I suggest everyone that’s farming needs to do a much deeper dive on all of this grant money that has recently been approved and will bein circulation…
Earlier this month, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing nearly three billion dollars in 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. While we’ve seen a good number of ag and food tech companies, as well as the private investment into the sector skyrocket over the last decade, this public investment will play also a crucial role in moving the adoption of practices forward.
These initial projects will expand markets for climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production and provide direct benefits to production agriculture, meaning we should soon see new market opportunities for American producers. From what I understand, there will be 70 pilot projects under the first group of partnerships which will range from $5 million to $100 million, and last for five years.
According to the USDA, these 70 projects will result in hundreds of expanded markets and revenue streams for productions and commodities across agriculture and involve more than 50,000 farms, encompassing over 20-25 million acres of working land engaged in climate-smart production, with a large emphasis in the area of monitoring, measurement reporting and verification of practices.
Initially, the USDA had allocated $1 billion for the program, divided into two funding pools but because of the unprecedented demand and interest in the program, and the potential for meaningful opportunities to benefit producers through the proposals, the total funding allocation was raised to nearly $3 billion, with projects from the second funding pool to be announced later this year. I’m told that estimates are for more than 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to be sequestered over the lives of these projects.
There are a number of companies and associations that will be participating, many of whom you most likely have existing relationships with right now. In fact, some of our Van Trump Farms Partners are involved. Below are a few of the programs receiving the largest grants between $75 and $90 million, and I recommend that you check out all the programs and details by clicking HERE to see if there are opportunities for you to gain some first-hand experience in areas that are quickly becoming the norm. (Source: USDA.gov, S2ventures.com, drgnews.com)
Farmers for Soil Health Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership: This project proposes to accelerate long-term cover crop adoption by creating a platform to incentivize farmers. The platform will quantify, verify, and facilitate the sale of ecosystem benefits, creating a marketplace to generate demand for climate-smart commodities. The lead partner is the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation with a grant up to $95 million and focusing on corn and soybean acres.
Midwest Climate-Smart Commodity Program: This project will build markets and provide funding to farmers via outcome-based contracts for the reduction and removal of carbon dioxide through the adoption of new climate-smart practices. The remaining project funding will support farmer enrollment assistance, carbon quantification, technical assistance support, measurement, reporting and verification, and underserved farmer outreach and enrollment. The lead partner is the Iowa Soybean Association also with a grant of up to $95 million and focused on corn, soybean and wheat acres.
Climate SMART – Scaling Mechanisms for Agriculture’s Regenerative Transformation: This project will reach across 28 states and aim to catalyze a self-sustaining, market-based network to broaden farmer access, scale adoption of climate-smart practices, and sustainably produce grain and dairy commodities with verified and quantified climate benefits. Truterra LLC., will head the project with a $90 million grant and a focus on corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton acres as well as dairy facilities.
ADM and Partners’ Climate-Smart Solutions: This project will utilize incentive payments to thousands of producers across 15 states to adopt and implement climate-smart agriculture practices and markets. Part of the project will include the engagement of ADM’s 5,000 underserved producers to promote CSA opportunities, resulting in significant greenhouse gas reductions and removals. With their $90 million grant, ADM will be working with grower who are producing corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts, sorghum, flax, hemp, canola, edible beans, and pulse crops.
U.S. Climate-Smart Cotton Program: Lead by the US Cotton Trust Protocol, this project will build markets for climate-smart cotton and provide technical and financial assistance to over 1,000 U.S. cotton farmers, including underserved cotton producers, to advance the adoption of climate-smart practices on more than 1 million acres as they not only demonstrate major carbon dioxide equivalent reductions but also provide millions of dollars of economic benefits to farmers. The program is funded up to $90 million for the five-year run.
Rice Stewardship Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities: Led by the USA Rice Federation, Inc., this project will build climate-smart rice markets and work to reduce methane emissions in rice production through the adoption of alternate wetting and drying, furrow irrigation, and other climate-smart practices and support underserved producers by improving critical infrastructure necessary to implement climate-smart practices in the future. This program will receive up to $80 million in grants.