Drought Relief CUSP Grant Program Accepting Applications

  • Nov 03, 2022

The CUSP Direct Farmer Grant Program for Drought Relief is accepting applications through January 15, 2023. This grant program provides relief funds for producers who can demonstrate their operation has been adversely affected by drought and who have not yet received drought relief from a California Department of Food and Agriculture program.

The CUSP program provides funds for expenses incurred due to drought. Those expenses can include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased electric utility bills (50% or more) due to rising rates
  • Increased surface water costs as compared to the prior year
  • Lowering ag well pumps due to losing a primary water source
  • Emergency upgrades to irrigation systems (paired with conservation) not covered through CDFA OEFI or USDA programs
  • Costs associated with hauling water for livestock

Grant funds do not cover costs associated with drilling a new well or upgrading a pump to a larger size. Grant funds are available up to $20,000 with the average awards ranging from $5,000 - $10,000.  Underserved populations including farmers of color and immigrant and undocumented farmers, are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Family farmers actively working the land who derive a portion of their income from their farm business and are involved in day-to-day operations
  • Farmers whose operations make $10,000 - $400,000 in gross annual sales (new farmers who cannot claim at least $10,000 may complete the application and note their specific limitations)

CUSP applications are now available online.

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