CDFA Healthy Soils Program Demonstration Projects

CDFA Healthy Soils Program logo

The HSP has two components: the HSP Incentives Program and the HSP Demonstration Projects. The HSP Incentives Program provides financial assistance for implementation of conservation management that improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The HSP Demonstration Projects showcase California farmers and rancher’s implementation of HSP practices. The Coastal Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) supports both the Incentive Program by providing technical assistance to our agriculturalists and demonstration projects.

Demonstration – Avila Valley BarN

Tractor in apple orchard

Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD), in partnership with Avila Valley Barn, demonstrates the implementation of soil healthy practices through the project, Compost Application on an Organic Central Coast Apple Orchard. The goal of the project is to provide an on-the-ground example of soil health practices while building an understanding of the quantified soil health and soil microbial community outcomes from compost application over three years.

CSLRCD and Jake Smith with Avila Valley Barn are holding at least three demonstration events for farmers and ranchers to learn more about this project. Included in the demonstration are soil sampling training and presentations on why soil health metrics are being tracked over time. Research partners such as Cal Poly professors and such soil health practitioners as other RCDs are invited to participate in the demonstration events to help foster a strong local network of on-the-ground, on-farm soil health conservation practices.


Avila Valley Barn

Cal Poly State University


California Climate Conservancy

RCD Contact:

Hayley Barnes,

DEMONSTRATION – chorro creek ranch

Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) and Cal Poly State University have begun a project that takes a deep dive into the effects of reduced tillage and compost application on hay production. This project has two experimental factors (compost or no compost and conventional tillage or reduced tillage) and looks at their individual and combined effects on soil and plant health as well as agronomic factors such as biomass. Cal Poly soil science professors and student researchers help with data collection and analysis and will present the findings during outreach events and conferences.

Demonstration - Chorro Creek Ranch Equipment

Partners: Cal Poly State University

Funders: California Climate Conservancy

RCD Contact: Hayley Barnes,

Demonstration - Chorro Creek Ranch(1)