Courtesy of the CDFA News 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, Meat, Poultry and Egg Safety Branch (MPES) announces one vacancy for one public member on the Egg Safety and Quality Management’s (ESQM), Shell Egg Advisory Committee Board (SEAC).

ESQM monitors egg quality at production, wholesale, and retail levels. The goal is to provide California consumers with eggs that are wholesome, properly labeled, refrigerated, and of established quality, while maintaining fair and equitable marketing standards in the California egg industry.

This vacancy is due to an upcoming term expiration. The membership term for this vacancy will be for 36 months. Applicants should not be a registered egg handler or a representative of a registered egg handler.

Board members receive no compensation but are entitled to reimbursement for transportation to and from meetings and for per diem expenses for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.

Applicants interested in being considered for this SEAC appointment, should submit resumesby August 21, 2024, to:

Mrs. Penny Arana
Meat,Poultry and Egg Safety Branch

1220 N Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Additional information is available on the Egg Safety and Quality Management program’s web page at You may also contact Michael E. Abbott, Egg Quality Manager at (916) 628-1721


Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs

California Department of Food and Agriculture


2024-05-07T08:03:57-07:00May 7th, 2024|

CDFA Accepting Applications For 2023-24 CA Farm To School Grant Program

Courtesy of the CDFA News

The California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F) is accepting applications for the 2023-24 California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program, until 5 p.m. PDT April 4, 2024.

The program will award competitive grants to support projects that cultivate equity, nurture students, build climate resilience, and create scalable and sustainable change.

To support a systems approach to advancing farm to school throughout the state, the program offers four funding tracks:
• Track 1: The California Farm to School TK-12 Procurement and Education Grant
• Track 2: The California Farm to School Technical Assistance (TA) Grant
• Track 3: The California Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Grant
• Track 4: The California Farm to School Producer Grant

Visit the California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program webpage to view the formal request for applications, access the online portal through which applications must be submitted, and register for informational webinars.

The California Budget Acts of 2021 and 2022 made appropriations for the 2023-24 California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program. CDFA will make a total of up-to $52.8 million available via the four funding tracks outlined above. The amount of funds awarded in each funding track will depend on the number of competitive applications received in each funding track.

For assistance and questions related to the Farm to School Incubator Grant Program process, please email

2024-02-14T07:45:19-08:00February 14th, 2024|

CDFA Announces Grant Funding for Healthy Soils Program

Courtesy of the CDFA

CDFA is pleased to announce the availability of approximately $12 million in grant funding for Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grants. The objectives of the program are to increase statewide implementation of conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases.

California farmers, ranchers, business entities, California Native American tribes, and non-profit organizations can apply for awards. Applicants may request up to $100,000 per project. Priority will be given to applicants who are considered Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.

The program is currently accepting grant applications and will continue to do so until 5 p.m. PST, Friday, February 9, 2024.

“The Healthy Soils Program was developed to partner with farmers and ranchers and facilitate their preferred methods to draw down carbon onto their lands and store it in our soils,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Building up soil’s organic matter and biodiversity promotes its lasting health and productivity, while also reducing the possibility for erosion. With tremendous thanks to our Governor and the California Legislature for their ongoing support, the Healthy Soils Program has awarded more than $105 million to fund more than 1,500 projects over its lifetime, resulting in a combined greenhouse gas reduction of more than 1.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the projects’ lifespans. That’s like removing 24,000 gas-powered cars from the road for 10 years.”

CDFA will hold two online workshops to provide information about the application process. Participants register for the webinars using the links below. Each workshop will cover the same content, and for those unable to attend, a PowerPoint presentation along with other relevant materials will be posted on the Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grants webpage:

Free technical assistance (TA) is available to applicants. TA providers’ contact information, and other details, can be found at: and

Available TA Providers include providers from the University of California Cooperative Extension Community Education Specialists (UCCS CESs), through their Climate Smart Agriculture Program.

“Through our strong relationships with diverse farming communities, our team supports the implementation of practices that build soil health, use water more efficiently, and provide an alternative for manure management,” said Amber Butland, a TA Provider who works through the CES group. “We strive to provide the best assistance possible by offering translation services, grant application support, computer access, and one-on-one farm visits.”

The Healthy Soils Program stems from the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a collaboration of state agencies and departments that promotes the development of healthy soils on California’s farmlands and ranchlands.

For information on eligibility and program requirements, prospective applicants should visit the HSP Incentive Grants website at

2024-01-22T10:27:11-08:00January 22nd, 2024|


Courtesy of the CDFA

The Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation and the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) is pleased to announce the award of $21.41 million in grant funding to1 projects for the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), and $14.23 million in grant funding to 12 projects for the Dairy Plus Program.

“California has set ambitious climate goals, and agriculture is an important contributor to these achievements,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Dairy farmers and livestock ranchers are putting effective new technologies and best practices to work in their barns and fields, and these projects keep that progress in motion.”

These projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure on California dairy and livestock farms while improving water quality and nutrient management. Funding for AMMP is made possible by the California General Fund and state Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment.

Funding for the Dairy Plus Program comes from a collaboration between CDFA, CDRF, and USDA as part of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities grant. Together, recipients will improve their manure management practices and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an estimated annual total of 87,350 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2e).

“Dairy families work hard every day to produce healthy and nutritious dairy products,” said Paul Sousa, Director of Environmental Services & Regulatory Affairs for Western United Dairies and a long-time AMMP Technical Assistance Provider. “At the same time, they look to be sustainable in how they care for their cows, the land, and the environment. AMMP and Dairy Plus help provide the incentives needed to implement Climate Smart Agriculture practices. However, addressing just one challenge at a time is not enough, and that is why Dairy Plus is addressing water quality in addition to methane reduction with the same practice. With these programs, dairy families are benefiting the environment and our communities while providing healthy food choices for all Californians.”

Dairy manure produces methane when it decomposes. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that significantly contributes to global warming.

The Alternative Manure Management Program incentivizes practices such as solid waste separation and creating ways to store more manure in a dry form while reducing methane production. Implementing these practices provides other important co-benefits, like reducing odor and air pollutants. The program also facilitates compost production from manure solids, which may be recycled as fertilizer and animal bedding.

This latest grant round has brought the total number of AMMP-supported projects to 172. Collectively, it is anticipated these practices will reduce over 294,000 metric tons of GHGs per year for California farms, equivalent to removing more than 65,000 cars from the road.

The complimentary Dairy Plus Program focuses on larger-scale projects for improved water quality and nutrient management in addition to methane reduction.  Practices included filtration of manure wastewater using worms (vermifiltration), coagulation of fine manure solids out of liquid (advanced solid-liquid separation assisted by flocculants), and non-mechanical separation of manure solids from water (weeping walls) that can help capture nitrogen and keep more manure out of a liquid environment; projects could also incorporate aerated composting and subsurface drip irrigation for further nutrient processing and application.

CDFA selected 8 Dairy Plus projects in conjunction with a new 2023 AMMP project and 4 Dairy Plus projects to further advance past completed AMMP projects for awards (contingent on pre-project consultation and meeting federal requirements). Project information can be found at 


2023-11-21T08:23:55-08:00November 21st, 2023|


Courtesy of the CDFA

Portions of Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties have been placed under quarantine for the Oriental Fruit Fly following the detection of multiple flies in each county.

In Contra Costa County, detections near the cities of Brentwood and Oakley have resulted in a quarantine zone covering 99 square miles, bordered on the north by the San Joaquin River; on the south by Marsh Creek State Park; on the west by Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve; and on the east side by the Old River.

In Santa Clara County, detections in the cities of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale have resulted in a quarantine zone covering 112 square miles, bordered on the north by Coyote Creek; on the south by Saratoga; on the west by Mountain View; and on the east by Alum Rock. A link to the quarantine maps may be found here:

“Invasive fruit flies are serious pests for California’s orchards and backyard gardens,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.  “These recent detections remind us that we need to remain vigilant in protecting our food supply and natural resources.  The stakes are enormous, and not just in California. A new report from the United Nations notes that invasive species management costs hundreds of billions of dollars each year around the world. We’re all in this together as we work to reduce this impact. ”

The Oriental Fruit Fly is known to target over 230 different fruit, vegetable, and plant commodities.  Important California crops at risk include grapes, pome, stone fruits, citrus, dates, avocados, and many vegetables, particularly tomatoes and peppers.  Damage occurs when the female fruit fly lays eggs inside the fruit.  The eggs hatch into maggots, which tunnel through the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, making it unfit for consumption.

To prevent the spread of this pest through homegrown fruits and vegetables, residents living in  quarantine areas are urged not to move those items from their property.  However, they may be consumed or processed (i.e., juiced, frozen, or cooked on the property where they were picked, or disposed of by double bagging and placing in the regular trash, not green waste.

Following the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), agricultural officials use “male attractant” technique as the mainstay of the eradication effort for this invasive species.  This approach has successfully eliminated dozens of fruit fly infestations in California.  Trained workers squirt a small patch of fruit fly attractant mixed with a very small dose of an organic pesticide, Spinosad, approximately 8-10 feet off the ground on street trees and similar surfaces; male fruit flies are attracted to the mixture and perish after consuming it.  The male attractant treatment program is being carried out over an area that extends 1.5 miles from each site where the oriental fruit flies were trapped.

While fruit flies and other invasive species that threaten California’s crops and natural environment are sometimes detected in agricultural areas, the majority are initially found in urban and suburban communities.  The most common pathway for these pests to enter the state is by “hitchhiking” in fruits and vegetables brought back illegally by travelers as they return from infested regions of the world or from packages of home grown produce from other countries sent to California.  Help protect California’s agricultural and natural resources; please Don’t Pack a Pest ( when traveling or mailing packages.

The Oriental Fruit Fly is widespread throughout much of the mainland of southern Asia and neighboring islands, including Sri Lanka and Taiwan, and it has infested other areas, most notably Africa and Hawaii.

Federal, state, and county agricultural officials work year-round, 365 days a year, to prevent, deter, detect, and eliminate the threat of invasive species and diseases that can damage or destroy our agricultural products and natural environment.  These efforts are aimed at keeping California’s natural environment and food supply plentiful, safe, and as pest-free as possible.

Residents with questions about the project may call CDFA’s Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.  Additional information may be found here:

2023-09-12T13:34:49-07:00September 12th, 2023|


Courtesy of California Department of Food and Agriculture

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation is pleased to announce $7.4 million in grants to organizations to provide technical assistance to help farmers and ranchers use water more efficiently. The funding was appropriated to the California Emergency Relief Fund by the Budget Act of 2021 to maintain and precisely calibrate agriculture irrigation systems.

Under the Water Efficiency Technical Assistance (WETA) program, the awarded organizations will provide producers with important services to maintain and finely tune the use of their irrigation systems, including:
1. Providing on-farm irrigation system evaluations
2. Coordinating or providing pump efficiency testing
3. Providing training on water use efficiency and nutrient management practices and technology

The department is awarding 17 grants with terms of three years. This is the second round of the WETA program. The first awards were announced in 2022.

“Funding from the WETA program has enabled our team to leverage other funding sources and strengthen partnerships to improve our services and coverage,” said Sacha Lozano, the Agricultural Stewardship Program Manager with the Santa Cruz Resource Conservation District. “Participating growers benefit from timely and qualified technical assistance to improve their irrigation and nutrient management practices, and the program plays a key role helping us to achieve water conservation goals for our groundwater basin.”

The WETA grant program is designed to facilitate technical assistance to agricultural operations for on-farm water and energy use efficiency and nutrient management.

Producers interested in receiving training or services provided through WETA can review the list of awarded organizations with contact information at the WETA website:

2023-07-28T13:30:20-07:00July 28th, 2023|


Courtesy of the California Department of Food and Agriculture

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce availability of approximately $4 million dollars of grant funding for its Healthy Soils Demonstration Program.

The program funds projects that showcase California farmers and ranchers implementing established and emerging soil health practices. These projects create an opportunity for local communities to visit and observe soil health practices in action and understand how those practices can translate to their own operations. The program also funds data collection on soil health and/or greenhouse gas emissions to inform future state investments in climate smart agriculture.

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 entities are eligible to apply.

CDFA will hold two free web-based workshops to provide information on Program requirements and the application process. Participants can attend remotely by registering for webinar access:
•         Tuesday, July 11, 2023
9 a.m. – 11 a.m. PST
•         Wednesday, July 12, 2023
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. PST
Registration link:

The solicitation will close on August 28, 2023, at 5 p.m. PST. CDFA will not accept late submissions.

For information on eligibility and program requirements, visit the Healthy Soils Program website:

2023-06-30T09:15:32-07:00June 30th, 2023|


CDFA’s California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) announces $1.8 million is being awarded to seven projects to facilitate the purchase of California-grown fruit and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets by shoppers using the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition programs.

The new grantees will serve more than 124 Certified Farmers’ Markets in the Los Angeles area, the San Francisco Bay Area and the counties of Butte, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Ventura. A detailed list of grantees and project descriptions is available on the CNIP webpage.

CNIP addresses food insecurity and access to fresh fruits and vegetables among low-income Californians while simultaneously supporting and expanding markets for California farmers. CNIP currently offers nutrition incentives to CalFresh shoppers at more than 285 locations throughout the state, including Certified Farmers’ Markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and retail outlets.

CNIP was created by Assembly Bill 1321, authored by Assembly Member Phil Ting in 2015. CNIP is administered by CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork, which leads CDFA’s food access work.

2023-04-11T15:56:35-07:00April 11th, 2023|


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announces one vacancy on the Feed Inspection Advisory Board (FIAB). This board makes regulatory and enforcement recommendations to CDFA to help ensure that commercial feed inspections contribute to a clean and wholesome supply of milk, meat and eggs.

There is one board position available. The term of office for board members is up to three years. This vacancy will fill an unfinished board term of service until April 30, 2025. Board members do not receive compensation, but they are entitled to necessary travel expenses in accordance with the rules of the California Department of Human Resources. Board member applicants must hold a current California Commercial Feed License.

Individuals interested in a board appointment must submit a resume and a completed Prospective Member Appointment Questionnaire (PMAQ). The PMAQ is available on the CDFA website at: Both the resume and PMAQ are due by April 10, 2023.

Send resume and PMAQ via email to or by mail to:

Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Service Branch
Attn: Brittnie Williams
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

For further information, please contact Brittnie Williams at (916) 862-4014 or

2023-03-17T15:43:34-07:00March 17th, 2023|


CDFA’s Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI) has selected 10 organizations to receive $12.25 million in funding through a new competitive grant program, the Pollinator Habitat Program (PHP).

The PHP was established by the Budget Act of 2021 (Senate Bill 170, Skinner) in which CDFA was appropriated $15 million to provide grant funding for the establishment of pollinator habitat on agricultural lands throughout California. CDFA was directed to administer the Pollinator Habitat Program and to prioritize the planning of native habitats for the benefit of native biodiversity and the use of locally appropriate native plant seed mixes when feasible.

“CDFA is pleased to make this investment in pollinator habitat on California farms and ranches. Pollinators are not only vital to our ecosystems, they are essential to over a third of our crops, helping to produce a wide variety of California-grown fruits, nuts, and vegetables,” said Secretary Karen Ross. “The Pollinator Habitat Program demonstrates how working lands can help safeguard California’s diverse ecosystems.”

CDFA accepted applications from September 2022 through November 23, 2022. Resource Conservation Districts, non-profit organizations, the University of California, California State Universities, California community colleges, and California and federally recognized Tribes were eligible to apply for up to $2,000,000 in funding to work directly with farmers and ranchers to install habitat and implement management practices that support pollinators.

To find out more about PHP and to review a list of the awarded organizations please visit

2023-03-09T13:12:33-08:00March 9th, 2023|
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