beet shoots
Neatly-thinned beet shoots (Mabuka / Shutterstock)

Press Release Provided by the California Department of Food and Agriculture

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today announced it has selected thirty-six organizations for Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Technical Assistance (TA) awards, totaling $2.7 million. With these funds, thirty-one organizations will provide technical assistance to the applicants and awardees of CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP) and twenty-one will provide assistance to applicants and awardees of the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP).

Resource Conservation Districts, University of California Cooperative Extension and non-profits are eligible for Climate Smart Agriculture technical assistance funds. For every appropriation to Climate Smart Agriculture Programs, CDFA makes available at least five percent of the funds to technical assistance grants through a competitive request for proposals.

Anticipating funding to HSP and SWEEP following the Governor’s proposed budget in January, CDFA held a proactive solicitation for technical assistance in February 2021. The recently enacted California state budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 makes a historic investment in CDFA’s Climate Smart Agriculture incentive programs. HSP has been appropriated $50 million and SWEEP has been appropriated $40 million. The awarded technical assistance providers will play a critical role in outreach, project and application development and submission, and ongoing assistance to awardees as they implement their projects.

Technical assistance efforts will be prioritized to farms of less than 500 acres, and at least a quarter of the funding will be spent on assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.

“We are thrilled that the Healthy Soils Program and State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program have a new infusion of funding,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Technical assistance providers will be an important resource for farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying and participating in these programs.”

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