USDA recently announced details of its "Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities" program, the funding of which will be awarded in two grant cycles. The first set of proposals for asks between $5-$100MM is due April 8, 2022, and the second deadline(for projects carrying a price tag between $250,000-$4.9MM is May 27, 2022. However, USDA officials recently hinted that those deadlines might receive an extension given the interest in the program.

Pilot projects that are funded (spanning 1-5 years) will be those that are geared toward providing technical and financial assistance to producers who implement (or who have implemented -- more on that later) climate-smart practices voluntarily on working lands as well as methods for quantification, monitoring and verification of GHG reductions and/or carbon sequestration. Eligible commodities is broadly defined across the entire agricultural and forestry sector, including milk!!

Importantly, early adopters are not punished by this program. They are eligible for funding (and participation in off-set markets) even if they have already adopted climate smart practices provided those practices continue or are expanded. This makes this program far more attractive to return value to producers for practices than other environmental services markets where the endless "baseline" debate is waged. If you'd like to learn more or discuss a project application, please reach out.