Two organic farms get soil grants

Two Hollister organic farms have been awarded state grants to build healthy soils.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced grants for Oya Organics and Loyalty Organic Farms, from among $15 million in grants announced statewide.

Oya Organics will receive $53,767 and Loyalty Organic Farms, owned by Linda Chu, will receive a grant of $75,000.

The grants were announced by 30th District Assemblymember Robert Rivas of Hollister, who said grants totalling $422,720 went to 12 projects in his district. The funding comes after the CDFA  received $10 million from the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 and $5 million from the California Climate Investments by the Budget Act of 2018.  

“The Healthy Soils Program does tremendous work to support farmers and ranchers in developing environmentally friendly farming practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the health of our soil,” said Rivas. “These grants will provide an opportunity for our region to be an example of how we can adapt in the face of global warming and preserve our strong agricultural economy.”

The Healthy Soils Program (HSP) is comprised of two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects. The incentives program provides funding that allows for the implementation of conservation management that improves soil health, sequesters carbon and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The demonstration projects highlight how California farmers and ranchers put the practices from the Healthy Soils Program into action.

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