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USDA Celebrates First Year of Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Market Opportunity
North Dakota Ag Connection - 09/14/2023

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity’s initial project selection. Joining producers, project leaders, and project partners, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited a farm in Wisconsin, where he commemorated the progress made thus far in standing up these initial projects. He highlighted how projects from this effort will raise awareness and implementation at scale of climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands and with a diverse range of farmers, ranchers, and private landowners, and emphasized how this effort will promote rural prosperity and support the fight against climate change.

“Over the past year, our Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities partners have started to hit the ground running, working to enroll farmers and landowners and stand up their projects that hold tremendous promise for both the future of American agriculture and our environment,” Vilsack said. “These wide-ranging, innovative, and forward-looking efforts will not only jumpstart the creation of new markets for climate-smart commodities, but also help producers and forest landowners of all sizes implement climate-smart practices on their lands and pilot innovative and cost-effective methods of quantifying the climate benefits of those practices. I’m excited to see the work that’s been done so far and look forward to seeing these projects continue to progress – as well as their benefits – over the coming months and years.”

USDA is investing more than $3.1 billion for 141 projects through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities effort, which seeks to build and expand market opportunities for American commodities produced using climate-smart practices through pilot projects, positioning American producers as global leaders in climate-smart agricultural production.

The selected projects – spanning up to five years – will:

Provide technical and financial assistance to producers to implement climate-smart production practices on a voluntary basis on working lands.

Pilot innovative and cost-effective methods for quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification (MMRV) of greenhouse gas benefits.

Develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.

All selected projects require meaningful involvement of small and underserved producers. The funding opportunity has earned strong support from a diverse set of stakeholders.

This effort builds on ongoing Biden-Harris Administration initiatives to increase the competitive advantage of U.S. agriculture both domestically and internationally, build wealth that stays in rural communities, and support a diverse range of producers and operation types. This effort also helps to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s strategy to advance greenhouse gas emissions measurement and monitoring for the agriculture and forest sectors.

Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities includes a robust data and learning strategy that includes requirements for grantees to submit the following information as part of their quarterly reporting:

Progress reports and updates on farm, tract, and field data including, but not limited to, producers enrolled, acres, crops, and livestock covered, climate-smart practices implemented and related incentives;

Updates on project summary data including geographic data, partner activities, and marketing activities as well as financial and budget information;

MMRV methods, modeled and measured GHG benefits, and environmental co-benefits including, as applicable water, air, and habitat related benefits.

Other periodic updates on supplemental data, including information related to the MMRV plan and direct field measurement results will also be required. All Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities projects will be required to participate in a Partnerships Network, which will bring partners together virtually or in-person on a regular basis to share learnings. USDA will summarize and publish important information from these gatherings, as well as consolidated data from required project reporting.


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