California Farmland Conservancy Program


The California Farmland Conservancy Program (CFCP) is a statewide grant program that supports local efforts to establish agricultural conservation easements and planning projects for the purpose of preserving important agricultural land resources. 

CFCP was created by the California Farmland Conservancy Program Act of 1995 to:

  • Encourage voluntary, long-term private stewardship of agricultural lands
  • Protect farming and ranching operations in agricultural areas from nonfarm or nonranch land uses that may hinder or curtail such operations
  • Encourage long-term conservation of productive agricultural lands in order to protect the agricultural economy of rural communities, as well as that of the state, for future generations of Californians
  • Encourage local land use planning for orderly and efficient urban growth and conservation of agricultural land
  • Encourage local land use planning decisions that are consistent with the state's agricultural land conservation policies
  • Encourage improvements to enhance long-term sustainable agricultural uses​​

CFCP provides grants to qualifying applicants, primarily land trusts, to purchase agricultural conservation easements.  Each easement project must meet standards for the State's investment, including a willing seller, documented development pressure, local government support, and match funding.  Agricultural conservation easements involve extensive negotiation and relationship-building between the participants.  The use of agricultural conservation easements represents a long-term commitment by landowners, local governments, and land trusts to conserve and steward agricultural land resources.  CFCP also provides policy planning grants to develop and evaluate local and regional land conservation strategies and potential conservation projects.

 Since its inception, CFCP has completed more than 184 agricultural conservation easements on 59,498 acres of strategically important farmland.  Funding has come from a variety of sources, including the General Fund, the Environmental License Plate Fund, the Soil Conservation Fund, and proceeds from Propositions 12, 40, and 84. For every dollar spent by CFCP on easements, match funding has generated another $1.04 for agricultural land protection. 

$1.3 million was made available in 2018 for easement acquisition grant funding under the California Farmland Conservancy Program (CFCP).

Other Information and Resources

Eligible Project Types​

Information on eligible project types can be found on our Grant Categories page.

Eligible Applicants

CFCP may award grants to local governments and private nonprofit (501(c)3) organizations which have the conservation of agricultural lands among their defined purposes.

Government organizations
​Eligible governmental organizations include cities, counties, resource conservation districts, and regional park or open-space districts or regional park or open-space authorities that have the conservation of farmland among their stated purposes.

To be eligible to apply for CFCP funds, nonprofit organizations must hold a tax exemption as defined under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, and further qualify under Internal Revenue Code Sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) or 170(h)(3) (Public Resources Code Section 10221). For complete eligibility and application requirements for nonprofits, see the latest Request for Grant Applications