Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Climate-Smart Commodities Funding Opportunity Extended by USDA

Funding Opportunity Seeks to Pilot New Revenue Streams for America’s Climate-Smart Farmers, Ranchers and Forest Landowners

PRESS RELEASE, March 11, 2022 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadlines to apply for the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity after requests from many stakeholders.
 
“There has been a high level of interest in the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity, and we want to ensure that a diverse applicant pool is able to apply,” said Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. “USDA is extending the deadline for the funding opportunity to provide more time for these applications.”

The new deadlines to apply via Grants.gov offsite link image     by 11:59 p.m. ET:

  • First Funding Pool – May 6, 2022 
    Proposals from $5 million to $100 million
     
  • Second Funding Pool – June 10, 2022
    Proposals from $250,000 to $4,999,999

The Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity will finance pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart production practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. USDA began accepting project applications for fiscal year 2022 on Feb. 7, 2022, and since then, Department officials have heard from many stakeholders that an extension would allow them to prepare more robust applications to further development of climate-smart markets for a diverse range of producers.
 
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, and
  • Develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.

How to Apply

A range of public and private entities may apply, including:

  • County, city or township governments
  • Special district governments  
  • State governments  
  • Small businesses  
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)  
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)  
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) (other than institutions of higher education)  
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) (other than institutions of higher education)  
  • Private institutions of higher education, or
  • Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education.

In response to questions received from potential applicants, USDA has also provided additional clarity regarding requirements in the funding opportunity, including:

  • The definition of “domestic applicant;”
  • Producers’ eligibility as beneficiaries of the funding; and
  • Quantification requirements.

Frequently asked questions are also available on the website to help answer questions.

USDA is committed to equity in program delivery and is specifically seeking proposals from entities serving all types of producers, including small or historically underserved producers. Providing sufficient incentives to encourage producer participation and generating both verifiable greenhouse gas reduction and carbon sequestration benefits are critical to project success and will be considered in the evaluation criteria.

More Information

USDA published a Request for Information offsite link image     in September 2021 seeking public comment and input on design of this new initiative and used the nearly 400 comments received to inform this funding opportunity.  The funding opportunity has received praise from across multiple industries for its support to create innovative and cost-effective markets.

Visit usda.gov for additional information, including details on Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities and resources to support your application.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is engaged in a whole-of-government effort to combat the climate crisis and conserve and protect our nation’s lands, biodiversity and natural resources including our soil, air and water. Through conservation practices and partnerships, USDA aims to enhance economic growth and create new streams of income for farmers, ranchers, producers and private foresters. Successfully meeting these challenges will require USDA and our agencies to pursue a coordinated approach alongside USDA stakeholders, including State, local and Tribal governments.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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