Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the additional funding of $325 million for 71 projects under the second funding pool through USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Program.
“Expanding opportunities for small and underserved producers is a key goal of Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. Small and underserved producers are facing the impacts of climate change head on, with limited resources, and have the most to gain from leveraging the growing market demand for agricultural goods produced in a sustainable, climate-smart way. Our goal is to expand markets for climate-smart commodities and ensure that small and underserved producers reap the benefits of these market opportunities,” said Vilsack.
The announcement brings the total investment from both funding pools to more than $3.1 billion for 141 tentatively selected projects.
The Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity had high demand from across agriculture and forestry. Between two funding pools, USDA received over 1,000 proposals requesting more than $20 billion in funds from more than 700 entities, including nonprofit organizations; for-profits and government entities; farmer cooperatives; conservation, energy and environmental groups; state, tribal and local governments; universities; small businesses; and large corporations. Applications were received from all 50 states, tribal lands, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
In September, USDA announced $2.8 billion for 70 tentatively selected projects from the first funding pool, which received over $18 billion in total project requests for projects between $5 million to $100 million. Today, USDA announced an additional $325 million for 71 projects under the second funding pool, which received over $2 billion in proposals for projects from $250,000-$4,999,999. All of the projects funded through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities require meaningful involvement of small and underserved producers. The second funding pool was particularly focused on innovative projects that emphasize enrolling small and underserved producers and invest in measuring, monitoring, reporting and verifying the benefits of climate-smart practices at minority-serving institutions.
Vilsack made the announcement Monday from Tuskegee University in Alabama.
A complete list of projects is available at?usda.gov/climate-smart-commodities.
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.