Jun 15, 2021New Mexico ag department opens Healthy Soil Program grant applications
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act.
The act’s purpose is to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the state’s soil health, yield and profitability.
Potential applicants include Eligible Entities, such as nations, tribes and pueblos; land grants; acequias; soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs); and New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. Farmers and ranchers may also apply, provided they have secured project support from an SWCD or a nation, tribe or pueblo. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, July 2. Late applications will not be accepted.
Grant funding may be used for agricultural projects in New Mexico that focus on one or more of five basic soil health principles: keeping the soil covered; minimizing soil disturbance on cropland; maximizing biodiversity; maintaining a living root; and integrating animals into land management.
“I encourage farmers, ranchers and all Eligible Entities to apply for this program, which is geared toward improving New Mexico’s soil health,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “Based on feedback from applicants and Eligible Entities during several listening sessions we hosted earlier this year, our team has made several improvements to the entire process.”
NMDA strongly recommends that farmers and ranchers who intend to apply as Individual Applicants make themselves known as soon as possible to the SWCD or nation, tribe or pueblo that will support their project.
For more information and to apply, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu/healthy-soil-program.
For grant cycles beginning in 2019, the agency has administered over $1.5 million in funds to support agriculture initiatives in the state through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Healthy Soil Program combined.
For more information, visit here.
Photo at top: The strip-till conservation system aligns with the Healthy Soil Act’s basic soil health principles. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for its Healthy Soil Program, which was created in the 2019 Healthy Soil Act. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, July 2.