FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Gainesville, Fla.â€”Some Florida farmers, ranchers and private forest owners may be able to capitalize on a new partnership between the stateâ€™s largest general agricultural organization and the nationâ€™s leading supplier of carbon credit aggregation services to agriculture.
The Florida Farm Bureau Federation and AgraGate Climate Credits Corp. have agreed to partner in providing carbon credits services to farmers, ranchers and private forest owners. Those interested in learning more can attend one of three meetings being held this month in north Florida.
Producers with continuously no-tilled fields and newly established grasslands, managed reforestation or new plantings on forested land and on-farm methane digesters can earn credits based on the amount of carbon sequestered by their agricultural practices. Producers can then sell these carbon credits, also called offsets, to utilities, manufacturing companies and others who want to offset their carbon emissions.
As a contract facilitator, the Florida Farm Bureau will assist landowners in registering eligible properties and practices for carbon credits. AgraGate, a subsidiary of the Iowa Farm Bureau, collects credits from individual farmers and ranchers and combines the credits into sizable pools. The carbon credits are sold on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), with the proceeds returned to the agricultural producers.
â€œWeâ€™re pleased that the Florida Farm Bureau Federation has agreed to work with us as we aggregate carbon credits from farmers and ranchers in the state,â€ said Dave Krog, chief executive of AgraGate. â€œThe market for carbon credits offers farmers, ranchers and private forest owners a brand new revenue opportunity. Itâ€™s important to partner with people who have significant experience in the state so they can help explain both the opportunities and the risks involved in the program.â€
The Florida Farm Bureau Federation and AgraGate are holding a series of educational seminars describing how landowners with qualified projects can sign up their carbon credits. These meetings are open to any farm operator or landowner who is interested in learning more about this new market.
â€œWe are always looking for new ways to help keep Floridaâ€™s agricultural producers profitable. Giving them access to a voluntary market that will compensate them for their environmentally friendly practices is clearly a good thing, and itâ€™s something we are proud to be promoting,â€ said John L. Hoblick, president of Florida Farm Bureau Federation. â€œThere will continue to be opportunities for Florida agriculture to produce alternative energy and provide additional environmental benefits. We look forward to working with AgraGate, the CCX and the University of Florida-IFAS to identify other innovative projects for Floridaâ€™s agricultural producers.â€
The meeting dates, times and locations include:
â€¢ Gainesville: Monday, May 19 at 6:30 pm at the Florida Farm Bureau Building, 5700 SW 34th Street Gainesville, FL 32608.
â€¢ Green Cove Springs: Tuesday, May 20 at 10:00 am at the Clay County Extension Office, 2463 State Road 16 W Green Cove Springs, FL 32043.
â€¢ Live Oak: Tuesday, May 20 at 6:30 pm at the Suwannee County Farm Bureau Office, 407 Dowling Ave SE Live Oak, FL 32064.
For more information on the educational seminars, please call Florida Farm Bureau at (352) 374-1544.
The Florida Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agricultural association with approximately 140,000 member-families statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, the Federation is an independent, non-profit agricultural organization and is not associated with any arm of the government. For more information, visit http://FloridaFarmBureau.org
Carbon Sequestration Basics:
Sequestering, or holding, carbon in the soil helps reduce carbon dioxide, one of several greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming of the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide can be stored in the soil through no-till planting, restoring wetlands, converting cropland to permanent grass or trees, planting conservation buffers and using cover crops.
The carbon stored in the soil creates an offset, or credit, that can be sold on the CCX. Not only is this good for the soil and the environment, it can also help facilitate the adoption of carbon emission reductions by companies. Companies that have made commitments to reduce their carbon footprint pay farmers, ranchers and foresters for these credits.
CCX-approved third parties must verify aggregated offsets before they can be registered and sold through the CCX.
More information is available at the AgraGate web site: www.agragate.com, and at the Chicago Climate Exchange site, www.chicagoclimatex.com.
AgraGate, a subsidiary of the Iowa Farm Bureau, is the leading aggregator of carbon credits from agriculture. On behalf of farmers, ranchers and private forest owners, the company has marketed carbon credits from more than 2.1 million acres in 26 states on the Chicago Climate Exchange.
CONTACT: Andrew Walmsley, environmental services coordinator, (352) 378-8100, ext. 1108
Frankie Hall, associate director of Agricultural Policy (352) 374-1542