Sustainable Farms and Fields (SFF) is a new grant program that makes it easier and more affordable for farmers and ranchers to implement climate-smart practices and projects that increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Through SFF, farmers and ranchers may receive free services — such as on-farm consultations, climate-smart farm plans, and other technical expertise — and financial assistance to help cover the cost of eligible projects, equipment, seeds for cover crops, and other expenses.
The Washington State Legislature created SFF in 2020 and provided seed funding for the Conservation Commission to design the program framework in partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington State University, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Conservation districts and other public entities may apply for SFF grants to help them deliver grant-eligible activities for interested farmers and ranchers on farmland, rangeland, and aquaculture tidelands in Washington.
The application deadline is ongoing. SCC will allocate the money on a rolling basis, so it is in your best interest to apply early.
Cutoff for applications to be considered for the first review is 5:00 pm on November 23, 2022. Additional rounds of reviews will occur monthly until funds are committed. Please review the SFF guidelines here.
Projects must be completed by June 30, 2023.
If you are thinking about applying, but have questions, check out the updated Application FAQ or view the full recording of the SFF Application Q&A Session (11/17/22).
Examples of potential grant-eligible activities include:
SFF funding is open to conservation districts and other public entities that possess the expertise to provide technical assistance and the capacity to implement climate-smart practices. These entities include:
• conservation districts
• state agencies
• colleges, universities, and extension offices
• federally recognized tribes
• cities, towns, and other municipalities
• special purpose districts
Sustainable Farms and Fields incentivizes farming practices that increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They also improve water and air quality and increase habitat for fish, wildlife, and pollinators.
Numerous carbon-smart practices provide co-benefits for farm operations, such as improved soil health, improved yield, and long-term cost savings.
Sustainable Farms and Fields may help farms and ranches of all sizes be more competitive in a carbon market, including underserved, low-income, and first-time farmers.