NMDA's Health Soil Program

The 8-week application period for FY23 Healthy Soil Program grants opened Friday, March 18, 2022 and will close Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 5 p.m. MT. Late submissions will not be accepted.

For program updates, please visit NMDA's Healthy Soil Program webpage.

NMDA hosted webinars on March 18 to show how to complete the application for a Healthy Soil Program grant:

Each Healthy Soil Program project submitted for possible grant funding must occur in New Mexico, aiming to improve soil by implementing one or more of five soil health principles:

  1. keeping soil covered;

  2. minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs;

  3. maximizing biodiversity;

  4. maintaining a living root; and

  5. integrating animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects or keystone species, such as earthworms.

Individual Applicants

Individual Applicants are defined as farmers, ranchers, and other land managers; and businesses and nonprofits engaged in farming, ranching, or other forms of land management. Individual Applicants cannot apply without two things:

  1. A conservation plan from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or a conservation planning template completed in cooperation with NRCS. (Locate the NRCS Local Service Center nearest you.) For Individual Applicants who intend to meet this requirement with the conservation planning template, download this template for cropland; download this template for rangeland.

  • While not required for application, these resource concern guide sheets (cropland and rangeland) may be useful in generating project ideas after completing the conservation planning process described above.

  1. Support for their project from a soil and water conservation district (SWCD) or the pueblo, tribe, or nation of which they are a member. Locate your SWCD via the PDF document embedded on this webpage or your tribal entity via the Pueblos, Tribes & Nations dropdown tab near the top of this webpage. Ask the SWCD or your tribal entity to support your project by working with you to complete a Letter of Support.

  • For Individual Applicants who would like to request that Ciudad SWCD support your project(s), please reach out to Astrid Hueglin by email at ciudad.ahueglin@gmail.com or by phone at (505)510-3478 (DIRT).

  • In order for Ciudad SWCD to act as the eligible entity for your project and provide the Letter of Support:

1. Project(s) must reside within Ciudad SWCD boundaries; and,

2. Individuals Applicant’s must submit their application, budget, and conservation plan to Astrid Hueglin prior to the grant deadline.

Ciudad SWCD encourages interested individual applicants to view NMDA's recorded webinar.

Additional Resources for Individual Applicants

Natural Resource Conservation Service

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) can provide assistance with conservation planning.

New Mexico Healthy Soil Working Group

The NM Healthy Soil Working Group is assembling a powerful network of agriculture and conservation organizations, urban and rural residents, consumers and producers alike, with the goal to significantly accelerate soil health stewardship in the state. We aim to catalyze widespread adoption of management principles that result in greater soil health and associated co-benefits, creating prosperous and strong land based communities, nutritious food, a healthy environment and a viable future for our planet.

NACD Soil Health Champions Network

The NACD Soil Health Champions Network (SHCN) is made up of more than 300 farmers, ranchers and woodland owners from across the nation who practice good soil health management on their operations and promote the use of soil health management systems in their communities.

The mission of the SHCN is to increase the adoption of soil health systems by farmers and other landowners nationwide.