The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced this week it is now accepting applications for Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Technical Assistance Program funding. The grant solicitation is being conducted to ensure there are Technical Assistance Providers available to provide outreach to farmers and ranchers about Climate Smart Agriculture programs and assist them in accessing a diversity of funding sources, including any future allocations in 2021 to the Healthy Soils Program (HSP) and State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP).
Funds awarded through this competitive grant process will be distributed to several eligible entities and throughout the state to assist farmers and ranchers in applying to HSP and SWEEP and provide continued assistance during project implementation. Eligible grant entities include Resource Conservation Districts, University of California Cooperative Extension, and non-profit organizations with demonstrated technical expertise.
“Technical assistance to farmers and ranchers is critical to the overall success of our Climate Smart Agriculture programs,” -said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Technical Assistance Providers offer direct assistance to farmers and ranchers submitting applications and help with project implementation, including assistance to small and disadvantaged farmers and ranchers whose first language may not be English.”
Eligible organizations may request up to $60,000 for each Climate Smart Agriculture program. The total allocation for this Technical Assistance grant solicitation is not known at this time and is dependent on the funds allocated to the HSP and SWEEP programs in the state budget, which is currently being discussed in the state legislature.
In his January proposed budget, the Governor proposed $40 million for SWEEP ($20 million for early action and $20 million for FY2021-2022) and $30 million for HSP ($15 million for early action and $15 million for FY2021-2022). As a result of AB 2377 (Irwin), a minimum of five percent of HSP and SWEEP funding is made available for the Technical Assistance Program and a minimum of 25 percent of the technical assistance funds must be used to support socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
A description of the Technical Assistance Program and links to the application materials can be found here.
Applications are due March 22, 2021 at 5 p.m. PT. Late applications will not be accepted.
CDFA will hold two online workshops next week to provide information on the requirements and the application process for this solicitation:
March 1, 2021: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Webinar ID – 913-507-611
March 4, 2021: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Webinar ID – 868-877-075