Healthy Soil Program

Welcome to the official website for NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program.

The period to apply for FY21-22 Healthy Soil Program grants ended July 2, 2021.  Eligible Entities and Individual Applicants alike will be notified of their application status the first week of August 2021.  Applicants whose projects are selected for Healthy Soil Program funding will be required to attend an online training for grantees on August 10, 2021.   Login information for the mandatory grantee training will be sent directly to grantees.

BACKGROUND: NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program

NMDA created its Healthy Soil Program when the Healthy Soil Act was signed into law in 2019.  The purpose of the program 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 health, yield and profitability of the soils of the state.” 

The Act directs NMDA to award grants to “eligible entities”, defined as “local governmental [entities] with proven land management capacity to support soil health”, including:

  • Nations, tribes, and pueblos
  • Land grants
  • Acequias
  • Soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs)
  • NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service

At the heart of the Healthy Soil Act and thus the Healthy Soil Program are five soil health principles:

  1. keeping soil covered;
  2. minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs;
  3. maximizing biodiversity;
  4. maintaining a living root; and
  5. integrating animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects or keystone species, such as earthworms.

More information about the fundamentals of soil health is available in this training, which was offered by NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service online during the fall of 2020.  (To access the free training, simply click on the bulleted “Soil Health Workshop” hyperlink.)

Contact NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program: