Drought Relief Funds Available Through VCRD CUSP Grant
The Ventura County Resource Conservation District is offering direct financial support, through the California Department of Food and Agriculture, for growers who have experienced losses due to drought. Reimbursement funding is available through the California Underserved and Small Producers Drought Relief Grant for agricultural lands in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties impacted by drought since 2021.
Grants are provided for award amounts ranging from $2,500 – $20,000 with awards available on a rolling basis through winter 2024. VCRCD will distribute reimbursements for approved drought-related practices or verified expenses. Producers may only receive the maximum CUSP funding ($20,000) once every 12 months.
To be eligible:
- Farmers/growers must make at least $10,000 and no more than $400,000 in gross sales
- Agriculture must be the primary source of income
Approved practices/expenses eligible under CUSP include:
- Drilling of new wells or repairs on existent wells if the wells are the sole source of water for the operation; must provide written verification from a Groundwater Sustainability Agency
- Increased electric utility bills of 30% or more due to increased rates
- Surface water costs, if increased from the prior year
- Hauling water for livestock
- Lowering ag well pumps if a primary source of water is lost
- Decreased crop yields/crop loss due to water availability