Farm Progress

USDA announces start of climate-smart commodity program

Agency to invest $3.1 billion

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

April 28, 2023

2 Min Read
No till corn field
Getty Images

USDA announced it will begin implementing projects funded through its Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities program. The agency is investing $3.1 billion in 141 projects. They are intended to build and expand market opportunities for commodities through pilot projects that utilize climate-smart practices.

“Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are on the front lines of climate change. At the same time, they are uniquely positioned to deliver climate solutions through climate-smart production that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and sequesters carbon,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Through these projects, our partners are working to create new markets for climate-smart commodities, while developing the tools needed to quantify impacts and help producers implement climate-smart practices on their land.”

The chosen projects will last up to five years and include the involvement of small and underserved producers. USDA will provide technical and financial assistance to implement voluntary climate-smart production practices. All pilot programs will include processes to quantify, monitor, report and verify greenhouse gas benefits. Producers of the selected projects will also work to develop markets and promote their resulting climate-smart commodities.

Vilsack acknowledged that multiple factors, including rising input prices, high global demand, supply chain disruptions and uncertainty about the future have created major challenges for farmers. However, he believes that challenging times can also bring windows of opportunity. According to him, there is now a critical opportunity for farmers to meet rising global demand and create new revenue streams by capitalizing on climate-smart commodities.

“Farming is no longer about what food is produced, it’s also about how food is produced,” Vilsack said. “And we know that American farmers are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this demand by creating new markets, markets for climate smart commodities that can both achieve benefits for farmers, ranchers and producers of all sizes of operations offers and also for the environment.”

Soon, interested producers will have the opportunity to participate in Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities projects. A USDA dashboard will allow producers to see projects in their area and sign-up if they are interested.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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