit organizations.
If the block grant applicant is not one of the entities, they must partner with one such entity to be eligible for this grant opportunity.
Note that all entities receiving grant funds must be located in California with a physical California business address.
The program aims to achieve at least 25% targeted funding to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers. A socially disadvantaged group is defined by the 2017 Farmer Equity Act as a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. For the program, these groups include African Americans, Native Indians, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
CDFA also encourages BGRs to facilitate outreach and grants to projects that benefits disadvantaged communities and low-income populations as defined in SB 535 and AB 1550.
- Public Agency
- Tribal Government
Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs); University of California (UC), California Community Colleges, or California State Universities (CSU); Federally- and California-Recognized Native American Indian Tribes; Local or regional government agencies such as air pollution control districts; California Commodities; Nonprofit organizations including, but not limited to: Groundwater Sustainability Agencies, Irrigation districts, and Land trusts.
All entities receiving grant funds must be located in California with a physical California business address.
Matching Funding Requirement:
Match funding is not required but encouraged.
How to Apply
State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.
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