USDA Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Initiative

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invests an additional $25 million to combat food loss and waste.

Key Takeaways

  1. The USDA marks the one-year anniversary of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity.
  2. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlights the progress in implementing climate-smart practices on working lands.
  3. The USDA has invested over $3.1 billion in 141 projects to build and expand market opportunities for climate-smart commodities.
  4. Selected projects focus on technical and financial assistance, innovative methods for greenhouse gas monitoring, and market development.
  5. The initiative has strong support from a diverse set of stakeholders and emphasizes the involvement of small and underserved producers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited a farm in Wisconsin to commemorate the progress made in the initial projects and emphasized the initiative’s role in promoting rural prosperity and combating climate change.

A Year of Progress

“Over the past year, our Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities partners have started to hit the ground running,” said Vilsack. The initiative aims to help producers and forest landowners implement climate-smart practices and develop new markets for climate-smart commodities. The USDA has invested more than $3.1 billion in 141 projects through this effort, positioning American producers as global leaders in climate-smart agricultural production.

Scope of Selected Projects

The projects, which can span up to five years, focus on several key areas:

  • Providing technical and financial assistance to producers for implementing climate-smart practices voluntarily.
  • Piloting innovative methods for the quantification, monitoring, reporting, and verification (MMRV) of greenhouse gas benefits.
  • Developing markets for the resulting climate-smart commodities.

Inclusive and Diverse Participation

All selected projects require meaningful involvement from small and underserved producers. The initiative has garnered strong support from diverse stakeholders, aligning with ongoing Biden-Harris Administration efforts to support a diverse range of producers and operation types.

Data and Learning Strategy

The initiative includes a robust data and learning strategy, requiring grantees to submit quarterly reports that include progress updates, project summary data, and MMRV methods. All projects will also participate in a Partnerships Network to share learnings.

First-Year Successes

The USDA has finalized agreements for over 60 large pilot projects, with grants ranging from $5 million to $90 million. These projects have already started enrolling producers, and the USDA expects the numbers to double by 2024. For instance, The Delong Company in Wisconsin has enrolled over 100 producers, and the Iowa Soybean Association has enrolled over 200.

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