Local pistachio grower association receives $5 million grant

Grant funding will go toward various projects throughout the Central Valley focused on healthy soil practices.

A Fresno-based nonprofit trade association has received a major grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. 

American Pistachio Growers announced Wednesday that it was awarded $5 million to help growers adopt healthy soil practices in the Golden State. 


The big picture: Based in Fresno, American Pistachio Growers represents over 800 grower members in California, Arizona and New Mexico. 

  • The grant is one of 14 funded through the Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soils Block Grant Pilot Program, which awarded $62 million in soils block grants this year. 
  • American Pistachio Growers will use the project to fund projects for three years, with a limit of $200,000 per project over the lifetime of the grant. 
  • The program’s goal is to better connect farmers and ranchers with programs that encourage and incentivize the implementation of management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases and improve overall soil health. 
  • American Pistachio Growers expects to use the funding on over 30 projects, with special consideration given to growers who qualify as Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers or have farms of 500 acres or less. 
  • The organization will accept applications from growers in Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera and Merced Counties. 

What they’re saying: APG Director of Member Services and Communications Wes Wilson said the organization is uniquely positioned to assist growers in implementing various projects. 

  • “We look forward to connecting growers with these valuable programs that will not only improve the overall health of our California soils, but have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon, all while increasing yields and reducing traditional inputs,” Wilson said. 
  • Wilson added, “Our pistachio growers are true innovators and conservationists, and this grant will bring even greater awareness to the importance of healthy soils in our pistachio orchards. It’s a benefit not only for growers but also for all Californians.” 
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