U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an additional $325 Million for 71 projects funded through the Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities program. This second pool of funding was focused on innovative projects that develop and expand market opportunities for small and historically underserved producers. USDA’s total investment in the Climate Smart Commodities program is over $3.1 billion for 141 selected projects.
The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, the Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts were named as lead partners. The California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, the Southern California Resource Conservation District, Washtenaw County Conservation District, Monroe Conservation District, Lenawee Conservation District, Muscogee Creek Nation Conservation District, Choctaw Nation Conservation District, Prince George’s County Soil Conservation District, and Van Buren County Conservation District were included as major partners in other pilot projects.
“NACD, conservation districts, and their associations are thrilled to support USDA’s goals of advancing equity, inclusion, and access to growing climate-smart markets,” said NACD CEO Jeremy Peters. “We are pleased that the Climate Smart Commodities partnerships support local leadership, partnerships, and collaborations. This is a key strategy for empowering producers and developing innovative long-term climate solutions that work for the community.”
USDA’s latest investment will facilitate creation of meaningful market opportunities for small and underserved producers and play a significant role in bolstering local communities and economies. NACD applauds USDA for its historic investments in climate-smart agriculture, forestry, and ranching.