A Sneak Peek: USDA Support for Climate Smart Funding

Climate-smart agriculture is front-and-center at the USDA. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told attendees at the Farm Progress Show USDA initially planned to use $1 billion from the Commodity Credit Corporation to invest in climate-smart pilot projects. “We asked farmers, agribusinesses and food companies, what would you do? We ended up getting 1,050 applications and the requests totaled more than $20 billion.” Vilsack outlined three projects that may receive funding. One project focuses on beef and bison production South Dakota. “Producing and using climate smart grazing practices. The plan is to quantify, monitor and verify carbon and GHG practices in terms of climate production and educate producers on climate smart production practices.” The Iowa Soybean Association wants to partner with Target, Cargill, PepsiCo and others to help farmers implement climate smart production practices on corn, soybeans and wheat in the next five years. Several states, including the Dakotas and Minnesota, could be targeted for this pilot program. The USDA will formally announce the pilot programs the week of September 13.