Robust State Funding for Climate Smart Ag, Drought Relief, Farmworker Housing, Healthy Food Access & More

Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022 by Jeanne Merrill

Following another record state budget approved in June, the legislative session concluded on August 31st with more investments in climate-smart agriculture, farmworker housing, organic transition, drought relief, wildfire prevention, composting infrastructure, healthy food access, and much more. This two-part budget package follows months-long advocacy efforts by CalCAN and our partners in Food and Farm Resilience Coalition formed to advocate for sustainable and healthy food and farm investments that advance climate resilience and equity. We successfully advocated for $709 million in funding in fiscal year (FY) 2022-23- see the breakdown below.

The two-year collaboration of the Food and Farm Resilience Coalition has yielded a total of $2 billion in investments. We were pleased to work on this package of investments again this year with Assemblymember Robert Rivas, chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, along with the support of nearly a dozen other members of the legislature.

Thank you to all of the farmers, community members, and advocates who took the time to join us in meetings, make phones and send emails in support of these investments. Your efforts really made difference.

Budget Summary, FY 2022-23:
$709 million in Food and Farm Economic Recovery and Resilience Investments

 Climate Smart/ Resilient Farms (CDFA): $330 million, which includes the following:

  • Healthy Soils Program: $85 million
  • State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP): $110 million
  • Dairy Methane Programs: $83 million
    • $48 million for both AMMP and Dairy Digester Research and Development Program with priority for AMMP.
    • $20 million for AMMP (additional to the $48 million described above).
    • $10 million for a new enteric fermentation demonstration project and research grants program
    • $5 million for dairy methane reduction research.
  • California Underserved Producers Program (CUSP): $5 million
  • Organic Transition Pilot Program (new): $5 million
  • Conservation Management Planning Program: $22 million (includes a set aside of $7 million for organic transition plans)
  • Integrated Pest Management: $3.75 million; Plus $1.075 million for integrated pest management technical assistance
  • Pollinator Habitat Program: $15 million

Climate Smart Farms (Department of Conservation): $39 million, which includes the following:

  • Climate Smart Land Management Program (new): $14 million for  landowner technical assistance for the new Natural and Working Lands Climate Smart Strategy, as proposed by the Governor’s administration
  • Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program: $25 million (in addition to the program’s continuous GGRF appropriation)


Farmworker Safety and Well-Being (various departments): $65 million, which includes the following:

  • Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program  (Dept. of Housing and Community Development): $50 million
  • Low-Income Home Weatherization for Farmworker Housing (Dept. of Community and Development Services):$15 million

Drought Resilience, Sustainable Groundwater Management, Prescribed Grazing (various departments): $205 million, which includes the following:

  • Fire Prevention Grants, including prescribed grazing projects and infrastructure (CalFIRE): $80 million
  • California Small Agricultural Business Drought Relief Grant Program (Go-Biz): $75 million
  • Sustainable Groundwater Management for Small Farmers (Dept. of Water Resources): $10 million
  • Multi-benefit Land Repurposing Program (Dept. of Conservation): $40 million

Healthy Food Access/Regional Food Economies (CDFA): $70 million, which includes the following:

  • Farm to School Incubator Grant Program: $60 million
  • Healthy Refrigeration Program: $10 million


Additional noteworthy agriculture investments (various departments):

  • $1 million for a new Land Equity Task Force, Strategic Growth Council
  • $23.75 million for the Food Processing Investment Program, CA Energy Commission
  • $7 million for a new Compost Permitting Pilot at CalRecycle
  • $10 million for food waste diversion, digesters, CalRecycle
  • $2 million for dry wine grape farming grants, DWR
  • $75 million for university farm programs “to address climate-smart agriculture and other climate-related issues, including, but not limited to, sustainable food production and agriculture, water and drought resilience, forest health and wildfire resilience, food biosecurity, and energy.”
  • $25 million for Smart Agriculture as part of the Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund, Go-Biz


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