September 26, 2022, TEMPE, AZ, FAYETTEVILLE, AR – The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced grant funding for two USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities projects that received a total of $135 million to reach underserved farmer populations and support climate-smart agriculture. TSC will receive a total of $480k to support corporate engagement and participation in these efforts over 3 years.
On September 14, 2022, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity.
The Farmers for Soil Health’s Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership received $95 million to accelerate long-term cover crop adoption by offering corn and soybean farmers three years of declining cost share payments to help them transition to utilizing cover crops. The project will also develop a digital platform that will use satellite imagery, allowing farmers to receive an “eco-score” for corn and soybeans produced with cover crops and conservation tillage. This platform will facilitate the marketing of crops to parties interested in securing a documented source of sustainably produced corn and soybean, creating a marketplace to generate demand for climate-smart commodities. TSC will assist by recruiting consumer goods companies and retailers to participate and use the platform. This project will create a much-needed marketplace to generate demand for climate-smart commodities and related conservation practices. TSC will collaborate with Farmers for Soil Health, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and other industry partners on the project that will provide strategic coordination on a national scale to implement this corn and soybean cover crop strategy.
The Connected Ag Climate-Smart Commodities Pilot Project, led by Trust in Food, Farm Journal’s climate-smart agriculture initiative, received $40 million to learn how to close the digitized farm data gap and share those learnings across row crop, livestock, specialty crop and integrated farms and ranches. Organizations collaborating to deliver the project will provide producers with products, services and other benefits, including on-farm data management tools, data coaches, technical support to implement climate-smart practices and a virtual help desk. TSC will identify member companies in its network to source commodities that meet internal targets and supply chain goals in conjunction with producers. TSC will work alongside partners such as Tuskegee University and the National Pork Board on the pilot to reach farms and ranches open to adopting climate-smart practices.
“It’s a big day for TSC and our partners, but the real celebration is the impact this will have on our environment and climate. Both initiatives will provide much needed on-the-ground funding to growers and farmers to support the transition to verifiable climate-smart, sustainable farming practices,” said Christy Slay, TSC’s CEO and VP, Science and Impact. “This is truly a historic investment to shift U.S. agriculture to sustainable production. We are honored to be able to work with Farmers for Soil Health, Trust in Food and all of the many vital partners on these projects to achieve real impact while supporting our members to achieve their goals.”
USDA is committed to supporting a diverse range of farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. This effort will expand markets for America’s climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity
production, and provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers. The full list of selected projects and more information about the initiative can be found online.
The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is a global non-profit organization transforming the consumer goods industry to deliver more sustainable consumer products. We work to enable a world where people can lead fulfilled lives in a way that decouples their impacts on people and the planet. Our members and partners include manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, service providers, NGOs, civil society organizations, governmental agencies, and academics. TSC convenes our diverse stakeholders to work collaboratively to build science-based decision tools and solutions that address sustainability issues that are materially important throughout a product’s supply chain and lifecycle. TSC also offers a portfolio of services to help drive effective improvement and implementation. Formed in 2009, TSC is jointly administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas and has a European office at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. For more information visit www.sustainabilityconsortium.org.
The Sustainability Consortium