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Agricultural News

NACD Awarded Climate Smart Commodities Program Funding

Thu, 15 Sep 2022 12:58:26 CDT

NACD Awarded Climate Smart Commodities Program Funding The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is pleased with today’s announcement by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack of the association’s selection as a partner in USDA’s $2.8 billion Climate Smart Commodities program. NACD, through its national partnership, project partners and network of 3,000 conservation districts, will advance grassroots efforts that ensure producers and local communities are prepared to meet growing demand and have access to climate-smart commodity markets. The goal is to leave no producer behind.

This grant will provide up to $90 million over 3 years for technical, financial, and marketing assistance. Key partners include the Indian Nations Conservation Alliance (INCA), Rural Coalition, the Kansas Black Farmers Association, and the Rural Advancement Fund of the National Sharecroppers Fund. Additional partners include the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC), Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, HabiTerre, and Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to invest in local communities through USDA’s Climate Smart Commodities program,” said NACD President Michael Crowder. “Good soil health is climate-smart. We know that producers are more likely to implement climate-smart production systems if transition risks are mitigated and they have ready access to profitable market opportunities.”

NACD’s goal of leaving no producer behind - particularly historically underserved communities and producers - will support USDA’s goals of advancing equity and inclusion. To close equity gaps, NACD will work with partners to facilitate producers’ access to markets and to identify opportunities for meaningful participation. Producers also need the tools and training to maintain financial viability and marketability in their production. This includes ensuring that they meet evolving climate-smart standards. NACD will invest in capacity for outreach and integrated financial and conservation technical assistance. It will also invest in partnerships to increase outreach to historically underserved communities and producers across regions and identify meaningful ways to lift barriers, help bundle acres and products, and facilitate access to markets.

“Approximately 70% of land in the lower 48 States is owned by private landowners. Implementation of sound conservation practices therefore relies on the millions of individual decisions that landowners and operators make each day,” said Tim Palmer, Chair of NACD’s Climate Action Task Force. “The outreach, education, and technical assistance provided by conservation districts will support producers’ decision-making at each step of the way.”



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