Climate-Smart’s Ready to Start

Sep 21, 2022

The USDA is handing out dolla dolla bills to 70 lucky applicants to the Partnerships of Climate-Smart Commodities program. Those winners will now go on to increase U.S. ag’s competitive advantage and build wealth in rural America.

ICYMI: The USDA originally dedicated $1B toward the Partnerships of Climate-Smart Commodities. Due to the overwhelming quality and quantity of applications, that’s ballooned to a whopping total of $3B.

Funding will come from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.

Proof is in the pudding projectsThe USDA estimates the potential to sequester more than 50M metric tons of CO2 equivalent through the funded projects.

They foresee more than 50K farms and up to 25M acres of farmland adopting climate-smart practices. Proposals included plans to match federal funds with non-federal funds.

Government entities, farmer co-ops, conservation and environmental groups, universities, small businesses, and large corporations (it takes a village, right?) all tossed their hats into the ring. A few examples:

  • Beef and bison are on the horizon thanks to South Dakota State University’s project to create market opportunities for producers.
  • The Farmers for Soil Health initiative was granted $95M to increase the number of acres using cover crops.
  • Farm Journal’s Trust in Food sustainability division was awarded up to $40M to evaluate climate-smart data and help farmers be competitive in a climate-smart marketplace.
  • Oregon Climate Trust is working on traceable reforestation for carbon and timber in the Western and Southern U.S.
  • Dairy Farmers of America is one of many dairy-loving applicants. They’ll pilot programs to connect on-farm greenhouse gas reduction with low-carbon dairy markets.