Healthy Soils Demonstration Program

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Opportunity Type:
  • Grant
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The Healthy Soils Demonstration Program is 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 agricultural lands. This program funds on-farm demonstration projects to promote statewide implementation of conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce GHGs and improve soil health.


The HS Demonstration Program will fund projects that implement eligible agricultural management practices and conduct outreach to California farmers and ranchers at on-farm demonstration sites. Projects must showcase conservation management practices that mitigate GHG emissions and increase soil health and help create a platform promoting widespread adoption of conservation management practices throughout the state.

Eligibility Nonprofit entities, University Cooperative Extensions, Federal and University Experiment Stations, city and community colleges, Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), California Native American Tribes, and farmers and ranchers in partnership with one of the aforementioned entities are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible to apply.  A project must include at least one farm to fulfill demonstration requirements.More than one farm may be included in a single application; however, the same farm cannot be included in multiple applications.  CDFA will award a maximum of two applications submitted by the same lead applicant, but each application should be for a unique project.  Entities receiving grant funds must be located in California with a physical California business address.  Applicants must lease, own, or otherwise control the fields and Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) where project activities are proposed to occur for the entirety of the project duration. If selected for an award, applicants must be able to respond to information required by CDFA to execute a grant agreement within 30 days of receiving a notice of award. CDFA reserves the right to rescind award offer if awardee fails to respond within 30 days. 

Exclusions Program funds cannot be used to implement management practices that are not listed under Eligible Agricultural Management Practices in this grant solicitation. All requirements for practice implementation must be followed wherever applicable. Program funds cannot be used to fund fields with existing and ongoing implementation of any agricultural management practices listed under Eligible Agricultural Management Practices, including fields for which a CDFA Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) program was previously awarded.  Awards made through the HS Demonstrations Program cannot be used as cost share for any other awards made through a CDFA CSA program. Compost Application and Whole Orchard Recycling Practices must not be implemented on APNs consisting of soils with soil organic matter content greater than 20 percent by dry weight (in top 20 cm or 8-inch depth). Practices may not be implemented on lands or crop types that are not suitable based on USDA - NRCS Conservation Practice Standards and USDA - NRCS California Scenarios. Program funds cannot be used for projects using potted plants or other plant growth media, on cannabis cultivation operations, or for research on product development and/or evaluation. 

Key words: conservation management practice, soil health, Greenhouse gas reduction

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Nonprofit
  • Public Agency
  • Tribal Government

Matching Funding Requirement:

Matched funding is not required but encouraged.

Important Dates

The date (and time, where applicable) by which all applications must be submitted to the grantmaker. Time listed as “00:00” equates to midnight.
The date on which the grantor expects to announce the recipient(s) of the grant.
Oct - Dec 2023
The length of time during which the grant money must be utilized.
two months

Funding Details

The total projected dollar amount of the grant.
A single grant opportunity may represent one or many awards. Some grantors may know in advance the exact number of awards to be given. Others may indicate a range. Some may wish to and wait until the application period closes before determining how many awards to offer; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Grant opportunities representing multiple awards may offer awards in the same amount or in varied amounts. Some may wish to wait until the application period closes before determining per-award amounts; in this case, a value of “Dependent” will display.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) provide a letter of intent.
Certain grants require that the recipient(s) be able to fully or partially match the grant award amount with another funding source.
The funding source allocated to fund the grant. It may be either State or Federal (or a combination of both), and be tied to a specific piece of legislation, a proposition, or a bond number.
  • State

Funding Source Notes:

State funds

The manner in which the grant funding will be delivered to the awardee. Funding methods include reimbursements (where the recipient spends out-of-pocket and is reimbursed by the grantor) and advances (where the recipient spends received grant funds directly).
  • Advances & Reimbursement(s)

Funding Method Notes:

A grant Recipient will submit invoice documents together with project activities completed within the invoicing period for reimbursement on a quarterly basis.

How to Apply

State agencies/departments recommend you read the full grant guidelines before applying.