Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

USDA investing up to $2.8 billion in Climate Smart Ag programs; California Ag interests partnering in projects drawing nearly $800 million

Taken from a USDA news release

The USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity, with projects from the second funding pool to be announced later this year. Ultimately, USDA’s anticipated investment will triple to more than $3 billion to help create market opportunities for American commodities using climate-smart production practices.

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 agriculture, including small and underserved producers. Applicants submitted more than 450 project proposals in this first funding pool, and the strength of the projects led USDA to increase its investment in this opportunity from the initial $1 billion that Secretary Tom Vilsack announced earlier this year.

California agricultural interests are partnering in projects drawing nearly $800 million of this investment, for transitioning to climate-smart practices or expanding them. Commodities that are benefitting include fruits, vegetables, rice, dairy, beef, nuts and cotton. The complete California funding package may be viewed here:

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross: “We are grateful to have a federal partner in the USDA that is focused on the fundamental challenge of sustainability, not just of agriculture but life itself on Earth. These investments are much needed and greatly appreciated, and they will strongly support our innovative efforts in California to address the climate crisis. It is gratifying to see the broad scope of projects being funded across the nation, and the emphasis on tribes and historically-underserved farmers and ranchers. I wish to add that I am very proud of the work we have done so far to lead on climate smart food and agricultural systems.”

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