July 2021 ESMC Newsletter
ESMC Releases an RFP on Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) Platform Development
ESMC/ESMRC is seeking proposals to build out our market ready MRV platform, MRV (v3), to continue with 2021 and 2022 pilot enrollment and processing and to prepare for the late 2022 market program launch. We seek proposals for this collaborative effort and have developed key program milestones as a guide for platform development phases and timelines, including a timeline to shift current producer accounts into to the new platform. View the full RFP here.
ESMC’s Federal and State Policy Engagement Updates
The ESMC Policy Committee met in July to provide updates on ESMC’s dedicated outreach strategy and discuss relevant policy developments related to appropriations, infrastructure, reconciliation, and other agency activities that could impact ESMC’s market program launch in late 2022. As part of its outreach strategy, ESMC met with staff in the House and Senate, USDA, state agencies and various environmental and producer groups to deliver updates on ESMC’s program development and answer questions. ESMC also submitted official comment letters to USDA’s request for input on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities and the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) open comment period on the extension of its deadline for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementation plans.
ESMC is pleased to announce a new member joining our public-private partnership as a Legacy Partner member – The Missouri Department of Conservation. Welcome!
The Missouri Department of Conservation protects and manages the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. They facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. For more information on the Department’s work to support conservation with agricultural practices, click here.
ESMC Has Openings for a Membership Manager and Postdoctoral Researcher/Research Scientist
ESMC and ESMRC, the research arm of ESMC, have a position open for a Chief Technology Officer posted on ESMC’s website. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, along with salary requirements, available start dates, and a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name in the title of all files (ex. Jane Doe cover letter). The position will remain posted until filled.
ESMC seeks a Membership Manager to lead the organization’s communications with and outreach to members. Specific responsibilities include ESMC member targeting, recruitment and member servicing; maintaining updated ESMC membership documents and materials; developing and hosting monthly member onboarding; and ongoing member engagement and servicing via regular check-ins, surveys, focus groups, discussion groups, and/or webinars, and other forms of individual and aggregated engagement and outreach. The position is a full-time contractor role.
ESMRC Postdoctoral Researcher/Research Scientist
ESMRC seeks a dedicated ESMRC Postdoctoral Researcher with experience in the agricultural field related to soil science to join a small and dynamic, fast-paced team environment. The successful candidate will 1) provide consistent and expert direction and support for Working Group members engaged in investing and implementing improved tools and approaches to quantifying soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector; 2) assist in identifying priority soil science-oriented research needs; and 3) implement pilot project research while working closely with the ESMC/ESMRC Deputy Director, ESMRC Research Manager, and relevant ESMRC Project Manager(s), research contractors, and ESMC/ESMRC teams.
ESMC In The News
As Carbon Markets Reward New Efforts, Will Regenerative Farming Pioneers Be Left in the Dirt?
Civil Eats (July 27)
A recent article in Civil Eats reviews current and upcoming issues in agricultural carbon markets around additionality. ESMC’s program is highlighted throughout, as is rancher Meredith Ellis who has been involved in one of 12 regenerative cropland and ranching pilot projects conducted by the ESMC. The article notes that ESMC is developing a way to compensate long-time regenerative ranchers, such as Ellis, who have already achieved lower emissions through regenerative practices via Scope 3 emissions reporting. ESMC board member Gary Price, owner of the 77 Ranch in Blooming Grove, Texas, notes that “We’ve got to identify the value of the land besides just producing food and fiber,” The carbon markets offer a way to do that. “It’s a great opportunity for agriculture. I hope we don’t miss it,” he says. Click here to read the article.
ESMC Member News
Innovations on the Land: Resilient Farms and Ranches
Join ESMC Legacy Partner member Sand County Foundation in Steamboat Springs, CO from August 1 – 3, 2021 at the Innovations on the Land conservation symposium. This event will bring together influential farmers, ranchers, forestland owners and other conservation leaders to explore economic opportunities that incentivize conservation on working land and provide ecological and financial resilience for farming and ranching families. Registration and more information is available here.
World Fertilizer Conference
Join ESMC Legacy Partner member The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) at the World Fertilizer Conference which draws hundreds of TFI members, industry professionals, and representatives from around the world who represent all sectors of the fertilizer industry. From the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to deep dives into innovation, the economy, public policy, and more, the World Conference is fall’s most important business and networking event for the global fertilizer industry. The event will be held September 20 – 22, 2021 in Boston, MA. For more information and registration, click here.
Edge of Field Practices Can Help Food and Ag Companies Meet Sustainability Goals
CSR Wire (July 26)
Kris Johnson, Interim Director of Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy, North America (an ESMC Founding Circle member) writes that a whole-farm—or whole-systems—approach to improving agricultural management is essential for long-term sustainability and profitability, as well as meeting water quality, greenhouse gas, and habitat goals. This approach means that producers need to employ both in-field (e.g., cover crops, nutrient management, crop rotation) and edge of field (EoF) conservation practices. EoF practices provide water quality benefits and enhance carbon and water storage, pollinator and wildlife habitat, and streambank stabilization. To read more about EoF practices, click here.
Carbon Markets and Conservation
Farm Bureau (July 14)
This article from ESMC Legacy Partner member Farm Bureau highlights the opportunities of carbon markets for agriculture and provides a background on how ag producers can earn money for changing their practices and participating in markets. To read the article, click here.
Soil Health Economic and Environmental Case Study Tool Kit
American Farmland Trust (July 13)
ESMC Legacy Partner member American Farmland Trust recently updated the row crop version of the Soil Health Tool Kit with 2020 crop prices and input costs as well as an almond version. To read more and access these documents, click here.
Other News of Note
Environmental Defense Fund (July 26)
Soil carbon contributes meaningfully to climate mitigation and resilience efforts and scientists estimate that agricultural soils could remove 4-6% of annual U.S. emissions. In a new report — Agricultural Soil Carbon Credits: Making sense of protocols for carbon sequestration and net greenhouse gas removals — Environmental Defense Fund and the Woodwell Climate Research Center reviewed the 12 published protocols used to generate soil carbon credits through carbon sequestration in croplands. Click here to read the article and download the report.
Agroforestry Is Key to Cleaning Up Waterways and the Chesapeake Bay
Civil Eats (July 23)
A Pennsylvania project to restore riparian buffers is an agroforestry win-win for ecological outcomes and community well-being and livelihoods. Click here to read the article.
Opinion: How NASA Technology Helps Farmers at Home and Abroad
AgriPulse (July 21)
American farmers are global leaders in innovation and adopting new technologies, not only for increasing yields and for sustainable production practices, but also for remote monitoring crops. With the input of American farmers and through relationships with global consortium partners, NASA Harvest – NASA’s Food Security and Agricultural Program – is developing new tools that enhance crop productivity, sustainability, and the understanding of where and how crops are produced around the globe. Click here to read the article.
Excess Fertilizer Causes a New Challenge: Low Crop Yields During Drought
Civil Eats (July 21)
New research suggests that farmers who over-fertilize grassland crops like corn and wheat could face significant problems in dry conditions. Click here to read the article.
The Total Health and Climate Consequences of the American Food System Cost Three Times as Much as the Food Itself
The Washington Post (July 16)
The United States spends $1.1 trillion a year on food. But when the impacts of the food system on different parts of society — including rising health care costs, climate change and biodiversity loss — are factored in, the bill is around three times that, according to a report by the Rockefeller Foundation, True Cost of Food: Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System. Click here to read the article.
Mixing Trees and Crops Can Help Both Farmers and the Climate
Science News (July 14)
Agriculture that includes trees boosts food production, stores carbon, and saves species according to new studies from around the globe. Click here to read the article.
Why Clearing Brazil’s Forests for Farming Can Make it Harder to Grow Crops
NPR (July 13)
Millions of acres of Brazil’s forest and grasslands have been cleared over the past 30 years to grow soybeans, making the country the world’s biggest soybean producer. But the deforestation that facilitated Brazil’s soybean boom is now undermining it, bringing hotter and drier weather that makes soybeans less productive, according to two recent studies. Click here to read the article.
Farmers Like Me Want to Join Fight Against Climate Change. But We Need Help.
CNN (July 8)
In an opinion piece, North Dakota farmer Vanessa Kummer highlights how the agricultural industry is often misunderstood by the public and hasn’t always been credited for being forward thinking on climate change. However, she notes, today more farmers recognize the evidence and are turning the tide by implementing conservation practices. Click here to read the article.
Supporting Practitioners in Developing Effective Decision Support Tools for Natural Resource Managers
Journal of Soil and water Conservation (July 2021)
In the United States, there is a growing interest in the participatory development of agricultural and natural resource–focused decision support tools (DSTs). To provide greater insight for practitioners developing these DSTs, the authors write that tool developers should more clearly articulate the ways decision makers are included in DST development. Click here to read the article.
The Economic Case for Nature
The World Bank (June 30)
The Economic Case for Nature is part of a series of papers by the World Bank that lays out the economic rationale for investing in nature and recognizes how economies rely on nature for services that are largely underpriced. This report presents a first-of-its-kind integrated ecosystem-economy modelling exercise to assess economic policy responses to the global biodiversity crisis. Click here to read the article and download the report.