CDA Now Accepting Applications to Distribute $2M in State Stimulus Funding for  Soil Health

Broomfield, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications to distribute Colorado Comeback stimulus funds to conservation districts and other eligible entities. 

The funding comes from Senate Bill 21-235, which appropriated $2 million to the Colorado Department of Agriculture to administer voluntary soil health programs. By statute, $1 million of those funds will go directly to conservation districts. Applications are open until September 15, 2021. 

“The Soil Health program began as a grassroots effort and now we get to send conservation dollars directly back to those who have been asking for them,” said Cindy Lair, the State Conservation Board Program Manager at Colorado Department of Agriculture. “These grants will fund projects that help Colorado’s farmers and ranchers take steps to improve their soil, become more resilient, and eventually get paid for the ecosystem benefits they support.”

Grants will be run through CDA’s S.T.A.R. initiative, which stands for Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources. The S.T.A.R. initiative provides matching funds to farmers and ranchers who voluntarily adopt soil health practices that promote soil armor, minimize soil disturbance, and maximize plant diversity, among other soil health principles.

Entities eligible to apply include conservation districts, non-profit or cooperative organizations,Tribes, grower associations, individual producers, and research institutions. We are seeking projects that have a positive impact on multiple people or operations, have a strategy for measuring outcomes such as water retention, carbon sequestration, or profitability, and demonstrate measurable benefits to soil health.

CDA will hold two informational sessions about how the grant program can work with the conservation districts and eligible entities. The sessions will be held virtually, via Zoom, on two different days to allow for varying schedules. The presentations will be the same and both sessions will have time for questions and answers. 

The Soil Health grant info sessions will be held on:

More information about CDA’s Soil Health work, as well as applications for the grants, can be found on the S.T.A.R. Program website.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture exists to support the state’s agriculture industry and serve the people of Colorado through regulation, advocacy and education. Our mission is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture, promote a safe and high-quality food supply, protect consumers, and foster responsible stewardship of the environment and natural resources.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.