December 2021 ESMC Newsletter
On behalf of the entire ESMC team, I want to thank all our members, collaborators, stakeholders, funders, advisors, and supporters for your contributions and efforts in 2021. We are grateful for your continued participation, collaboration, and support.
We look forward to renewed engagements, commitments, and successes in 2022 as we fully launch ESMC’s market program.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,
ESMC Seeks Proposals for Soil Sampling/Soil Analytical Services
ESMC/ESMRC is seeking proposals from organizations that provide soil sampling services, soil analytical services, or both, to be carried out as part of our program. All proposals are due by December 21, 2021. Read the full RFP on our website; a Soil Sampling Protocol is also available for review.
ESMC Podcast Episode #4 Describes ESMC’s Market Program Design
ESMC is pleased to announce a series of podcasts available on our website. Each podcast in the series of six details specific aspects of ESMC’s innovative market program and delves into the role of agriculture in reducing greenhouse gases and improving water quality. The fourth episode in this series highlights ESMC’s market program design and the development of the protocols, monitoring reporting, and verification platform, and new technologies. Click here to listen.
ESMC’s Executive Director Debbie Reed and Business Development Director Jack Jeworski spoke at the recent Almond Board Conference in Sacramento, CA to highlight opportunities for almond producers to participate in ESMC’s market program. With ESMC’s new protocol, almond producers in California’s Central Valley who adopt or carry out one or more of the following management practices in their almond production system (starting Fall 2021) will be eligible:
- Planting cover crops. For example, growers can grow commercial mixes during winter rains, or within or between crops
- Applying compost such as green waste or manures
- Whole orchard recycling, such as chipping trees and spreading these chips out or incorporating them into the soil.
Look For ESMC At….
On January 24 from 2 – 3:30pm ET, ESMC’s Debbie Reed will participate in a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) workshop on understanding carbon systems, payment for ecosystem services programs and current initiatives.
ESMC Member and Funder Updates
Prioritizing Protection for Threatened Carbon-Storing Landscapes
Phys.Org (December 8)
As efforts accelerate to mitigate the threat of runaway climate change through nature-based approaches like large-scale reforestation, a new study led by scientists from ESMC funder and Founding Circle member The Nature Conservancy (TNC) provides a timely reminder not to overlook the benefits of improving landscape protection and management in favor of other Natural Climate Solutions (NCS). The paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change compares a series of approaches to maximizing the use of NCS to tackle climate change, and proposes a robust decision-making hierarchy designed to guide public and private sector organizations looking to deploy these powerful nature-based approaches at scale. Read the full article.
FFAR Grant Examines Management Practices Effect on Soil Health
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) (December 6)
ESMC funder FFAR recently announced a $19 million research project aimed at understanding how a farmer or ranchers’ grazing management decisions impacts soil health on pasture and rangeland and – in turn – how soil health can positively impact a producer’s land and well-being. FFAR awarded ESMC funder Noble Research Institute a $9.5 million grant to lead this critical research that is improving soil health on grazing lands. Read the full article.
Kris Johnson Named Director of The Nature Conservancy’s North America Agriculture Program
The Nature Conservancy (December 1)
ESMC funder and Founding Circle member TNC recently announced the appointment of Kris Johnson, Ph.D., as Director of Agriculture in North America. Johnson, who is the Vice Chair of ESMC’s Board of Directors, has served as interim director for the past eight months, and will lead an interdisciplinary team of science, policy and agriculture experts in a collaborative approach to help farmers and ranchers meet the growing demand for food production while protecting critical lands and waters for people and nature. Read the full article.
Field to Market: National Indicators Report
Field to Market (December 2021)
ESMC Legacy Partner member Field to Market recently published their National Indicators Report, a peer-reviewed report that analyzes sustainability trends over time for U.S. agriculture, evaluating the conservation and stewardship efforts of the nation’s commodity farmers. This trend analysis provides important context, enables informed discussions of priorities for more localized efforts and creates a baseline against which to monitor and measure future change. Read and download the full report.
FFAR Consortium to Reduce Methane Emissions from Cattle
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (November 8)
Last month, ESMC funder FFAR and ESMC Founding Circle member the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced the Greener Cattle Initiative, an industry-oriented consortium that will award approximately $5 million over the next five years to fund research that provides beef and cattle producers with solutions for enteric methane emission mitigation to curb the escalating climate crisis. The Greener Cattle Initiative brings together stakeholders from across the dairy and beef value chains to leverage investments in the research and development of practices and technologies that reduce enteric methane emissions. Read the full article.
Other News of Note
Civil Eats (December 6)
For the past 25 years, Illinois organic farmer Henry Brockman has observed the impact of climate change on his farm. He’s now trying to save it, and its legacy. Read the full article.
California Dairy Farmers Struggle to Stay in the ‘Got Milk’ State
The Wall Street Journal (December 5)
Recurring droughts add to challenges in the nation’s top milk producer, causing farmers to move, close or turn to growing crops; ‘We’re scared to death we’ll have one more dry year’. Read the full article.
Ecosystem Service Valuation Approaches and Carbon Mitigation Considerations for Garden State Agriculture
Rutgers NJ Climate Change Research Center (December 2021)
This report evaluates “payment for ecosystem services” (PES) to better understand various models of valuing and incentivizing carbon sequestration in New Jersey agriculture. The report includes a review of the mitigation potential of soil carbon in agriculture, including knowledge gaps and methods to increase soil organic carbon. Read the full report.