California Farmland Conservancy Program



The 2021 Draft California Farmland Conservancy Guidelines are now available for public comment. Public comment period will be available for 30 days, or through February 12, 2021. Please see information below on how to comment.
The Department will host a virtual Public Comment Workshop on January 27 at 11:00AM. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please RSVP here.​

The workshop will cover the following: 

Overview and Background of CFCP:
  • Changes to CFCP
  • How to provide Public Comment
  • Process and deadlines for grant applications
  • Next Steps
How to Comment:
Note: Comments are due by February 12

Critical Dates (proposed, subject to change):
  • Draft Solicitation released for comment—January 13, 2021
  • Close public comment period—February 12, 2021
  • Solicitation released—March 2021 
  • Pre-proposals due—May 2021
  • Applications due—September 2021
  • Awards announced—December 2021
  • Grant agreements returned from awardees—March 2021
Solicitation Materials: 

Funding Source(s) and Dollars Available:
This round of the program will be funded by the Safe Neighborhoods, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Act of 2000 (Proposition 12), California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002 (Proposition 40), and California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018 (Proposition 68). There are currently $7,269,000 available for this solicitation.

Eligible project Type(s):

Agricultural Conservation Easements - Grants to protect agricultural lands under threat of conversion to nonagricultural uses through the acquisition of voluntary, permanent agricultural conservation easements.

Land Improvement Grants -  Grants for the improvement of lands protected by existing CFCP agricultural conservation easements, or of lands protected by other qualified conservation easement programs, if the improvement will directly benefit lands protected by CFCP easements.

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)

Overview of the 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 land improvement projects for the purpose of preserving important agricultural land resources and enhancing sustainable agricultural uses.
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
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.

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