The Sustainability Consortium

Oct 14, 2022
Climate funding projects awarded to TSC

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced grant funding for two USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities projects. The $135 million total funding is designed to reach underserved farmer populations and support climate-smart agriculture. TSC will receive a total of $480,000 to support corporate engagement and participation in these efforts over three years.

On Sept. 14, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity.

The Connected Ag Climate-Smart Commodities Pilot Project, led by the Trust in Food climate-smart agriculture initiative, received $40 million to learn how to close the digitized farm data gap and share those learnings across row crop, livestock, specialty crop and integrated farms and ranches.

Organizations collaborating to deliver the project will provide producers with products, services and other benefits, including on-farm data management tools, data coaches, technical support to implement climate-smart practices and a virtual help desk. TSC will identify member companies in its network to source commodities that meet internal targets and supply chain goals in conjunction with producers. TSC will work alongside partners such as Tuskegee University and the National Pork Board on the pilot to reach farms and ranches open to adopting climate-smart practices.

The Farmers for Soil Health’s Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership received $95 million to accelerate long-term cover crop adoption by offering corn and soybean farmers three years of declining cost share payments to help them transition to utilizing cover crops. The project will also develop a digital platform that will use satellite imagery, allowing farmers to receive an “eco-score” for corn and soybeans produced with cover crops and conservation tillage.

“It’s a big day for TSC and our partners, but the real celebration is the impact this will have on our environment and climate,” Christy Slay, TSC’s CEO and vice president of science, said in a news release. “Both initiatives will provide much needed on-the-ground funding to growers and farmers to support the transition to verifiable climate-smart, sustainable farming practices. This is truly a historic investment to shift U.S. agriculture to sustainable production. We are honored to be able to work with Farmers for Soil Health, Trust in Food and all of the many vital partners on these projects to achieve real impact while supporting our members to achieve their goals.”

USDA is committed to supporting a diverse range of farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, according to the release. This effort will expand markets for America’s 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, according to the release. The full list of selected projects and more information about the initiative can be found here.

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