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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 implement 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

This cycle of grants will fund on-the-ground projects that occur between August 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024. To be notified of important program updates, please subscribe to the email newsletter using the form at the bottom of this page. In the meantime, continue reading to learn what steps you can take now in preparation for applying.

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"

    The grant application period for Eligible Entities will open April 11, 2023 and close May 17, 2023Register for our Eligible Entities webinar (April 18) to see the steps for completing the online application.  

  2. Individual Applicants, a category that includes individuals, businesses, and nonprofits directly engaged in farming, ranching, and/or other forms of land management. The grant application period for Individual Applicants opened February 17, 2023 and closes April 21, 2023. Learn about the application requirements unique to Individual Applicants.

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