You might have heard the sorely disappointing news out of Sacramento that the Healthy Soils Program's funding will be discontinued! Another innovative program for water conservation, SWEEP, will also be cut.
There are two meetings in Salinas next week where feedback on those two programs will be collected. Please see info below and consider attending and speaking up!
1) Assembly Ag Committee & Select Committee on Rural Economic Development Hearing
@ Hartnell College - Alisal Campus in Salinas
Assemblymember Anna Caballero, the powerful chair of both committees above, is hosting this hearing. The focus of the hearing is Ag Tech Innovation and Workforce Readiness (agenda attached). This is a prime opportunity to advocate for restoring funding to the SWEEP program, given its role in promoting the use of advanced irrigation technology systems.
There will also be an open public comment period, which is a timely opportunity to express disappointment about the Healthy Soils funding cut and to ask for restored funding for the Healthy Soils program.
2) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel (EFA SAP) Mtg
The EFA SAP advises and oversees CDFA on the implementation of the Climate Smart Ag Programs, and their meetings are the primary public venue for us to share our constructive criticism. It would be more impactful to hear feedback on the programs directly from farmers and ranchers. Importantly, their agenda includes an update on the process for proposing additional practices for the Healthy Soils program, as well as updates on the SWEEP program and Strategic Planning. Their public comment period will be an important opportunity to share feedback on the 1st round of the Healthy Soils program and make initial pitches for additional practices (e.g. Conservation Crop Rotations & Prescribed Grazing).