On Monday, February 7, 2022, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered an announcement that USDA would invest“$1 billion in Climate Smart Commodities, Expanding Markets, Strengthening Rural America.” Titled “Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities,” USDA has committed to finance projects that expand the market for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use “climate-smart practices.” The funds will be provided through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation.
USDA will use the program to fund projects that focus on “climate-smart commodities.” USDA defines a climate-smart commodity as an agricultural commodity that is produced using agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon. For example, eligible projects include those that:
- Implement climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on commodity lands, either through:
- Changes in practices or tools that reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions; or
- Implementing new systems to sequester carbon;
- Measure/quantify, monitor, and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with those practices; and
- Develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.
USDA is now accepting applications for projects from public and private entities; applicants cannot be individuals. Funding will be provided in two rounds. The first round of proposals of projects costing $5 million to $100 million must be submitted before April 8, 2022, and the second round of proposals of projects costing $250,000 to $4,999,999 must be submitted by May 27, 2022. Applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov.
Further information, including proposal requirements, can be found on the USDA Press Release and the grant application page. If you have any questions, including but not limited to submitting a proposal, please contact us.