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Healthy Soil Program


Grants to improve soil health are the centerpiece of NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program. Every year, NMDA awards grants to implement on-the-ground projects that involve one or more of the five soil health principles, stated as follows in the legislative Act that created the program:

  1. keeping soil covered
  2. minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs
  3. maximizing biodiversity
  4. maintaining a living root
  5. integrating animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects or keystone species, such as earthworms

The next application cycle opens Friday, February 23, 2024 and closes Friday, April 26, 2024 at 12 p.m. (noon) Mountain Time. Projects selected for funding will happen between August 2024 and May 2025. To be notified of Healthy Soil Program updates, subscribe to the email newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page.

NMDA welcomes applications for Healthy Soil Program grants from 2 types of applicants:

  1. Eligible Entities, defined in the Healthy Soil Act as “local governmental [entities] with proven land management capacity to support healthy soil”, including:
      • Pueblos, tribes, and nations
      • Acequias
      • Land grants
      • Soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs)
      • NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service
      • Other local governmental entities with "proven land management to support healthy soil"

    Learn about the Fiscal Year 2025 application requirements and upcoming outreach events unique to Eligible Entities.  

  2. Individual Applicants, a category that includes individuals, businesses, and nonprofits directly engaged in farming, ranching, and/or other forms of land management. Learn about the Fiscal Year 2025 application requirements and upcoming outreach events unique to Individual Applicants.


Below is an interactive map of past Healthy Soil Program recipients, Eligible Entities and Individual Applicants, in New Mexico. Each dot explains more about each project that was awarded funding, including the type of grant awarded, the type and size of land, a project summary, and the amount awarded.


NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program background

NMDA created its Healthy Soil Program after the Healthy Soil Act was signed into law in 2019. The purpose of the program is “to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the health, yield and profitability of the soils of the state.”

More information about the fundamentals of soil health is available in this training led by NMSU’s Cooperative Extension Service. To access the training, click on the bulleted “Soil Health Workshop” hyperlink.

Interested in learning more about the Healthy Soil Tax Refund Contribution Option? Visit the NM Healthy Soil Working Group.

NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program