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FY25 Requirements for Eligible Entities

Eligible Entities include New Mexico’s pueblos, tribes, and nations; acequias; land grants; soil and water conservation districts (SWCDs); NMSU—Cooperative Extension Service; and other “local governmental entit[ies] with proven land management capacity to support healthy soil”, as Eligible Entities are defined in the Healthy Soil Act. To apply for a Healthy Soil Program grant of up to $100,000, an Eligible Entity must follow the steps below. All completed applications must be submitted online by April 26, 2024 at 12 p.m. (noon) Mountain Time.

Learn more by reading the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Eligible Entities. For application tips and Healthy Soil Program updates – as well as soil health news and events – subscribe to our weekly newsletter via the form at the bottom of the Healthy Soil Program web page.

January 18, 2024 pre-application webinar: See the Eligible Entity webinar slides or watch the subtitled recording.

March 5, 2024 application demonstration webinar: See the Eligible Entity webinar slides or watch the subtitled recording.

Step 1. Identify the project site(s) within the Eligible Entity’s jurisdiction, as well as the soil health-related resource concerns the Eligible Entity’s project will address.

A landscape with mountains in the distance

The Eligible Entity may wish to consider a number of factors in deciding where to implement its project, including but not limited to:

  • the land with the greatest potential for soil health improvement
  • the number of local land managers benefitted
  • the plant communities and animal populations benefitted
  • the visibility of the project to local land managers, the public, and students; and
  • the proximity of the project site to where the Eligible Entity is headquartered, making the site easily accessible for those implementing the project’s day-to-day activities.

The Eligible Entity must identify clearly the soil health-related resource concerns its project will focus on. For assistance in identifying the soil health-related resource concerns present on the land within the Eligible Entity’s jurisdiction, contact the nearest office of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).


Step 2. Develop the Eligible Entity’s project idea.

two individuals having a meeting with graphs and a laptop.

Use the Eligible Entity’s knowledge of the land, as well as the following questions, to guide the development of your project idea. 

  • Which soil health-related natural resource concerns will your project focus on?
  • Which soil health principles will best address those resource concerns?
  • Which agricultural/conservation practices will best put those soil health principles into action?

Consult our resource concern guide sheets (cropland and rangeland) to help you answer the questions above.

  • Which of those agricultural/conservation practices can be implemented between August and May (the grant term for NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program)?
  • What goods and services will you need in order to implement those agricultural/conservation practices?
  • From which companies will you source those goods and services?
  • What are the actual costs of those goods and services?

Thinking through such questions – and conducting a bit of research, especially to identify the sellers (and costs) of specific goods and services – will help you complete the Healthy Soil Program grant application for Eligible Entities.


Step 3. Work on the online grant application – including the all-important timeline and budget.

eligible entities excel timeline and budget template.

The online grant application for NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program (and other grant programs at NMDA) will be available at First-time users must create an account (login ID + password).

As part of the online application, Eligible Entities must upload several documents. One critical document is the FY25 timeline and budget template. Use the template to: 1) detail the activities of your project, as well as when each activity will occur; and 2) document the associated goods and services – and their actual costs – you’re seeking Healthy Soil Program funding to purchase.

NOTE: Only Eligible Entities that possess a Unique Entity ID (UEI) from can apply for Healthy Soil Program grant funding of up to $100,000. Eligible Entities that do not possess a UEI by the April 26 application deadline can apply for Healthy Soil Program grant funding of up to $25,000. UEIs replaced DUNS numbers in April 2022. Eligible Entities can seek a UEI from; the process is free but can be time-consuming.


Step 4. Finalize and submit the Eligible Entity’s online grant application. Deadline to complete this step: April 26, 2024 at 12 p.m. (noon) Mountain Time.

submittable banner

Take the time to review your application. Re-read each application question and your answer to it. Ensure that you have uploaded all of the required information (see checklist below) where noted in the Eligible Entity grant application at Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding.

Use this checklist to ensure your Eligible Entity’s Healthy Soil Program grant application is complete and ready for submission:

  • Project site images
  • A bale grazing template (required if bale grazing is a component of your project) completed by NRCS
  • Timeline and budget template
  • Supporting items (optional)