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USDA Invests $1 Billion in Climate-Smart Commodities

Funding opportunity opens new revenue streams for climate-smart producers, ranchers and forest landowners

Corn Young plant corn field VIA PIXABAY Mar 2021

On Monday, at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $1 billion in partnerships to support climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

The new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity will finance pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits.

USDA is now accepting project applications for fiscal year 2022.

“America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest owners are leading the way in implementing climate-smart solutions across their operations,” said Vilsack. “Through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, USDA will provide targeted funding to meet national and global demand and expand market opportunities for climate-smart commodities to increase the competitive advantage of American producers.

"We want a broad array of agriculture and forestry to see themselves in this effort, including small and historically underserved producers as well as early adopters.”

For the purposes of this funding opportunity, a climate-smart commodity is defined as an agricultural commodity that is produced using agricultural (farming, ranching or forestry) practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.

Funding will be provided to partners through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. for pilot projects to provide incentives to producers and landowners to:

  • Implement climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands
  • Measure/quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with those practices
  • Develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President Chuck Conner says this $1 billion investment in a voluntary, incentive-based program to promote climate-friendly farming practices represents an important step in agriculture’s work to address climate change.

"We are pleased that USDA’s program aligns closely with the recommendations put forward last year by the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance," says Conner.

"The new marketplace opportunities that this partnership creates will give America’s farmers, ranchers and growers a direct stake in efforts to address one of the most pressing issues faced by our country.”

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