CDFA Accepting Applications for the 2023 California Underserved and Small Producer (CUSP) Grant Program

By CDFA

The 2023 CUSP Drought Relief Technical Assistance and Direct Producer Grant Program is designed to facilitate support for small-and-medium scale California agricultural producers or small-and-medium scale Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFR’s) through technical assistance with business planning and marketing strategies. This two-year grant program also includes direct farmer grants for drought relief for those same priority groups.

Applicants may apply for one or both of the funding tracks available under this grant program:
Part 1: Drought Relief Technical Assistance grants from $50,000 up to $100,000. This funding track is for eligible technical assistance providers to support California agricultural producers in applying for Federal and State drought relief grant programs including the CUSP Drought Relief Direct Producer Grant Program, and assistance with business planning, financial and marketing strategies needed to be resilient and stay in business during the on-going drought in California.
Part 2: Drought Relief Direct Producer Block Grant Program provides funding from $500,000 up to $1,500,000 for organizations to act as regional administrators to provide drought relief grants for small-and-medium scale producers or small-and-medium scale Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (SDFR’s) to aid in addressing specific financial needs due to the drought.

Applications will be accepted through March 16, 2023, at 5pm PST.

Grant Application Opens January 17, 2023
Grant Application Closes March 16, 2023 @ 5 PM PST
Review Process Mar/Apr 2023
Award Announcement April 17, 2023
Grant Term Begins May 1, 2023
Grant Term Ends April 30, 2025

The following entities are eligible to apply for this program: Non-profit organizations, Tribal Governments, County Departments of Agriculture and Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs). Entities applying for Part 1 must have demonstrated technical assistance expertise in assisting small and medium scale agricultural producers in applying to economic or drought relief fund programs, marketing, or business planning. Entities applying for Part 2 must have demonstrated expertise in managing direct grants or previous rounds of CUSP Economic or Drought Relief Direct Producer Grants. Priority in both tracks will be given to organizations with language and cultural capacities in offering technical assistance and program resources in languages other than English.

Applications will be accepted via Amplifund. All applicants will need to register for an Amplifund account prior to completing the 2023 CUSP Drought Relief Technical Assistance and Direct Producer Grant Program Application. For information, training videos, and materials on how to set up an account with Amplifund, please visit the Amplifund Portal Resources.

The 2023 CUSP Drought Relief Technical Assistance and Direct Producer Grant Program application link can be found here: 2023 CUSP Grant Program Application, and the request for applications (RFA) can be found on the program website www.cdfa.ca.gov/CUSP.

CDFA’s Farm Equity Office will hold two informational sessions on the 2023 CUSP Drought Relief Technical Assistance and Direct Producer Grant Program during the application period. These sessions will be offered via Zoom. CDFA staff will review the components of the application and answer questions about the application or the process during this time. Sessions will be recorded and available on the CUSP Program website after the session.

Session 1: Thursday February 2nd 1pm-2:00pm. To register for this session, click here.
Session 2: Thursday February 16th 1pm-2:00pm. To register for this session, click here.

For more information on the 2023 CUSP Drought Relief Technical Assistance and Direct Producer Grant Program, please contact: carmen.carrasco@cdfa.ca.gov

2023-01-18T12:34:19-08:00January 18th, 2023|

CDFA Accepting Grant Applications for Climate Research Program

By Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, CDFA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting grant applications for the California Livestock Methane Measurement, Mitigation and Thriving Environments Research Program (CLIM3ATE-RP), administered by its Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation (OEFI). Applications to CLIM3ATE- RP will be accepted through 5:00 P.M. PT Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

CLIM3ATE- RP will award competitive grants to California-based eligible entities for research projects aligned with California’s efforts to successfully implement climate-smart agriculture, with a direct focus on nutrient management and methane reduction from dairy and livestock operations.

An appropriation of $5 million to CDFA Budget Act of 2021 (SB 170, Chapter 240) will be directed toward the assessment of the cost-effectiveness of various livestock methane reduction strategies on a per-metric-ton basis, including comparison of projects funded under the Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP) and the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP) as well as alternative methane reduction strategies such as dietary modifications, and research on manure-based product development.

Eligible entities can submit proposals for up to $2,000,000; $1,600,000; or $500,000 in CLIM3ATE-RP grants, depending on the research area outlined in the RFP.

The following entities are eligible for this program: tribal governments, resource conservation districts (RCDs), non-governmental organizations, private companies, non-profit organizations, and California public higher learning institutions.

The RFP for CLIM3ATE-RP, including detailed information on the application processes and requirements, as well as application assistance workshops conducted by CDFA will be available at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/research/

2022-12-21T10:40:42-08:00December 21st, 2022|

CDFA Accepting Public Comments on Block Grant Pilot Projects for Healthy Soils and SWEEP Programs

CDFA is now accepting comments on a draft Request for Grant Applications (RGA) for the Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Block Grant Pilot. A month-long public comment period begins November 16, 2022 and ends on December 15, 2022.

Under the block grant pilot program, qualified organizations across the state may apply for state funding and then disburse funds to eligible farmers/ranchers or agricultural operations for on-farm projects. Additionally, awarded organizations would provide technical assistance to implement on-farm projects or will partner with technical assistance providers to provide this support.

The Healthy Soils Program and SWEEP will make available approximately $35 and $40 million, respectively, for block grant pilot programs.

Eligible entities may be awarded up to $5 million for each program. The following entities could be eligible for a block grant pilot:
• Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs)
• University of California (UC), California Community Colleges, or California State Universities (CSU)
• Federally- and California-Recognized Native American Indian Tribe
• Local or regional government agencies such as air pollution control districts.
• Non-profits including, but not limited to:
o Groundwater Sustainability Agencies
o Irrigation districts
o Land trusts

The draft RGAs and email addresses to submit written comments are available at the links below:
• Healthy Soils – Block Grant Pilot Program https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/
• State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program – Block Grant Pilot www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep

CDFA will hold a public workshop on November 29, 2022 at 2:30 pm PT to answer questions on the draft Request for Grant Applications.

Register in advance for this webinar:
• https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_lrlp63tHRmGRhwsr0Lllzw

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

2022-11-16T11:06:40-08:00November 16th, 2022|

CDFA Accepting Pre-Proposals for 2023 Fertilizer Research and Education Program Grant Cycle

CDFA’s Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is now accepting pre-proposals for the 2023 cycle of the FREP Grant Program. If a pre-proposal is selected to advance in the evaluation process, a full proposal will be requested later.

FREP’s annual competitive grant program funds research, demonstration, outreach and education projects that advance environmentally safe and agronomically sound fertilization and irrigation practices, and minimize environmental impacts of fertilizing materials. The 2023 request for proposals includes several initiatives to help effectively manage irrigation water and fertilizing materials in California agriculture.

California’s agricultural communities are diverse, and many have historically lacked access to resources and information needed to successfully run their businesses. Thus, CDFA encourages projects that include demonstrable benefits for underserved farmers and farmworkers.

This year’s priorities include: outreach, education and demonstration projects focused on increasing the adoption of efficient nutrient and irrigation management practices and technologies; evaluating challenges and barriers to adoption of management practices; the role of organic input materials in soil nutrient management; demonstrating and/or validating management practices that optimize nutrient and/or irrigation water use; filling knowledge gaps for nutrient and irrigation management in specific crops; understanding nutrient movement from the root zone; and mitigation strategies to reduce nutrient losses.

Applicants are invited to submit two-page pre-proposals to FREP by Monday, December 19, 2022. Pre-proposals should be aligned with at least one of the identified priority research areas. Further information on the 2023 FREP Grant Program RFP, including timelines, application criteria and priority research areas are available on the program web page at www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/ffldrs/frep/CompetitiveGrantProgram.html

All pre-proposals will be reviewed by the Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC). Applicants whose pre-proposals are selected by TASC will be invited to develop full proposals.

2022-11-08T08:53:14-08:00November 8th, 2022|

Notice of the 2022-2023 Assessment Rate for the California Citrus Research Program

Upon the recommendation of the Citrus Research Board (Board), the California Department of
Food and Agriculture (Department) has established an assessment rate to be levied on California
citrus producers during the 2022-2023 marketing season, which is the period of October 1, 2022
through September 30, 2023. The assessment rate for the 2022-2023 marketing season has been
set at three and two-tenths cents ($0.032) per 40-pound standard field box, or the equivalent
thereof, of all types and varieties of citrus, as defined by the California Citrus Research Program,
marketed by producers and received by handlers or processors during the season. The
assessment rate for the 2022-2023 marketing season is two-tenths of one cent ($0.002) per
standard field box higher than last season’s rate.

In order to facilitate the collection of assessments, each handler or processor of California citrus is
required to remit assessment payments to the Board office on behalf of producers from whom they
receive citrus, including their own production. In turn, handlers and processors are authorized to
deduct such assessment payments from any money owed to such producers. Assessment forms
and additional instructions for reporting and remitting assessments on behalf of producers will be
provided to all citrus handlers and processors by the Board office.

Funds generated by this assessment are used to conduct general production research, a variety
improvement research program, a quality assurance program on agricultural chemical residues,
pest and disease control functions, and other activities pertinent to the California citrus industry.

If you have any questions regarding this assessment rate or the activities of the California Citrus
Research Program, please contact Marcy Martin, President of the Citrus Research Board, at (559)
738-0246, or Steven Donaldson with the Department’s Marketing Branch at (916) 900-5018.

2022-11-03T14:14:10-07:00November 3rd, 2022|

CDFA Announces Recall of Raw Goat Milk Produced at Valley Milk Simply Bottled of Stanislaus County

By Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, CDFA

Raw goat milk produced and packaged by Valley Milk Simply Bottled of Stanislaus County is the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones. The quarantine order came following the confirmed detection of the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni in the farm’s packaged raw whole goat milk sampled and tested by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The order applies to “Valley Milk Simply Bottled Raw Goat Milk” and “DESI MILK Raw Goat Milk” distributed in half-gallon (64 oz) plastic jugs with a code date marked on the container of OCT 21 2022 through OCT 31 2022.

Consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product remaining in their refrigerators, and retailers are to pull the product immediately from their shelves. The current order does not include the farm’s raw cow milk.

CDFA found the campylobacter bacteria in a routine sample collected at the Valley Milk Simply Bottled production and packaging facility. No illnesses have been reported.

Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Most people with camplylobacteriosis recover completely. Illness usually occurs 2 to 5 days after exposure to campylobacter and lasts about a week. The illness is usually mild and some people with campylobacteriosis have no symptoms at all. However, in some persons with compromised immune systems, it can cause a serious, life-threatening infection. A small percentage of people may have joint pain and swelling after infection. In addition, a rare disease called Guillian-Barre syndrome that causes weakness and paralysis can occur several weeks after the initial illness.

2022-10-25T08:11:48-07:00October 25th, 2022|

CDFA Announces Awards for $5 Million for the Beginning Farmer and Farmworker Training and Workforce Development Grant Program

By Steve Lyle, CDFA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s  Office of Farm Equity announces that it is awarding $5 million in grants for projects throughout the state through the 2022 Beginning Farmer and Farmworker Training and Workforce Development Grant Program. An additional $5 million will be made available in a second solicitation in 2023. The funding for this grant program was made possible through the 2021-2022 California general fund budget.

This program provides support to organizations to enhance or expand beginning farmer and farmworker training/apprenticeship programs. The overall goal of the program is to ensure that resources are dedicated to strengthening support for socially disadvantaged and/or beginning farmers and ranchers in the first ten years of business, and for farmworkers who can improve job security with additional skills training. A secondary goal of the program is to build and grow regional networks to ensure organizations can provide adequate support and training opportunities for those most underserved in the agriculture industry.

“We need new farmers and ranchers in California, and this program is a crucial step in cultivating the next generation of talent in agriculture,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “There is a place for all who have the desire to farm or to improve their skills to become farm managers, and this program will help us focus support to grow opportunities in agriculture.

The complete list of grant awardees and summaries of their projects can be found at:http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/bfftp

Eligible applicants could apply for two types of awards in this program: program planning and curriculum development grants of up to $100,000, or program implementation grants up to $1,000,000 for both beginning farmer training, and farmworker training or workforce development programs.

The following entities were eligible to apply for this program: Non-profit organizations, Tribal Governments and Community colleges. Community colleges were eligible as co-applicants with local partner organizations. Entities receiving funding demonstrated expertise in assisting socially disadvantaged, small-scale farmers, and farmworkers in workforce development programs.

Note — 33 percent of California farms are on nine acres or less and 43 percent of farms have less than $10,000 in sales. Women are primary producers on 32 percent of our farms; only eight percent of California farms are owned by non-white producers according to race; and about 10 percent of farmers are military veterans.

2022-10-13T10:31:54-07:00October 13th, 2022|

CDFA Accepting Grant Applications For Pollinator Habitat Program

By CDFA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications for the Pollinator Habitat Program administered by its Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation.

The 12-week application period opened August 31, 2022 and will close on November 23, 2022 at 5 p.m. PT.

Detailed information, including application processes and requirements, and registration links for two informational webinars to review program guidelines can be found on the program website at www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/php.

Pollinators are essential to many of California’s agricultural crops and to the vast biodiversity of the state’s natural ecosystems. The Pollinator Habitat Program’s primary objective is to support pollinators through the provision of floral resources, host plants, and other elements of suitable habitat. The program is designed to help strengthen pollinator populations and improve pollinator health. Projects funded through the PHP can be expected to have additional benefits to California’s biodiversity and agricultural production.

The program was established by the Budget Act of 2021 (Senate Bill 170, Skinner). An appropriation of $15 million to CDFA will provide grant funding for the establishment of pollinator habitats on agricultural lands throughout California.

Eligible entities can apply for up to $2 million in PHP grants to work with farmers and ranchers to install pollinator habitat on agricultural lands throughout California. Eligible entities include Resource Conservation Districts, non-profits, Tribes, and California public higher learning institutions. For more information about eligibility and a full list of eligible applicants and funded pollinator practices, visit the program website at www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/php.

Please sign up for the PHP email subscription to receive updates regarding the PHP by clicking on the following link www.cdfa.ca.gov/subscriptions/MailChimp-signup.html

2022-09-02T09:51:13-07:00September 2nd, 2022|

Mexican Fruit Fly Quarantine in Portion of San Diego County

By CDFA

A portion of San Diego County has been placed under quarantine for the Mexican fruit fly following the detection of six flies and one larva in and around the unincorporated area of Valley Center.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the San Diego County Agricultural Commissioner, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are working collaboratively on this project.

The quarantine area in San Diego County measures 77 square miles, bordered on the north by Wilderness Gardens Preserve; on the south by the Lake Wohlford Park; on the west by Moosa Canyon; and on the east by Hellhole Canyon Preserve.  A link to the quarantine map may be found here: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/mexfly/regulation.html.

As part of the eradication effort, approximately 250,000 sterile males will be released per square mile per week in an area of 43 square miles around the infestation.  Sterile male flies mate with fertile wild female flies but produce no offspring.  This reduces the Mexican fruit fly population as wild flies reach the end of their natural life span with no offspring to replace them, ultimately resulting in the eradication of the pest.  In addition, properties within 200 meters of detections are being treated with an organic formulation of Spinosad, which originates from naturally-occurring bacteria, in order to remove any live fruit flies and reduce the density of the population.  Fruit will also be removed within 100 meters of properties with larval detections and/or female fly detections.

The quarantine will affect any growers, wholesalers, and retailers of host fruit in the area as well as nurseries with Mexican fruit fly host plants. Local residents and home gardeners affected by the quarantine should consume homegrown produce on-site, to include canning, freezing or juicing and should not move host items from their property.  These actions protect against the spread of the infestation to nearby regions which may affect California’s food supply and our backyard gardens and landscapes.

The Mexican fruit fly can lay its eggs in and infest more than 50 types of fruits and vegetables, severely impacting California agricultural exports and backyard gardens alike.  For more information on the pest, please see the pest profile at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/go/MexFly.  Residents who believe their fruits and vegetables may be infested with fruit fly larvae are encouraged to call the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

The eradication approach used in the Valley Center area of San Diego County is the standard program used by CDFA and it is the safest and most effective and efficient response program available.

While fruit flies and other invasive species that threaten California’s crops and natural environment are sometimes detected in agricultural areas, the vast majority are found in urban and suburban communities.  The most common pathway for these invasive species to enter our state is by “hitchhiking” in fruits and vegetables brought back illegally by travelers as they return from infested regions of the world.  To help protect California’s agriculture and natural resources, CDFA urges travelers to follow the Don’t Pack a Pest program guidelines (www.dontpackapest.com).

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 pest-free.

2022-08-24T11:30:52-07:00August 24th, 2022|

Thanks California Farmers!

We are Grateful for the California Farmer

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

 It’s morning, and as the sun rises over the Sierra Mountains, the California farmer rouses early to plan the day and greet his or her employees alongside their pickup trucks.

Side-by-side, they

  • Walk the orchards of almonds, walnuts or pistachios;
  • Peruse the groves of citrus, peaches, plums, and nectarines;
  • Inspect the vineyards of table, raisin or wine grapes;
  • Survey the fields of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, celery or strawberries;
  • Raise forage to feed their healthy dairy cows.

We are grateful for the dedication of the California farmer:

Who may also be a rancher or dairyman.

Who takes NO days off from caring for their livestock and poultry.

Who follows the legacy of prior generations on the family farm.

Who contributes to our nation’s security by providing abundant, nutritious and safe homegrown food to eat.

 

We are grateful for the lawful vigilance of the California farmer:

Who checks their email for newly registered crop protection materials to prevent pests and diseases from destroying her crops.

Who adapts to ever-changing, complicated and costly regulations.

 

We are grateful for the responsible “buck-stops-here” accountability of the California farmer:

Who appreciates the dedication and experience of his employees.

Who follows preventive safety measures, such as providing work breaks, ample water, and shade from the heat.

Who pays her employees well and provides training for them.

Who ensures all equipment is well maintained and furnished with all safety features.

Who follows all best management practices whether industry-recommended or regulator-mandated.

Who adheres to all food safety laws and regulations to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Who tracks her produce every step in the process from seed to farm to fork.

 

We are grateful for the versatility of the California farmer:

Who farms more than 450 different crops—from artichokes, asparagus, and avocados, to

zucchini—which we all need to eat for great nutrition and vibrant health.

Who raises the wholesome foods that ought to dominate our plates to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases.

Who produces most, if not all, of the nation’s almonds, walnuts, pistachios, processing tomatoes, dates, table grapes, raisins, olives, prunes, figs, kiwi fruit, and nectarines.

Who leads the country’s production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries.

Who tends to his fields of stunning and delicate flowers that make so many people happy.

 

We are grateful for the ambitiousness of the California farmer:

Who produces award-winning, world-renown wine grapes, and vintages.

Who meets consumer demand for organic, gluten-free, low-fat, locally sourced, family-owned and farmed food.

Who increases the contributive value of California agriculture to the economy by stimulating secondary industries and jobs.

Who increases her yields to feed a hungry and growing world population.

Who contributes towards California’s 15% share of all U.S. agricultural exports (2015).

 

We are grateful for the conservation-minded California farmer:

Who uses drip or micro-sprinklers to conserve every drop of California’s water resources.

Who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in turnouts and valves to move floodwater onto their land, to build checks around open fields to capture runoff—all in an effort to recharge groundwater basins.

Who uses integrated pest management practices by following regulations and approved crop product directions, with an understanding of residues and the risk of pest and disease resistance.

Who uses fertilizers judiciously at the right time, for the right crop, in the right place, in the right amount, using the right methods.

Who installs solar panels to harness the abundant sunshine to power her operation.

Who floods her rice fields to conserve flyways for migrating birds and water for fish to thrive.

 

We are grateful for the savvy and social-minded California farmer:

Who advocates for his business and understands financing, accounting, insurance, and business and risk management planning.

Who reaches out to consumers (in her spare time) through social media to reassure excellent quality and safety control of their crops and to share their family’s farming legacy.

Who relays her challenges and achievements—the transparent, complex information that consumers want to know.

 

We are grateful for the accessible California farmer:

Who answers his phone to give directions on crop pruning, thinning and spraying.

Who responds to employee concerns with mutually beneficial solutions.

 

We are grateful for the generous California farmer:

Who contributes funding for local school gardens, agricultural curricula, harvest festivals, sports teams, Farm Bureaus, political action committees, and AgSafe.

Who donates to local food banks and homeless shelters.

 

We are grateful for the intelligent, knowledge-seeking California farmer:

Who regularly attends continuing education training on best practices, pest and disease management, and improved food safety practices.

Who stays current on scientific research and recommendations, and who chooses to fund such endeavors, plus industry associations and trade.

 

We are grateful for the deeply invested California farmer:

Who sends a text to her PCA to schedule a lunch meeting, then gets out of the truck and grabs a shovel to check soil moisture.

Who knows his field and weather conditions, trade and market variables, and employee concerns on a regular basis.

Who sustains the “California” brand known for exceptional quality, nutrition and safety.

 

We are grateful for the determination, stamina and perseverance of the California farmer:

Who stubbornly, painstakingly pushes for a good harvest despite growing challenges to his livelihood and way of life.

Who knows when to fallow a field, change a crop, or sell her business.

Who stewards her crop as best she can despite stormy weather, droughts, and floods.

Who relies on one paycheck per year, generally, which may or may not cover the cost of his operations.

 

We are grateful for the integrity of the California farmer:

Who checks his watch to make sure he arrives on time to his children’s parent-teacher meetings and extra-curricular activities.

Who is dedicated to her family, friends, and community.

 

We are grateful for the Optimistic California farmer:

Who realizes that hard times don’t last forever.

Who anticipates that next year could be better.

Who never gives up.

Who makes every effort to preserve his soil’s health, so it can produce the crop … for next year.

 

2020-11-25T06:58:34-08:00November 25th, 2020|
Go to Top