Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems

CRARS and the College of Agriculture Win a $5 Million Grant

by CRARS staff member Sheryl Karas. M.A.

We are excited to announce that the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems in partnership with the College of Agriculture at Chico State has been awarded a $5 million grant over five years from the USDA Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities program. This was part of a second round of awardees for projects deemed to be “particularly innovative” in supporting the effort to combat the climate crisis by partnering with agriculture, forestry, and rural communities to provide climate solutions that strengthen rural America. We are one of just 141 recipients out of more than 1000 proposals received by the USDA and were funded at the highest funding level.

The project proposal we submitted was for launching the North Valley Food Hub for Climate-Smart Agriculture. This project will provide farm-to-fork integration of climate-smart growing practices with marketing and sales support for the commodities produced (almonds, walnuts, rice, tomatoes, peaches, and prunes) for regional small and historically underserved producers. The Center and College of Agriculture will provide technical support, online farmer training and networking tools, on-farm field days, and financial incentives for implementing climate-smart practices such as cover crops, no-till or minimum-till practice, nutrient management; enhanced efficiency fertilizers, planting for high carbon sequestration rates, and soil amendments. We’ll be establishing monitoring systems for each cooperator farm/farmer to track soil carbon accrual through regular and standardized soil carbon assessment. We’ll also be developing markets/sales for participating producers using climate-smart product marketing language and strategy. Our partners in this project include Butte County Farm Bureau; North State Hulling Cooperative, Douglass Ranch; GRUB Farms; Chico State Organic Vegetable Project, and Chico State’s Basic Needs Hungry Wildcat Pantry.

We wish to thank Jake and Noelle Brimlow for developing and being co-Principal Investigators for the North Valley Food Hub and Michele Auzenne and Toni Scott for their presentation and preparation of our grant package. We are thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity to help create a more resilient, local food production system in our region.

Learn more about the Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities program.(opens in new window)