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Historic Investment in Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities and Rural Projects

Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Biden-Harris Administration through the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. These initial projects will expand markets for climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production and provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers.

Through last week’s announcement of initial selections for the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, Vilsack said “USDA is delivering on our promise to build and expand these market opportunities for American agriculture and be global leaders in climate-smart agricultural production.

“There is strong and growing interest in the private sector and among consumers for food that is grown in a climate-friendly way. This effort will 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.”

Earlier this year, Vilsack announced that USDA had allocated $1 billion for the program, divided into two funding pools. Because of the unprecedented demand and interest in the program, and potential for meaningful opportunities to benefit producers through the proposals, the Biden-Harris administration increased the total funding allocation to more than $3 billion, with projects from the second funding pool to be announced later this year.

See below for what they are saying:
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall
“AFBF congratulates the organizations that were selected for USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. We are pleased that several projects that received support from AFBF and involve state Farm Bureaus were selected to receive funding. AFBF is proud to be a founding member of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, which believes conservation goals should be voluntary and market-driven. We’re pleased that USDA based the program on FACA recommendations, and believe this is a positive step toward advancing conservation solutions that respect farmers as partners.”

American Sugarbeet Growers Association Executive Vice President Luther Markwart
"America’s sugar beet farmers have been global leaders in sustainable sugar production for decades, using best practices and continuous improvement to provide reliable supplies to consumers. Our family farmers look forward to demonstrating the climate-smart benefits of their crops, along with our project partners. We appreciate this tremendous opportunity from USDA and are proud to work alongside them in this exciting process."

Blue Diamond Growers President and CEO Mark Jansen
"This is a historic opportunity for our 112-year old cooperative representing nearly half of the almond growers in California. These funds will help significantly accelerate and expand the stewardship impact that our multi-generational family farms are already making in orchards throughout the state. On behalf of our nearly 3,000 grower-owners, I applaud the USDA for a vision to commit meaningful investment in furthering climate smart American agricultural production."

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg
“Colorado farmers and ranchers have stewarded the land they work for generations and are our first line of defense against the climate crisis. Incentivizing voluntary adoption of conservation, soil health, renewable energy, and climate smart agriculture practices is a leading priority at CDA; the urgency of this work cannot be understated. We’re glad to be working in partnership with the federal government to create positive changes across our state. Governor Polis and I are eager to help the USDA and the federal government tackle the big issues we have before us. Colorado is well set up to help drive these federal programs through our incentive-based soil health, energy efficiency, and drought resilience programs and we welcome these


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