In a presentation at Lincoln University in Missouri, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the United States Department of Agriculture is investing $1 billion in partnerships to support climate-smart farmers.

I speak to you today to you’ all at another time of great challenge. A challenge that is presented by a changing climate, which we have all seen the results of; unprecedented storms, unprecedented droughts, horrific wildfires- all connected to climate. And there’s probably no group of Americans who understand and see it more than our farmers, ranchers, and producers. They’ve seen it- they feel it- and they’ve been hurt by it.”

The Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program will allow the USDA to finance partnerships that support the production of climate-friendly commodities through a set of pilot projects lasting one to five years. Climate-smart commodities are defined as agricultural commodities that are produced through farming, ranching, or forestry practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s designed specifically to expand markets for US agricultural products and forestry products through voluntary deployment of conservation practices that will lead to the production of these climate-smart commodities. It’s another pillar- a new pillar if you will, in this overall strategy to address climate. Meeting the President’s goal, responding to market demand, and improving income for producers.

Funding for the program will be provided through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation to:

  • Implement climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands
  • Measure, monitor, and verify carbon and greenhouse gases benefit from those practices
  • Develop markets to promote climate-smart commodities

Applications are due by April 8th, 2022 for the first funding pool.

More information can be found on the USDA’s website.

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