Climate Smart Farming, Ranching and Forest USDA Pilot Project Program

It’s interesting that Jon posted on Oregon’s effort to determine what practices are climate-smart (possibly to regulate?).  While the USDA seems to figure that letting people innovate will produce the best ideas, technologies and ways to measure and verify.  Here’s the link. I’m a fan of the USDA approach.

USDA to Invest $1 Billion in Climate Smart Commodities, Expanding Markets, Strengthening Rural America

Madison, Wis., Feb. 7, 2022 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the U.S. Department of Agriculture is delivering on its promise to expand markets by investing $1 billion in partnerships to support America’s climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity will finance pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. USDA is now accepting project applications for fiscal year 2022.

“America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest owners are leading the way in implementing climate-smart solutions across their operations,” said Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Acting State Conservationist Eric Allness in Wisconsin. “Through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, USDA will provide targeted funding to meet national and global demand and expand market opportunities for climate-smart commodities to increase the competitive advantage of American producers. We want a broad array of agriculture and forestry to see themselves in this effort, including small and historically underserved producers as well as early adopters.”

For the purposes of this funding opportunity, a climate-smart commodity is defined as an agricultural commodity that is produced using agricultural (farming, ranching or forestry) practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.

Funding will be provided to partners through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation for pilot projects to provide incentives to producers and landowners to:

  • Implement climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands.
  • Measure/quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with those practices.
  • Develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.


2 thoughts on “Climate Smart Farming, Ranching and Forest USDA Pilot Project Program”

  1. I don’t see a lot of difference – someone still has to determine (using some kind of criteria, and presumably prior to funding them) the “practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.”

  2. I think someone may have posted about this, but I couldn’t find it. It’s the Forest Service advice to private landowners of eastern forests for climate-smart forestry. That means it concedes that timber could be harvested, but tries to minimize carbon loss. Something similar might be appropriate for acres designated as suitable for timber production on national forests.

    Protect Forests
    1. Avoid forest loss
    Grow new trees and forests
    2. Green developed areas
    3. Reforest
    4. Plant trees to increase forest stocking
    Reduce stressors
    5. Remove invasive vegetation
    6. Protect seedlings and saplings from deer browse
    Manage forests
    7. Increase time between harvests
    8. Establish forest reserves
    9. Create gaps to promote regeneration
    10. Retain more carbon in a thinning

    Now, where is the western version of this? Would it be different?


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