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Soil Health Initiative

Boulder County Soil Health Initiative

The Boulder County Soil Health Initiative provides grants to local agricultural producers who operate on leased Boulder County Parks & Open Space (BCPOS) land, private land, or both. This initiative aims to improve soil health, promote a local and resilient food system, and empower the agricultural community to both adapt to climate change and contribute to climate solutions.

The Soil Health Initiative is new as of 2024, and will exist alongside an updated version of the existing Sustainable Food and Agriculture Fund that focuses on education, market infrastructure, processing, and support for frontline farm workers.

This program is possible thanks to partnerships with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University Extension, OpenTEAM, Zero Foodprint, and Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment.

2024 Funding Opportunities

$1 million in funding is available for the 2024 grant cycle, and will be awarded based on how well applicants incorporate USDA’s principles to improve soil health, including:

  1. Minimizing soil disturbance
  2. Maximizing soil surface cover
  3. Increasing plant diversity and/or livestock integration
  4. Maximizing presence of living roots
A rancher in a field with a herd of cattle
A person holding a plant in one hand and a pile of dirt in the other

Grant Eligibility

  • Applicants must have been operating a farm or ranch in Boulder County for at least two years.
  • Applicants may only submit one application.
  • Applications open on Jan. 16 and close on Feb. 12, 2024.

Eligible practices include but are not limited to:

  • Increasing crop residue on fields
  • Diverse crop rotation
  • High rotational grazing
  • No- or reduced-tillage
  • Utilizing cover crops
  • Reduction of chemical disturbance
  • Rotational grazing

Resources

More program information can be found in this Questions and Answers document.

While the Soil Health Initiative is a new program, you can find examples of related projects funded by other grant programs here:

Two pigs near a metal feeding trough

Apply Now!

Note: Each applicant may only submit one application for an SHI grant; please do not apply using both links.

If you are applying for a project on private land only, please reference this application information packet for additional information.

Contact Us

For questions about applications that include BCPOS land:

Mike Foster
Boulder County Parks & Open Space
Agricultural Resources Division Manager
mfoster@bouldercounty.gov

For questions about applications on private land only:

Tim Broderick
Boulder County Office of Sustainability, Climate Action, and Resilience
Senior Sustainability Strategist
broderick@bouldercounty.gov