USDA gives $2.8B in Climate-Smart Commodities grants to 70 pilot projects

Seventy pilot projects will share up to $2.8 billion in funding from the new USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, the USDA announced today.

While the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities was originally set to give out $1 billion in grants, the agency announced that it will triple the funding in this first year of the program to $3 billion, with a second round of grants going out later this year. As Bio.News previously reported, the financed pilots demonstrate how “climate-smart commodities,” generated through agricultural techniques that “lower greenhouse gas emissions or absorb carbon,” may provide new sources of revenue for farmers, ranchers, and foresters.

“We’re trying to incentivize the creation of climate-smart commodities that hold higher value in the marketplace that farmers can generate additional profit from,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Project examples

A few examples of awardees, who are listed in-full here, include projects USDA says will:

  • “use innovative finance mechanisms to accelerate climate-smart practice” by “leveraging private sector demand;”
  • “connect the on-farm greenhouse gas reductions with the low-carbon dairy market opportunity;”
  • “build climate-smart markets” with soil inventories and “modeling to make impact quantifications accurate;”
  • encourage climate-smart beef and bison production;
  • develop “climate-smart markets for timber and forest products.”

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), of which BIO is a member, thanked the USDA for the opportunity to give its input and praised the pilot selections that were made. FACA noted the “meaningful inclusion of early adopters and small and underserved producers in the program. The Alliance is pleased that the projects selected recognize differences between regions, farm size and forest type, and diversity of production in the United States.”

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