Grant Opportunity for Specialty Crop Technical Assistance Hubs

people standing around soil health demonstration in field


CONTACT: Sara Letton – California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
530-303-8880 /

Sacramento, CA, July 6, 2020 —The California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) will fund four $35,000 grant projects benefiting California specialty crop producers. The full solicitation can be found here.

CARCD is accepting proposals for regional technical assistance hubs (new or existing) to develop partnerships and coordinate farm demonstration field day events toward a goal of increasing the adoption of climate beneficial on-farm conservation practices. Projects should develop and/or strengthen regional multi-organizational technical assistance support hubs and create on-farm demonstration based farmer education. Field days should be collaborations between technical assistance providers and specialty crop farms. CARCD welcomes applications from resource conservation districts, farm bureaus, commodity groups, the University of California Cooperative Extension, and other technical assistance providers.

Applications will be accepted until August 7, 2020, and the grant period will be September 2020 through February 2022. CARCD will grant four awards to any technical assistance provider in the amount of $35,000 each in four regions across the state. In addition, each project will have an additional $5,000 for farmer stipends in order to compensate for time spent coordinating and hosting with the provider(s)/hubs.

The project will provide an opportunity for farmers to find and connect with other farmers interested in implementing climate beneficial practices, and will make tools and resources readily available to producers. The farm demonstration field days will equip specialty crop farmers with tools and knowledge that are specific to region, crop type, and conservation focus including: soil health, irrigation efficiency, biodiversity enhancement, and more. Highlighting novel, innovative, and experimental conservation activities for specialty crops is encouraged. Attendance by farmers as well as specialty crop industry representatives is also encouraged.

“The implementation of environmentally friendly farming methods is integral to both the long term health of the soil and a farm’s bottom line, not to mention the need to strengthen resilience to climate change effects,” said Karen Buhr, Executive Director of CARCD. “Technical assistance providers around the state know their farmers and know how to provide the assistance that is needed in a safe manner. We are excited to provide this opportunity and look forward to seeing the creative approaches to sharing knowledge among specialty crop producers.”

This grant is open to technical assistance providers. If you are an interested specialty crop farmer, we encourage you to reach out to your local agricultural technical assistance providers and submit an application together.

Two Q&A Zoom webinars will be held, recorded, and later posted on this page.

The online application was opened on July 6, 2020 and will be available until 5:00pm on Friday, August 7, 2020. The first time you access the application site, you will need to register a new account by providing a user name and password. You can start the registration process by clicking “Log In” at the top right corner of the page. After logging in, a green “Apply” button will appear at the bottom of the page allowing you to start the application. Please contact Sara at or 530-303-8880, with any questions.