Leveraging outside funds for local farms

February 22, 2021

Posted in: News Articles

We access state and federal funding sources to stretch our sales tax dollars. Most recently, we’ve garnered funds from the following sources:

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
Through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, we have brought in $11.5 million for agricultural conservation easements and conservation planning through the agency’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

  • 2016 – $8 million – Ag + Open Space has partnered with numerous other local agencies and non-profits to secure an $8 million grant to fund the purchase of agricultural conservation easements, assist with agricultural conservation plans, and help fund on-the-ground farm and ranch improvements. These funds are being matched by more than $12 million in pledges from Ag + Open Space and other partners to further support this work. That’s more than $20 million to help local farmers and ranchers keep their land, become more environmentally sustainable, and become more climate-resilient.
  • 2020 – $3.5 million – These grant funds will assist with the purchase of conservation easements to preserve agricultural land, with the added benefit of helping to restore riparian and forest ecosystems, improve habitat for threatened and endangered species, protect surface and groundwater, and support community resilience to extreme events including catastrophic wildfire and flooding.

Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) Program
Ag + Open Space secured $750,000 in grant funds from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation (SALC) program to protect the 700-acre Mattos Ranch/Diamond M Dairy with an agricultural conservation easement. The funding will contribute to the total purchase price of the conservation easement and will help keep two dairies in the Two Rock Valley in operation for the next generation.