USDA to Dole Out Climate-Smart Cash

Feb 11, 2022

On Monday, the USDA shared plans to send more green to farmers growing cleaner, greener pastures.

The new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is a voluntary, incentive-based program. It’s pushing $1B towards producer-led, diverse pilot projects to curb climate change and reach greenhouse gas emission goals.

Break the bank: The funds come from the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation, which is the U.S. Treasury’s $30B treasure trove for bolstering farm income.

The partnership will be a new pillar of USDA’s existing conservation program. It’s fueled by feedback from over 80 member organizations of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance. The program hopes to accelerate adoption of conservation practices amongst farmers, ranchers, and foresters.

The end goal? Encouragement and tools to help producers create climate-smart commodities that can then be marketed for higher value.

Want in? The funds will be available to producers of all sizes, types, and methods. There are two funding pools with application deadlines of April 8 ($5M to $100M proposals) and May 27 ($250K to $5M proposals). There’s still time to come up with that game-changing idea for stopping those cow belches.  

The Hill Reacts: While the announcement left one congressman worried that CCC funds were being used to work around the Farm Bill, other legislators saw partnering with producers to address the climate crisis as a positive step.

Applause from ag: From the National Milk Producers Federation and the National Farmers Union to the American Farm Bureau Federation, agriculture organizations are speaking out in favor of the partnership and its voluntary, incentive-based approach.