SCI Opens Soil Health Test Pilots for Farmers

Growing Young Green Seedling Sprout in Cultivated Agricultural Farm Field close up

Los Angeles, CA—The Soil Carbon Initiative (SCI) has announced a 2022 pilot focused on farmers, according to a press release.

SCI is an independently verified, outcomes-based regenerative agriculture certification program, open to all farms and companies in the food supply chain. Previous pilots concentrated on the technical aspects of soil testing protocols. The 2022 Go-to-Market Pilots will build on that work, by inviting farmers to apply for 100 new spots to benefit from information, market access, networking opportunities, and SCI labeling to verify progress to companies and consumers.

The application deadline is April 5, 2022.

Erin Gorman, SCI director and Maryland-based farmer, said in the press release: “We welcome all producers who are interested in beginning or deepening their soil health journey to join our Go-to-Market pilots.”

Benefits for participants include:

  • Information: Access to soil health tests that provide real data on soil health progress, as well as interpretive guidance and planning for the producer’s next best steps.
  • Farm Profitability: Focusing on soil health helps reduce input costs, increasing profitability.
  • Network: Pilot participants become part of SCI’s Founding Farmer network, and can exchange ideas with other farmers and provide advice to shape the future of SCI.
  • Market: SCI helps farmers enter the growing market of companies and consumers looking for products from farms that focus on soil health and climate outcomes.
  • Label & Verification: Earn the SCI label to verify progress.
  • 2022 Financial Benefits: Pilot costs are covered for soil health tests, and the program offers a cost share for expert regenerative consultants.
  • 2023 and Beyond Financial Benefits: Annual fees will always be waved for members of the SCI Founding Farmers network, and members have first eligibility for the SCI Farm Fund for transition investments and ongoing dividends, starting in 2023.

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The press release shared farmer reviews:

Scott Park at Park Farming in Meridian, California, said: “SCI was clearly designed with farmers in mind. It meets farmers wherever they are on their journey to regeneration and is particularly helpful to farmers who are just starting out.”

Steve Tucker at Tucker Farms in Rome, Georgia, said: “SCI is the most encompassing soil health program that I have ever seen, and the fact that it is non-exclusive with other certifications makes it even better! There are so many great aspects to SCI – access to guidance and support with farm planning, an emphasis on outcomes and progress, and the opportunity to improve farm profitability and market recognition.”

Raquel Krach at Massa Organics in Glenn, California, said: “Having a solid farm plan is a critical tool that farmers need to succeed with regenerative agriculture. By providing education and guidance, SCI can ensure that farmers who enroll in this program have the best chance to get it right from the start.”

Producers in any system—conventional, organic, non-GMO, biodynamic—are eligible for SCI verification. More information can be found here.