New Mexico Department of Agriculture accepting Healthy Soil Program grant applications


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Kristie Garcia
Public Affairs Director, New Mexico Department of Agriculture
krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu
575-339-5011

May 28, 2021

New Mexico Department of Agriculture accepting Healthy Soil Program grant applications

 Eligible Entities, farmers and ranchers invited to apply

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LAS CRUCES – 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.

Close-up of a field crop that uses the strip-till conservation system
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. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

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.

A stripped crop is between two tall, green crops, showing a strip-till conservation system that only disturbs the portion of the soil that is to contain the seed row
By only disturbing the portion of the soil that is to contain the seed row, 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. (Photo courtesy of New Mexico Department of Agriculture)

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture benefits the public by promoting the viability and advancement of New Mexico agriculture and affiliated industries. The agency promotes a fair marketplace, food protection, marketing, and economic development; supports the beneficial use and conservation of natural resources; and works cooperatively with the public and private sectors. 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.

Find us at:
www.nmda.nmsu.edu
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NMDeptAg
YouTube: NMDeptAg
LinkedIn: New Mexico Department of Agriculture

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