USDA earmarks $1 billion for sustainable ag

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced last Monday that his department will invest $1 billion in partnerships to support America’s sustainable farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.

The initiative will provide both financial and technical assistance to pilot projects lasting between one and five years for US agricultural and forestry products that use sustainable practices. Recipients are expected to demonstrate products’ greenhouse gas benefits through “innovative, cost-effective” means of measurement and verification and market the “climate-smart” commodities post-development.

The funding opportunity defines a climate-smart commodity as an agricultural commodity that is produced using agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.

Through these investments, which the department is calling Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, USDA aims to incentivize the following three developments among producers and landowners:

  • Climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands.
  • An accounting of the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with these practices.
  • Markets and promotion of the resulting climate-smart commodities.
  • Commenting on the partnership, Vilsack stated:

Funding will be provided to partners through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. The USDA is now accepting project applications for the fiscal year 2022. You can find more information about the application process here.

There are many sustainable agriculture efforts currently underway, from vertical farming to regenerative cotton and even lab-grown meat.

Read the complete article at www.environmentalleader.com.


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