Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems

The Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems has been Awarded a Grant of Nearly $7 Million from the USDA

The Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems (CRARS) at California State University Chico, in collaboration with 12 other conservation partners, has been awarded a coveted Regional Conservation Partnership Program award totaling nearly $7 million for 2020-21 through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.   

The Center and its conservation partners were awarded $6,995,463 to support “Soil Health Management Systems for Northern California,” a five-year project designed to help orchard/vineyard, rangeland, dairy and row crop producers in Northern California build food and fiber production resiliency to counter climate change challenges. The grant will fund four California Resource Conservation District Hub positions to support the development of producer-based Soil Health Management Plans, implementation strategies and protocols in three distinct regions in Northern California. The project integrates carbon farm planning activities and will report on economic and social outcomes in addition to conservation outcomes. It also supports Agriculture Communities of Practice to disseminate adaptive management knowledge, training and exchange of ideas.  Working together, CRARS will build plans that conserve and regenerate soil while sequestering carbon and building resilience through water use efficiency. 

“The Regional Conservation Partnership Program is public-private partnership working at its best,” said Terry Cosby, acting chief for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “These new projects will harness the power of partnership to help bring about solutions to natural resource concerns across the country while supporting our efforts to combat the climate crisis.” Conservation partners work in collaboration with NRCS to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners throughout the nation implement systems that conserve water and soil resources, improve the health of wildlife habitats and increase climate resilience. These projects offer impactful and measurable outcomes so the NRCS is investing $330 million in 85 locally driven, public-private partnerships to protect agricultural viability in the face of climate change. The award received by CRARS is one of these projects. 

CRARS conservation partners include

  • California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD)
  • The California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • Carbon Cycle Institute
  • Fibershed
  • Glenn County Resource Conservation District
  • Humboldt Resource Conservation District
  • Lassen Resource Conservation District
  • Lassen County Farm Bureau
  • Mendocino County Farm Bureau
  • Mendocino Resource Conservation District
  • Modoc Resource Conservation District
  • University of California Cooperative Extension

The Center for Regenerative Agriculture & Resilient Systems (CRARS) was created in 2019 with the goal of  building partnerships across campus and throughout the region. This recent RCPP award supports the mission and vision for the Center, which is to restore soil health, improve water use efficiency, sequester carbon, and enhance the resiliency of farms and ranches in the North State. 

Find more information about the Regional Conservation Partnership Program(opens in new window).

For more information about the local project, please contact Cynthia Daley at