- Author: Valerie Perez
My name is Valerie Perez and I was hired by the Santa Cruz UC Cooperative Extension office as a Community Education Specialist (CES). I recently graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I received my bachelors in Agricultural Business. The summer before my last quarter at Cal Poly I interned with a large animal veterinarian and found my passion. For now, I am grateful for the opportunity in exploring ways to improve agriculture methods for a changing climate, while taking my pre-veterinary classes.
I briefly want to talk about the main goal of my job here at the UC and how I can hopefully help some of you in the near future. My job is to get growers and farmers familiar and/or to sign up for the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) grants that the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has.
Now, you may be wondering “What is Climate Smart Agriculture?” and the simple answer to this question is that there is no uniform response. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines CSA as an approach that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.
I want to touch on some of the information about the two grants that I am work closely with. For more in depth information about the grants you can visit this link: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/
The Healthy Soils Program (HSP) is divided into two different project types, the first being the HSP Incentives Program and the second is the HSP Demonstration Projects. Both project types provide financial assistance for agricultural practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases and improve soil health.
HSP Incentives Program:
- Receive up to $75,000
- Some of the eligible practices: cover crop, compost, hedgerow, no-till or reduced-till, mulching, and forage/biomass plantings
- Webpage: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html
HSP Demonstration Projects:
- Type A Projects: $250,000
- Type B Projects: $100,000
- Webpage: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/HealthySoils/DemonstrationProjects.html
The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) provides financial assistance to farmers and growers who implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water.
- Receive up to $100,000
- Some of the eligible practices: soil monitoring, drip system, switching to low pressure irrigation systems, pump retrofits, variable frequency drives and installation of renewable energy
- Webpage: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/sweep/
I am thrilled to be working for the UC and especially on these CSA grants. I truly believe this a great opportunity for growers and farmers to apply to. I am here to help you guys navigate through the application process, so please do not hesitate to contact me. I really enjoy hearing from you guys!