California Policy

Half a decade after MCP began working to bring the agriculture into the climate conversation and targeted education efforts by MCP in 2014 and 2015 that led to California Governor Brown making natural and working lands the fifth pillar of the State’s climate strategy. The Governor also established the Healthy Soils Initiative, to be administered by the CA Department of Food and Agriculture and guided by an Intergagency Workplan. The state also acknowledged the risk that agriculture faces from climate change.

HEALTHY SOILS PROGRAM

In 2016, two state bills, Senate Bill 1350 introduced by Senator Lois Wolk, and Senate Bill 859, established the Healthy Soils Program administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The Healthy Soils Program was also championed by State Representative Marc Levine.  A competitive grant program funded by the State’s cap and trade revenues was offered in 2017 and allocated $7.5 million for agricultural “management practices that contribute to healthy soils and result in net long-term on-farm greenhouse gas benefits.” The 2017 Healthy Soils Program used the COMPOST-Planner, a CA State modeling tool based on the NRCS COMET tools developed in partnership with MCP.

OTHER STATE PROGRAMS SUPPORT CARBON FARMING

There are several programs offered by the State of California which may be used in support of carbon farming.

The Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program provides funding to realize the State’s climate adaptation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals by making strategic investments to protect agricultural lands.

The California Coastal Conservancy’s Climate Ready Program works to support practices in state’s coastal communities that sequester greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through the conservation of natural and working lands.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture offers an Alternative Manure Management Program which provides annual funding for the implementation of non-digester manure management practices on California dairies and animal agricultural operations.