Technical assistance is necessary for many farmers and ranchers interested in adopting new practices.
CalCAN has advocated for over a decade that with sufficient resources and incentives, farmers can deliver unique and powerful solutions to climate change.
Technical assistance (TA) providers help producers understand and apply the latest science and best practices, facilitate farmer-to-farmer learning, lead on-farm research and demonstration projects, and assist growers with applications for grants and cost share programs.
California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs provide financial resources to encourage farmers and ranchers to adopt farm management practices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration.
Improved delivery of TA to farmers and ranchers, including outreach and education, project design, grant application assistance and project implementation, ensure that a greater diversity of producers successfully participate in the Climate Smart Agriculture programs. Increased TA for farmers and ranchers will also improve the overall impact of the Climate Smart Agriculture programs.
Small and moderately-scaled producers, including many women and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, who cannot afford consultants, are especially in need of greater support to improve their participation in the Climate Smart Agriculture programs.
Climate Smart Agriculture Technical Assistance Program
Due to the passage of a 2018 CalCAN sponsored bill (AB 2377, Irwin) at least 5% of the budgets from the three Climate Smart Agriculture programs administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)—Healthy Soils Program, SWEEP and AMMP—is earmarked specifically for technical assistance grants, including a 25% set-aside for socially disadvantaged farmers.
Read more about the CDFA’s Technical Assistance program here.
Water Efficiency Technical Assistance Program (WETA)
Established in 2021, WETA provides TA to farmers and ranchers for on-farm water and energy use efficiency and nutrient management. Grant recipients must prioritize assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and farms and ranches that are 500 acres or less. These funds will support 1) on-farm, one-on-one technical assistance to help farmers evaluate irrigation system efficiency, 2) the coordination or provision of irrigation pump efficiency testing , and 3) farmer training on water use efficiency and nutrient management practices and technology.
Read more about WETA from CDFA.
Related Bill History
CalCAN sponsored or played a lead role in the following related bills that passed and were signed into law.
AB 2377 (2018) — Authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, this bill funds technical assistance for farmers and ranchers seeking to transition to Climate Smart Agriculture practices.