Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

USDA Invests $9M to Expand Reach and Increase Adoption of Climate-Smart Practices

Includes $1.5M for the California Climate Hub at UC Davis

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today a $9 million investment in new Cooperative Extension and USDA Climate Hubs partnerships to bolster climate research and connect and share climate-smart solutions directly with the agricultural community.

“The Cooperative Extension system and the USDA Climate Hubs have unmatched capacity to reach agricultural, Tribal and underserved communities, as well as educators and students, and our nation’s farmers directly,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This partnership will strengthen climate research efforts and accelerate the development, adoption and application of science-based, climate-smart practices that benefit everyone.”

This investment is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the nation’s leading competitive grants program for agricultural sciences. This new AFRI program area provides effective, translatable and scalable approaches to address climate change through regional partnerships, including the USDA Climate Hubs, and further extends outreach through organizations such as the Cooperative Extension Service. “These new NIFA-funded projects will work toward net-zero emissions in agriculture, working lands and communities adapted to climate change, training a diverse workforce that can communicate and incorporate climate considerations into management and climate justice that is appropriate for unique U.S. agronomic conditions,” said NIFA Director Dr. Carrie Castille.

The funding announcement includes a key investment of $1.5 million in the California Climate Hub. University of California (Davis) will develop multifaceted pathways with the California Climate Hub to climate-smart agriculture through stakeholder needs assessments, climate-smart agriculture trainings for technical service providers, regional workshops for farmers and ranchers, and student education with Extension service-learning opportunities. Participatory program development and delivery through extensive network of stakeholders, collaborators and supporters are at the core of this integrated proposal.

More information on the program and the six funded projects is available on the USDA site.

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