Policy Catalog

Soil Health Policy Resources

Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, President & CEO of the Soil Health Institute, leads efforts to connect soil health researchers to current policies and programs.
A Catalog of Academic, State Agency and Legislative Policies & Programs to Advance Soil Health
Soil health policies are growing in number and importance across the United States but are widely dispersed across a variety of academic institutions, state agencies and legislative bodies. This catalog brings these policy efforts together to facilitate cross-pollination, learning and coordination. Developed by the Soil Health Institute (SHI) Policy Action Team, this comprehensive online catalog of soil health policies will help agricultural leaders find action-focused resources quickly.

The catalog is organized by the following components:

Contact information is provided to facilitate follow-up with the coordinating entity.

SHI would like to thank Jamie Fanous and Dr. Timothy Griffin of Tufts University, and Dr. Rob Myers of USDA-SARE for their leadership on the SHI Policy Action Team in developing this catalog.

The Policy Action Team would appreciate your assistance in identifying additional academic programs, state agency efforts and legislative initiatives related to soil health. Please submit newly identified policy efforts using the form at the bottom of the page.


Title State Summary Purpose Contact
UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley Food Institute CA Build a healthy and sustainable food system. Research, Education Ann Thrupp, athrupp@berkeley.edu
UC Davis - Agricultural Sustainability Institute: Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility CA Working ranch that does research on soil health and conducts long-term farm management experiments. Research, Education Kate Scow, kmscow@ucdavis.edu
University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Solution Center for Nutrient Management CA Website designed as a meeting place for education and awareness for nutrient management across the state of California to improve access to research and practical, science-based information on nutrient management practices. Education Aubrey Thompson, abthompson@ucdavis.edu
Colorado State University - Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory: COMET Farm CO Carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system for an entire farm. Reducing GHG emissions, Education Keith Paustian, keith.paustian@colostate.edu
University of Hawaii at Manoa: Soil Health Management - College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources HI Best management practices for cropping systems in tropical soils. Education Koon-Hui Wang, koonhui@hawaii.edu
Iowa State University: Soil Management/Environment IA Long-term research projects on soil health and best practices. Education Dr. Mahdi Al-Kaisi, malkaisi@iastate.edu
University of Idaho: Department of Soil and Water Systems ID Established faculty dedicated to adressing issues relating to soil health and fertility. Education cals-sws@uidaho.edu
Purdue University Extension: Purdue Soil Health IN Web guide for High School teachers to improve practices on farms across the state through education of high schoolers. Education Eileen Kladivko, kladivko@purdue.edu, Natalie Carroll, ncarroll@purdue.edu
Purdue University: Purdue University Soil and Water IN Tools for farmers provided on a mobile friendly interface. Education, Online Resources Jennifer Woodyard
Purdue Extension: Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative IN To improve soil health on Indiana's cropland through farmer driven efforts. Education Eileen Kladivko, kladivko@purdue.edu
Kansas State University Extension: Soil Management KS Education on proper soil management that leads to good soil health. Education DeAnn Presley, deann@ksu.edu
Louisiana State University: LSU AgCenter LA Web resources for information regarding conservation tillage to improve water quality in Louisiana's waterways. Education web@agcenter.lsu.edu
University of Maryland Extension: Soil Health MD New three year professional development program that focuses on soil health for producers. Education Nevin Dawson, ndawson@umd.edu
Michigan State University Extension: Soil Health MI Teach best management practices to farmers and provide news, programming and resources related to soil health. Education Jeff Dwyer, 517-355-2308
University of Minnesota: Forever Green MN Promote high efficiency agriculture by diversifying crops grown on farms and implement cover crop and soil health intiatives. Education Don Wyse, wysex001@umn.edu., Nick Jordan, jorda020@umn.edu
University of Missouri: Soil Health Assessment Center MO Develop a more holistic approach to the testing of soil. Soil characterization services include physical, chemical and biological properties of soil for farmers, landowners, researchers, consulting firms, state agencies and landscape architects. Education, Soil Health Testing Brandt, Donna K. brandtdk@missouri.edu
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center: MO DIRT MO MO DIRT (Missourians Doing Impact Research Together) - Education and empowering citizens about soil health and how to improve and study the factors that affect it. Education, Citizen Science modirt@danforthcenter.org
Montana State University: Soil Fertility Extension Program MT Provide background knowledge on the processes that affect nutrient cycling to better understand and develop best practices. Educate and provide technical assistance to extension agents, producers, and crop advisers across Montana. Education/Extension, Soil Testing Dr. Clain Jones, clainj@montana.edu
North Dakota State University: Soil Health & Land Management ND Focus on soil health within the larger context of NDSU extension; develop relationships with stakeholders; and develop best practices and apply science based education on soil health for land managers. Education Abbey Wick, abbey.wick@ndsu.edu
University of Nebraska Extension: Crop Watch NE Provide an online resource on a variety of subjects related to agricultural production written by Extension Educators and Specialists and produced by IANR Media in the UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, CropWatch. Education Lisa Brown Jasa, Editor
Cornell University: Comprehensive Assessment of Soil Health NY Extensive laboratory soil testing that standardizes soil health factors and provides a more detailed assessment of soil. Education, Soil Health Testing Bob Schindelbeck, rrs3@cornell.edu; Harold Van Es, hmv1@cornell.edu
Ohio State University Extension: Healthy Soil Healthy Environment OH Creation of a soil health education and outreach network to build Ohio's soil health. Education, Soil Testing Alan Sundermeier, sundermeier.5@osu.edu
Oklahoma State University - Department of Plant and Soil Sciences: No Till Oklahoma OK Foster the implementation of no-till farming. Education Jason Warren, jason.warren@okstate.edu
Oregon State University: Soil Health Initiative OR Develop a set of nationally adopted soil health metrics, process samples, and develop a database for producers to better manage their land. Soil Testing Shannon Andrews, shannon.andrew@oregonstate.edu
PennState Extension: Soil Health for One Health PA New focus for a program on soil health involving many faculty. Education Kristy Borrelli, kab617@psu.edu
South Dakota State University - SDSU Extension: North Central Region Soil Health & Water Quality Initiative SD Adoption of soil health practices to better address water quality problems in the state of South Dakota and beyond. Education David Kringen, david.kringen@sdstate.edu
Texas A&M University: Texas Watershed Steward Program TX Watershed scale approach to alleviating water quality problems across the entire state of Texas through a one-day course. Education Michael Kiutu, mkuitu@tamu.edu
Virginia Tech Extension: Soil Health and Cover Crops VA Topic page focused on how to build soil health. Education, Publications Eric Bendfeldt,
Virginia Tech, Ferrum College: Virginia Soil Health Coalition VA Collaborate between private, government and university partners across the state of Virginia. Promote and implement four core principles for soil health. Education Lee Daniels, wdaniels@vt.edu
UVM Extension: Northwest Crops and Soils Program VT Deliver best practices to Vermont farmers for better production and overall health of the system. Education, Research Heather Darby, heather.darby@uvm.edu
Washington State University - Puyallup: Organic Farming Systems and Nutrient Management WA Apply soil science principles and recycling of waste products to better build soil health and improve organic farming systems. Education Doug Collins, dpcollins@wsu.edu
Conservation Professional Training Program: Soil Health Training Initiative WI The Conservation Professional Training Program (CPTR) provides more than 100 different courses on various conservation agriculture practices from nutrient management to soil health management to ensure increases in crop production, mitigate for extreme weather shocks, and lower operation costs. Education, Resource Conservation Professional Training Program
phone: 608.262.0020
email: cptp@uwex.edu
Kevin Erb, kevin.erb@ces.uwex.edu

State Agency

Title State Summary Goal Strategy/ Incentive Point of Contact
Alaska Association of Conservation Districts: Agriculture Programs AK Various conservation districts have conservation tillage equipment for rent, or offer cost-share for small projects to improve soil health. Soil Health Equipment Rental http://www.alaskaconservationdistricts.org/contact-us
Alabama Department of Environmental Management: Nonpoint Source Pollution Program AL The Alabama Nonpoint Source Management Program uses a voluntary approach to address nonpoint source pollution. The program relies on best management practices, education and outreach, technology transfer, monitoring and assessments, and resource assistance using a balanced statewide and watershed-focused restoration approach. Local partnerships and citizen input are primary implementation components. CWA section 319(h) grants are available to fund targeted, on-the-ground, implementation practices to restore impaired waterbodies in our state. Reducing run-off Grants npsmail@adem.state.al.us 334-260-4501
Arkansas Natural Resources Commission: Agricultural Water Quality Loan Program AR The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, in conjunction with conservation districts and participating banks, provides low-interest loan money to agricultural land owners for installation of conservation practices that reduce nonpoint source pollution impacts to water quality. This includes purchasing no-till drills. Reducing Run-off Loans Debby Dickson, Program Coordinator, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, (501) 682-0548, debra.dickson@arkansas.gov
California Department of Food and Agriculture: Healthy Soils Program CA The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP), consisting of Incentives Program and Demonstration Projects, provides financial assistance for incentivizing and demonstrating the implementation of conservation agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases and improve soil health. Soil Health Funding, Grants, Education CDFA.OEFI@cdfa.ca.gov
California Department of Food and Agriculture: Healthy Soils Initiative CA California’s Healthy Soils Initiative is a collaboration of state agencies and departments, led by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), to promote the development of healthy soils on California’s farm and ranchlands. Innovative farm and ranch management practices contribute to building adequate soil organic matter that can increase carbon sequestration and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon Sequestration, Soil Health Loans California Department of Food & Agriculture
1220 N St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Connecticut Resource Conservation and Development Area: Soil Health Initiative CT Workshops and demonstrations regarding soil health. Soil Health Demonstration, Education admin@ctrcd.org
Sussex County Conservation District: Cover Crop Program DE Cover Crops are proven to be one of the easiest and most effective conservation practices in Sussex County. To promote this practice, the District's Cover Crop Program will make direct payments to farmers who plant in accordance with the program guidelines. Participants are limited to $12,500 in cover crop assistance. Soil Health Grants 302-856-3990 ext.3
Hawaii Office of Planning: Carbon Farming Task Force HI The Carbon Farming Task Force will identify agricultural, aquacultural, and agroforestry practices to improve soil health and promote carbon sequestration in the state’s agricultural, aquacultural, and agroforestry sectors. Achieving Sustainability Goals Education Sandy Ma, Project Analyst State of Hawaii Office of Planning Coastal Zone Management Program 235 S. Beretania St., Ste. 600 Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96804 sandy.s.ma@hawaii.gov 808.587.2803
Field Services Bureau, Department of Agriculture: Financial Assistance For Conservation Practices IA Fund allocations are made to soil and water conservation districts, commissioners set priorities for their use, and field office staff assure the technical quality of practices built. These practices are subject to maintenance agreements. State cost share can be used for temporary or permanent practices, including no-till, cover crops, conservation planting, etc. Conservation Practices Grants 515-281-5321
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality: Soil and Water Conservation Cost Share IA Up to 50% cost-share program to help farmers install conservation practices including cover crops. Conservation Practices Cost-share 515-281-5322
Field Services Bureau, Department of Agriculture: No-interest Loans IA No-interest loans for the construction of "permanent soil conservation structures." Up to $20,000 for 10 years. Conservation Practices Loans 515-281-5323
Field Services Bureau, Department of Agriculture: Water Quality Protection Program IA Cost-share program to help farmers install conservation practices including cover crops, conservation tillage, for the purpose of improving water quality. Funds are allocated via conservation districts. Conservation practices Cost-share 515-281-5324
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship: Cover-crop Crop Insurance Demonstration Project IA Crop-insurance premium-reduction program, with the purpose of incentivizing the use of cover crops. Gives farmers $5 for every acre planted in cover crops. Cover Crops Insurance Premium Reduction Wallace State Office Building
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Clean Water Iowa: Iowa Water Quality Initiative IA Initiative to reduce nutrient run-off. Includes several ongoing projects to reduce runoff by using cover crops and other mechanisms. Run-off Reduction Funding Wallace State Office Building
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Illinois Department of Agriculture: Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program - "Partners for Conservation Fund" IL Provides grants to farmers and nonprofit organizations to demonstrate and educate about conservation tillage and sustainable farming practices that minimize environmental degredation, runoff and erosion. Grants for Demonstration, Education, and Research Grants Bureau of Land and Water Resources, (217) 782-6297
Illinois Department of Natural Resources: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) IL Conservation Reserve Enhancement program (CREP) is an enhanced version of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The CREP Program is a Federal, State and Local partnership designed to retire frequently flooded and environmentally sensitive cropland to achieve restoration and long-term protection. In Illinois, landowners implement conservation practices in the eligible CREP watersheds to reduce sedimentation and nutrients, improve water quality, and to create and enhance critical habitat for fish and wildlife populations. Retirement Retirement Mike Chandler (217) 785-8773 Mike.Chandler@Illinois.gov
Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District: Soil Health Initiative IN The Marion County SWCD Soil Health Initiative helps urban farms and growers regenerate soil health and improve water quality. A suite of conservation practices is our guide. The District provides workshops, events, hands-on demonstrations, and soil health technical assistance. The Soil Health Guide provides growers with background information on soil health, and how to manage for soil health in the field. The Soil Health Initiative encourages growers to use a suite of conservation practices. The goal of these strategies is to improve soil health, plant health, nutrient efficiency, and the soil’s ability to infiltrate, store, and clean water. Soil Health Technical Assistance, Education (317) 786-1776
Indiana Conservation Partnership: Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative IN The Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) is a program of the Indiana Conservation Partnership. Through a farmer-focused and farmer-driven process, the program works with Local Level Partnerships and others to promote the adoption of practices and cropping systems that can lead to improved soil health. Soil Health Demonstration, Education ccsi@iaswcd.org
Indiana Deparment of Agriculture: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) IN CREP is a federal-state natural resource conservation program. Its purpose is to address water quality and wildlife issues by reducing sediment and nutrient run-off and enhancing wildlife habitats. Through CREP, program participants receive financial incentives from USDA and the State of Indiana to voluntarily enroll in the program for 14 to 15 years. Retirement Retirement Julie Harrold, Program Manager - CREP and Water Quality Initiatives, 260.341.6698
Indiana Department of Agriculture: Clean Water Indiana Grants IN The Clean Water Indiana (CWI) Program was established to provide financial assistance to landowners and conservation groups. The financial assistance supports the implementation of conservation practices, which will reduce nonpoint sources of water pollution through education, technical assistance, training, and cost sharing programs. The CWI fund is administered by the Division of Soil Conservation under the direction of the State Soil Conservation Board. The (CWI) Program is responsible for providing local matching funds as well as grants for sediment and nutrient reduction projects through Indiana’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts. CWI also contributes critical state matching funds for Indiana’s Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, an initiative that utilizes federal funds to encourage landowners to conserve environmentally sensitive land. Furthermore, the (CWI) Program has supported the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative, which focuses on management systems approach to crop production that results in improved soil and water quality as well as profitability on Indiana cropland. Funding Grants Leah Harmon, Clean Water Indiana Program Manager, 317.607.4127
Department of Agriculture: Division of Soil Conservation IN The mission is to increase agricultural economic benefits by assisting Indiana’s farmers in the application of advanced agronomic technologies while improving upon Indiana’s soil health and water quality. The DSC is one of the partners of the Indiana Conservation Partnership. Soil Health Technical Assistance, Education communications@isda.in.gov; 317.232.8770
Kansas Department of Agriculture: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) KS Retirement program to enhance water conservation efforts along the Upper Arkansas River corridor. The Upper Arkansas River CREP is a voluntary, incentive-based program allowing producers to enroll eligible irrigated acres in targeted areas for 14–15 year contracts with FSA, permanently retire the associated state water rights on the enrolled acres, and establish an approved land cover (typically a native grass) on the same acreage. The producer receives an annual rental payment, plus additional cost-share opportunities for specific conservation practices from FSA, plus an upfront incentive payment from DOC. Land Retirement Retirement Steve Frost, CREP Coordinator, KDA (785) 564-6622, Steve.Frost@kda.ks.gov
Kansas Department of Health and Environment: Clean Water Neighbor Program KS 40% cost-share program to reduce nonpoint source run-off. Run-off Reduction Cost-share Travis Sieve, CWN Program Coordinator
tsieve@kdheks.gov(785) 296-0051
Kansas Department of Health and Environment: Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) KS Cost share program to restore and protect watersheds. Mostly non-agriculture related, but terraced cropland that is under no-till management can be enrolled. Run-off Reduction Cost-share Telephone: 785-296-4195
Email: nps@kdhe.state.ks.us
Kansas Department of Health & Environment
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 420
Topeka, KS 66612
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) LA Retirement program to remove environmentally sensitive land in two specific regions. In the Coastal Prairie region, the goal is to restore it to native grasses, primarily. In the Lower Ouachita River Basin, the goal is to reduce nonpoint source pollution from agricultural lands by installing conservation measures. Run-off Reduction Retirement TOLL-FREE
5825 Florida Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Division of Conservation Services: Commission for Conservation of Soil, Water & Related Resources MA Coordinates soil and water conservation programs for the state, through the Division of Conservation Services. Soil Conservation Education thomas.anderson@state.ma.us
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources: Organic Certification Cost Share Program MA It is a cost sharing program that reimburses certified organic farmers and food processors up to 75% ($750 maximum) of the total certification cost. Included because of the potential soil-health benefits associated with organic practices. Organic Certification Cost-share michael.rock@state.ma.us
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources: Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP) MA AEEP is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds materials and labor for conservation practices that mitigate or prevent negative impacts to the state's natural resources that may result from agricultural practices. Practices funded include those that prevent direct impacts on water quality, ensure efficient use of water, and address agricultural impacts on air quality. Reimbursement grants up to $25,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Conservation Practices Grant Laura J. Maul, (617) 626-1739, Laura.Maul@state.ma.us
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources: Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) Program MA The Agricultural Climate Resiliency & Efficiencies (ACRE) program is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds materials and labor for the implementation of practices that address the agricultural sector’s vulnerability to climate change, improves economic resiliency and advances the general goals identified in the Massachusetts Local Action Food Plan. Reimbursement grants up to $50,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Conservation Practices Grant Laura J. Maul, (617) 626-1739, Laura.Maul@state.ma.us
Maryland Department of Agriculture: Cover Crop Program MD The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share Program provides farmers with cost-share grants to help offset seed, labor and equipment costs associated with planting cover crops immediately following the summer crop harvest. Cover crops may not be harvested, but can be grazed or chopped for livestock forage for on-farm use after becoming well established. Cost-share rates vary from year to year, however, in recent years, farms have received up to $75/acre to plant cover crops in their fields. Run-off Reduction Funding Norman Astle, Program Administrator, 410-841-5864
Maryland Department of Agriculture: Maryland Income Tax Subtraction Modification for Conservation Equipment MD Helps farmers offset costs associated with buying certain types of conservation equipment to control soil erosion, manage nutrients and protect water quality in streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. The subtraction modification allows farmers to subtract eligible equipment purchases from taxable income on Maryland individual and corporate tax returns. Conservation Practices Tax Break 50 Harry S. Truman Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 841-5700
Maryland Department of Agriculture: The Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost-Share (MACS) Program MD Provides farmers with grants to cover up to 87.5 percent of the cost to install conservation measures known as best management practices on their farms to prevent soil erosion, manage nutrients and safeguard water quality in streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Run-off Reduction Funding Norman Astle, Program Administrator, 410-841-5864
Maryland Department of Agriculture: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) MD CREP participants receive attractive annual rental payments that are above rates offered by the traditional Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Landowners must agree to take streamside property, certain highly erodible land, or wetlands out of production for 10 to 15 years and maintain grass, shrubs, trees or wetlands for the life of the contract. Additional incentive payments offered through CREP add between 80% and 200% to the local soil rental rate. Run-off Reduction Retirement Norman Astle, Program Administrator, 410-841-5864
Prince George's Soil Conservation District (and others): Rental Equipment Program MD Allows in-district farmers to rent no-till seeders. Other Conservation Districts have similar programs - follow link for list of all districts: http://www.mascd.net/districts/default.html Conservation Practices Equipment Rental Wade Hampton - Conservation Planner, Wade.Hampton@md.nacdnet.net
Maine Department of Environmental Protection: Nonpoint Source Water Pollution Control Grants (319) ME Grant program to reduce nonpoint source pollution. Run-off Reduction Funding Wendy Garland
Phone: 207-615-2451
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) MI Voluntary program to help reduce pollution and improve cropping systems. Run-off Reduction Incentive mda-esd-maeap@michigan.gov
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) MI Introducing CREP Michigan's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was created to help protect our environment and wildlife. Michigan is partnering with the federal government to implement conservation practices of great significance to the state, and valuable to the nation, in matters of soil erosion, water quality, and wildlife habitat. Conservation practices include planting native grasses. Run-off reduction Retirement https://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-3099---C,00.html
Allegan Conservation District: Rabbit River Watershed Pay-For-Performance Program MI Allegan Conservation District has funds to help farmers implement conservation practices on up to 4,500 acres of land in the Rabbit River Watershed for the purpose of reducing agricultural pollutants flowing into the watershed. Practices covered through this grant include including cover crop, exclusion fencing, filter strips, mulch-till, and no-till. This program will use a pay-for-performance approach which provides a financial incentive for farmers to achieve measurable improvements in water quality. Conservation Practices Funding Tori Harris - Watershed Technician tori.harris@macd.org 269-673-6940 x5
Various Conservation Districts: Equipment Rental Program MI Various conservation districts rent out no-till seed drills. Conservation Practices Equipment Rental http://macd.org/district-list
Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program MN These grants support innovative on-farm research and demonstrations. Projects must explore sustainable agricultural practices and systems, and findings are published in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's annual Greenbook publication. The program objectives are to explore the profitability, energy efficiency, and benefits of sustainable agriculture practices and systems from production through marketing. Grants are available to fund on-farm research and demonstrations and may include, but are not limited to: cover crops and crop rotations, conservation tillage, farm diversification using traditional and non-traditional crops and livestock, etc. Conservation Practices Grants Ann Kuzj, Grants Specialist, ann.kuzj@state.mn.us
Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Native Prairie Tax Exemption MN Encourages retirement of native prairie land by exempting the land from property taxes. Soil Health, Conservation Retirement prairie.protection@state.mn.us
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Minnesota Native Prairie Bank MN Conservation easement for native prairie. Conservation, Retirement Retirement Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367)
Email us: info.dnr@state.mn.us
Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) MN The Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a voluntary opportunity for farmers and agricultural landowners to take the lead in implementing conservation practices that protect our water. Those who implement and maintain approved farm management practices will be certified and in turn obtain regulatory certainty for a period of 10 years. Conservation Practices Certification Brad Redlin, Program Manager
Missouri Department of Agriculture: Missouri Agricultural Stewardship Assurance Program MO The Missouri Agricultural Stewardship Assurance Program (ASAP) is a verification program that champions Missouri farmers who are responsible stewards of the land. It’s meant to acknowledge and reward those who proactively protect the environment, employ sound management practices and use science-based technology to produce safe food, fuel and fiber for consumers. Specifically includes soil health practices on grassland and cropland. Conservation Practices Certification (573) 751-4762 alan.freeman@mda.mo.gov
Missouri Department of Natural Resources: Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program MO The Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Program assists farmers and landowners with soil and water conservation by providing partial reimbursement for a number management practices. These voluntary practices are designed to address areas such as grazing, irrigation, woodland, pest and nutrient management, animal waste, ground and surface water, and soil erosion. Conservation Practices Funding 573-751-4932
Missouri Department of Agriculture: Cover Crop Regional Conservation Partnership Program MO The project’s goal is to improve the adoption and utilization of cover crops by Missouri landowners to improve the production capacity of soils that are classified as highly erodible or have organic matter content less than two percent on 20,000 acres annually. The program will provide eligible landowners cost-share assistance to plant cover crops. The “Cover Crops for Soil Health and Water Quality” RCPP project is a five year cost-share program available statewide with annual sign up periods. Cover Crop Cost-share abd@mda.mo.gov
Montana Department of Environmental Quality: Water Pollution Control State Revolving Fund (WPCSRF) Loan Program MT The Montana Legislature established the Water Pollution Control State Revolving Fund (WPCSRF) Loan Program for water pollution control projects. The program provides at or below market interest rate loans to eligible Montana entities. No-till equipment and Best Management Practices are eligible water quality projects. Run-off Reduction Loans http://deq.mt.gov/DEQAdmin/about/ContactUs
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation: Range Improvement Loan Program MT The Range Improvement Loan Program was started in 1979 as part of the Rangeland Resource Program (MCA 76-14-111). It makes low-interest loans available to Montana's farmers and ranchers for rangeland improvements and development, and provides low-interest loans as an incentive for private landowners to undertake range improvement practices. Can presumably be used for rotational grazing or other soil-improving practices. Pasture Quality Loans Laurie Zeller, Bureau Chief: 406-444-6669 Conservation District Bureau
NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation: Soil Health Initiative: Mobile Soils Classroom NC The Mobile Soils Classrooms will be used to teach all citizens about the benefits and the importance of soil health. Education Education 919.510.4599
NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation: Improving Pasture Management Program NC The program's purpose is to improve pasture management on private lands so that pastures are more resilient to future environmental challenges. Historic priorities included strengthening pastures on marginal lands and serving farmers phasing out tobacco production. Pasture Quality Funding 919.510.4599 ncfswc@gmail.com
NC Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation: Soil Health Initiative: Multi-Species Cover Crops NC The purpose of the program is to promote and refine the use of multi-species cover crops in North Carolina, supporting the national Soil Health Initiative. Demonstration sites are being established to show producers that a diverse mixture of cover crop species can be planted in a timely manner, allowed to grow and accumulate biomass and nitrogen, and be terminated without tillage. Soil Health Demonstration 5171 Glenwood Avenue
Suite 330
Raleigh NC 27612
North Dakota Department of Health - Environmental Health: Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program ND The North Dakota NPS Management Program mission is to implement a voluntary, incentive-based program that restores and protects the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of waters where the beneficial uses are threatened or impaired due to nonpoint sources of pollution. Covers a wide range of best management practices, including fencing for improved grazing, cover crops, no-till practices, etc. Run-off Reduction Funding Dave Glatt
P: 701.328.5150
E: EHS@nd.gov
Nebraska Environmental Trust: Grants Program NE Provides various environmental grants. Categories include soil management: actions and strategies to preserve, conserve and restore soil health; actions to research, design or foster the implementation and management of these strategies; actions to inform and educate, which contribute to the attainment of this category. Conservation Practices Funding marilyn.tabor@nebraska.gov
New Hampshire Association of Conservation Districts: Equipment Rental and Soil Health Programs NH Many NH conservation districts have soil health programs, including cover crop trials, and no-till equipment rentals. Varies slightly by district. Conservation Practices, Equipment Rental Equipment Rental, Cover Crop Trial http://www.nhacd.net/contact-us.html
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food: Conservation Grant Program NH The State Conservation Committee's Conservation Grant Program supports and promotes programs and partnerships that protect, restore and enhance the state's valuable natural resources. Projects include: Water quality, wildlife habitat, soil conservation and improvement, adoption of best management practices. Conservation Practices Funding nh-conservation-committee@nh.gov.
New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets, and Food: Agriculture Nutrient Management Grant Program NH Assist agricultural land and livestock owners with efforts to minimize adverse effects to waters of the state by better managing agricultural nutrients including commercial fertilizers, animal manures and agricultural composts. Priority is given to projects that most clearly address protection of surface water and public drinking water sources. Included projects are: no-till, cover crop, and other best management practices. Run-off Reduction Funding jennifer.gornnert@agr.nh.gov
New Jersey Department of Agriculture Conservation Districts: Conservation Cost Sharing NJ Conservation Districts provide cost-sharing grants for agricultural best management practices. Conservation Practices Funding http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/contact.shtml
Nevada Department of Agriculture: Rangeland Health Program NV The Rangeland Health Program at the Nevada Department of Agriculture is new to the State of Nevada. The program’s objective is to assist landowners in developing projects and land management decisions that encourage economically viable and sustainable practices. This involvement promotes ecologically sound land management practices and an economically successful industry for future generations. Pasture Quality Technical Assistance, Education dvoth@agri.nv.gov 775-353-3672
New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee: Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement & Control Grant Program NY This grant program was established in 1994 by the State of New York to assist farmers in preventing water pollution from agricultural activities by providing technical assistance and financial incentives. County Soil & Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers and coordinate funded conservation projects. Grants can cost-share up to 75% of project costs or more if farmers contribute in the following two areas: 1. Planning- funds awarded to conduct environmental planning 2. Implementation- funds awarded to construct or apply management practices. Run-off Reduction Funding bethany.bzduch@agriculture.ny.gov
New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee: NYS Climate Resilient Farming (CRF) Program NY The goal of the Climate Resilient Farming Program is to reduce the impact of agriculture on climate change (mitigation) and to increase the resiliency of New York State farms in the face of a changing climate (adaptation). Climate Resiliency Education https://agriculture.ny.gov/SoilWater/contacts/index.html
Oklahoma Conservation Commission: Carbon Sequestration Certification Program OK The Oklahoma Carbon Program encourages Oklahomans to voluntarily protect water quality, prevent soil erosion, and improve air quality by adopting conservation practices that sequester or avoid emissions of greenhouse gases. The Program offers fee-based verification of carbon offsets to participating aggregators who hold carbon contracts with agriculture producers and forest landowners. Carbon Sequestration Carbon Offsets 405.522.4728
Oklahoma Conservation Commission: Cost-Share Program OK The Conservation Program Division administers the Conservation Cost-Share Program. Funds are allocated to conservation districts based upon appropriations from the Oklahoma Legislature. The Cost-Share Program provides financial assistance to landowners to apply soil and water conservation practices. The purpose of the program is to help improve water quality and control soil erosion in the state. Conservation districts administer the program to meet their local needs. Conservation Practices Grants Local: (405) 521-2384
Oregon: Agricultural Water Quality Management Program OR Suggests improvements to agricultural land to reduce run-off, including rotational grazing and cover crops. No incentive. Run-off Reduction Education Eastern Region
(541) 278-6721
(541) 318-9088
(541) 699-2263
(541) 414-8797
Mid-Coast/S. Willamette
(503) 986-4712
N. Coast/N. Willamette
(541) 400-5136
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture: Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program PA Through the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Program, farmers, landowners, and businesses earn tax credits for implementing "Best Management Practices" (BMPs) that will enhance farm production and protect natural resources. Eligible applicants receive between 50% and 75% of project costs in the form of State tax credits for up to $150,000 per agricultural operation. BMP's include no-till, cover crop, fencing, etc. Conservation Practices Tax Credits Joel Semke jsemke@pa.gov
South Dakota Department of Agriculture: Conservation Tillage Loan Program (for Conservation District use) SD Loans available to conservation districts for 80% purchase of conservation tillage equipment and grass seeding and harvesting equipment. Available to conservation districts on low-cost rental basis. Maximum $30,000 and 5-year term. Soil Health, No-till Grant SDRCF@state.sd.us
South Dakota Department of Agriculture: Coordinated Natural Resources Conservation Grants SD Grants from the Coordinated Natural Resources Conservation Grant Fund are available for projects that show a natural resource conservation benefit to the state. Any organized conservation district within the state may make an application to the State Conservation Commission. Grants can cover: Rotational grazing practices, no-till cropping, others. Conservation Practices Grant 605-773-3623.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Resources Conservation Fund TN The ARCF provides cost-share assistance to Tennessee landowners to install Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce agricultural water pollution. This assistance is facilitated primarily through Soil Conservation Districts although Resource Conservation and Development Councils, universities, and other agricultural associations may participate. Program covers rotational grazing, cover crops, etc. Conservation Practices Cost-share john.mcclurkan@tn.gov
Texas Soil and Water Conservation Board: Water Quality Management Plan TX A water quality management plan (WQMP) is a site-specific plan developed through and approved by soil and water conservation districts for agricultural or silvicultural lands. The plan includes appropriate land treatment practices, production practices, management measures, technologies or combinations thereof. The purpose of WQMPs is to achieve a level of pollution prevention or abatement determined by the TSSWCB, in consultation with local soil and water conservation districts, to be consistent with state water quality standards. Program applies to conservation cover. Run-off Reduction Cost-share 800-792-3485
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food: Grazing Improvement Program UT Cost-share grants are available to ranchers for rangeland improvements. Projects can include any restoration work that will improve rangeland health, productivity, and management. This includes rotational grazing practices. Pasture Quality Cost-share Troy Forrest, Program Manager
(435) 279-3603 UDAF-Grazing@utah.gov
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food: Agriculture Resource Development Loan program UT The program provides low interest loans to farmers and ranchers for projects which meet the conservation and pollution control goals of the program. Goals are to conserve water and soil and improve water quality. Eligible projects include rangeland improvement and erosion control. Conservation Practices, Run-off Reduction Loans Roberta Valdez robertavaldez@utah.gov (801) 538-7179
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food: Utah Agriculture Certificate of Environmental Stewardship (ACES) UT It helps farmers and ranchers, of all sizes, evaluate their entire operation to make management decisions to sustain agricultural viability, protect natural resources, support environmentally responsible agricultural production practices, and build positive public opinion. The program is relevent to several types of operations, and includes soil health, rotational grazing, erosion management, etc. Conservation Practices, Run-off Reduction, Pasture Quality Certification https://ag.utah.gov/aces/contact/index.html
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Agricultural Stewardship Program VA The Agricultural Stewardship Program works with farmers and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts to resolve water quality problems reported to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) concerning nutrients, sediment and toxins from agricultural activities. No incentives or benefits. Run-off Reduction Technical Assistance, Education http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/about-agency-directory.shtml
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation: Agricultural BMP Cost-Share (VACS) Program VA The cost-share program supports the use of various practices in conservation planning to treat cropland, pastureland, hay land and forested land. Farmers receive payments for implementing practices such as rotational grazing and cover crop use. Conservation Practices, Soil Health Cost-share Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
600 East Main Street | Richmond, VA 23219-2094 | 804-786-6124
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation: BMP Tax Credit Program VA Individuals may claim a state tax credit of 25 percent of all expenditures made for the purchasing and installation of conservation tillage equipment used in agricultural production by the purchaser. The credit may not exceed $4,000. Conservation Practices Tax Credits Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
600 East Main Street | Richmond, VA 23219-2094 | 804-786-6125
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets: VT Environmental Stewardship Program (VESP) VT A voluntary program that encourages and supports local agricultural producers to achieve environmental and agricultural excellence. VESP’s goal is to accelerate water-quality improvements through additional voluntary implementation efforts, and to honor farmers who have already embraced a high level of land stewardship. If the applicant meets the standards in each category, he or she will be awarded with a 5-year certification, an on-farm sign designating the farm as meeting high levels of environmental stewardship, and other recognition-based incentives. Run-off Reduction Certification Michael.Middleman@vermont.gov
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets: Farm Agronomic Practices (FAPs) VT The Farm Agronomic Practices (FAP) Program utilizes state funding to help Vermont farms implement soil-based agronomic practices that improve soil quality, increase crop production, and reduce erosion and agricultural waste discharges. The FAP program also provides education and instructional activity grants to support outreach regarding the impacts of agricultural practices on water quality and current state agricultural water quality regulations. Grants cover cover crops, conservation tillage, strip cropping, etc. Soil Health Grants Jeff.Cook@vermont.gov
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets: Capital Equipment Assistance Program (CEAP) VT Financial assistance for equipment such as no-till drills and roller-crimpers. Run-off Reduction Grants Jeff.Cook@vermont.gov
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grants WI The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will award grants to producer-led groups that focus on ways to prevent and reduce run-off from farm fields and farmsteads through its new Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant Program. Grants cover no-till and cover cropping and other "non-traditional" conservation practices. Run-off Reduction Grant Rachel.Rushmann@wisconsin.gov
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection: Nonpoint Source Program WV Grants to help install agricultural Best Management Practices. Unclear what the mechanism is. Run-off Reduction Grant https://dep.wv.gov/Pages/contact.aspx
West Virginia Conservation Agency: Agricultural Enhancement Program WV AgEP's mission is to assist the agricultural cooperators of West Virginia Conservation Districts with the voluntary implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on West Virginia agricultural lands in order to conserve and improve land and water quality for all West Virginia residents. The program offers technical and financial assistance as an incentive to implement suggested Best Management Practices. Overall, program primary objectives include the reduction of nutrients and sediment from entering the waters within the State and increasing farm profitability and sustainability. Includes cover cropping. Conservation Practices, Soil Health, Run-off Reduction Grant West Virginia Conservation Agency
Phone: 304-558-2204
Fax: 304-558-1635


Title State Summary Purpose Responsible Supporter Status
California’s Healthy Soils Initiative (HSI) (SB-1350 Agricultural Lands: Greenhouse Gases: Healthy Soils Program) CA This bill established the Healthy Soils Program (HSP), which is funded from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and is intended to improve soil health. The program provides financial assistance for incentivizing and development of conservation agriculture management practice which sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gasses and improve soil health. The HSP is a product of the California Healthy Soils Initiative, a coalition of state agencies and departments that promote the development of healthy soils on California's farmland. Funding, Incentivizing CDFA (collaboration with other State departments);implementation through the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel 1350 adopted 2016; HSI launched 2017; funding and implementation underway
HB 1578 Relating to Climate Change HI This bill develops a task force within the Office of Planning to identify agricultural and aquacultural practices to improve soil health and increase carbon sequestration. The bill was signed into law on June 9th, 2017. Task Force, Research Task Force established within the Office of Planning Adopted 6/6/17; in effect July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2025
HB 3713 An Act to Promote Healthy Soils MA The Massachusetts bill proposes to establish a fund to support education and training to farmers engaged in soil regenerating practices. The bill proposes to measure progress through rates of soil carbon, water infiltration, and biological activity. Education, Training Department of Agricultural Resources in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Commission for Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources, shall establish, develop and implement the Massachusetts Healthy Soils Program; DAR shall administer the fund. Presented by Paul A. Schmid, III. 5/10/2017
HB 1063 Maryland Healthy Soils Program MD The Maryland Healthy Soils Program was signed into law May 2017. The bill establishes a program which provides incentives for research, education, and technical assistance on developing healthy soils on MD farmland. Education, Incentives, Research, Technical Assistance Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Signed into law 5/1/17; effective Oct 1, 2017
AB 3281 “Carbon Farming Act” NY This bill establishes a carbon farming tax credit system to incentivize carbon sequestration potential. Funding, Incentivizing Department of Environmental Conservation; final certification of eligibility issued to farmers by the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation introduced 1/27/17; did not pass, but the state budget is providing $50,000 to study incentives for carbon farming tax credits, grants and other programs.
Oklahoma Carbon Sequestration Enhancement Act OK This bill focuses on improving carbon sequestration capacity on agricultural lands. The bill establishes a program to improve agricultural practices to help offset the impacts of carbon dioxide emissions on the atmosphere. Education Oklahoma Conservation Commission in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Carbon & Soil Health Program Certification program went into effect July 1, 2009
H.C.R. 8 Concurrent Resolution on Carbon Sequestration on Rangelands UT Utah enacted this legislation in 2015 to establish soil carbon sequestration efforts to response to climate change. This act requests federal funding and direct federal agencies to develop specific plans for carbon sequestration maximization. Mobilize Federal Agencies Concurrent resolution of the Legislature and the Governor Governor Gary Herbert Signed - 3/25/2015
S.43 “An act relating to establishing a regenerative soils program” VT Establish the Vermont Regenerative Soils Program to include increasing carbon sequestration, reducing sedimentation into waters, and promoting cost-effective and healthy soil management. Create a Director of Regenerative Soils to implement program and certify qualified farmers for the regenerative agriculture certification.
Goals: increase in topsoil; increase in percentage of organic material in soil. Implement soil testing programs to test for carbon, nitrogen, other factors.
Funding, Testing Equipment Secretary of Natural Resources Referred to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy
H.661 An Act Relating to Regenerative Organic Farming VT This bill proposes to establish the Regenerative Organic Transition Assistance Program which provides technical and financial assistance to Vermont farmers seeking to transition from conventional farming to regenerative organic farming. Funding, Testing Equipment, Lead Sponsor: Rep. Amy Sheldon Drafting

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