Main (559) 855-5840 Ag and Rangeland (559) 260-3802 [email protected]

Drought Relief Direct Producers Grant

For Socially Disadvantaged, Small- and Medium Scale Producers
(Application Opens November 15, 2023 & Closes February 1, 2024 11:59pm)  ***CLOSED


Drought Relief

In partnership with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the Sierra Resource Conservation District offers direct financial support to farmers and producers who have experienced losses due to the drought from years 2020-2023.  Award amounts can be up to $20,000 per farmer or producer. Covered expenses and eligibility requirements are listed below.



– Small (up to $349,999 annual sales revenue) and Mid Scale ($350,000 to $999,999) farmers and ranchers who claim agricultural production on their farm as a portion of their basic income are eligible. 

– Producers may only receive a maximum CUSP funding of $20,000 every 12 months. Sierra Resource Conservation District will cross-check applicants with CDFA to ensure no repeat funds are awarded within that time period.

– The 2017 State of California Farmer Equity Act (AB 1348) states that a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher is a farmer or rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group. A “socially disadvantaged group” means a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or gender discrimination. These groups include the following: • Black and African American • Native American • Alaskan Native • Latino/Latina and Hispanic • Asian American • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander.

– 50% of funds will be dedicated to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.


Examples of Covered Expenses

– Drilling of new wells or repairs on existing wells if sole source of water for operation. To be eligible, an applicant must provide written verification from a Groundwater Sustainability Agency managing the basin or area of the basin where the well is located or proposed to be located approving the action, per Executive Order N-7-22. 

– Increased electric utility bills of 30% or more due to increased electricity rates .

– Surface water costs if increase from year prior 

– Cost of hauling water for livestock. 

– Lowering ag well pumps if a primary source of water is lost. 

– Emergency upgrades to irrigation system (paired with conservation) if not covered through CDFA OEFI programs or USDA programs and for other emergency scenarios. 

– Decreased crop yields/crop loss due to less water available or having to fallow land. 

– Increased feed costs for dairies and livestock operations. 

Not Covered 

– Upgrading to a larger pump that will draw more water.


Need Help With Your Application? (Hay Asistencia en Español)

Sierra Resource Conservation District provides free application support and technical assistance to the agricultural community. No fees or costs will be imposed on the farmer or producer for any technical assistance provided by Sierra RCD. If you need assistance applying, completing the application, or have questions regarding the application, please reach out to Sierra RCD for assistance.

Please allow 1-2 business days for a response

Application: Click On Your Preferred Language To Start Application Form

English – Click Here

Español –  Aqui

Hmong – Coming Soon

Punjabi – Coming Soon



If you are unable to provide documentation to prove your loss due to the drought, you may be able to qualify by filling out by the check list provided below. Sierra RCD staff can do a site visit to assist in filling out this checklist.

English – Click Here

Spanish – Aqui


Contact Us

Farmers and producers can directly benefit from the assistance we offer through the California Underserved and Small Producers program. Contact us for questions:   (559) 260-3802