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Farming & Ranching

San Diego County is home to the largest number of small farms as well as the largest number of organic producers out of any county in the United States.

Agriculture is vital to our region’s economy and culture, and yet the amount of agricultural land in use decreases every year due to lack of support and value for this key industry. The RCD is committed to supporting farmers and ranchers by monitoring soil healthy and water efficiency, educating about on-farm conservation practices, and assisting with funding applications.

 To contact us about agriculture, email If you would like to receive our monthly Farmer and Rancher newsletter, subscribe here. You can also read prior newsletters below.

Currently Open Grants and Funding Opportunities for Farmers and Ranchers 

EXTENDED - OPEN NOW: CUSP Direct Farmer Grant Program for Drought Relief 
Deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 15th
These direct grants will assist small-scale and historically underserved producers to apply for relief grants for those most in need of immediate drought assistance. If you can show that your operation has been affected by drought (sales or crop loss reports, water bill rate or usage increase, etc) and have not already received drought relief from a CDFA program, you may be eligible for up to $20,000 to recover your losses; average award is $5,000 to $10,000.

Examples of covered expenses can include but are not limited to:

  • Increased electric utility bills of 50% or more due to increased electricity rates
  • Surface water costs if increase from year prior
  • Cost of hauling water for livestock
  • Lowering ag well pumps if a primary source of water is lost
  • Emergency upgrades to irrigation system (paired with conservation)
  • Decreased crop yields/crop loss due to less water available or having to fallow land

Not Covered:

  • Drilling new well
  • Upgrading pump to a larger size which would draw more water

Producers must apply for the funds through CA Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD) at this link. 


See the programs and services we provide for farmers and ranchers below!
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