ESMC is a Partner in Five USDA Climate-Smart Commodity Grant Awards

September 14, 2022: The Ecosystem Service Market Consortium (ESMC) is pleased to announce that we are an implementing partner in five of the awarded US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate-Smart Commodity Grants that were announced today. Our participation in these grants will allow ESMC to work with these partners to further build climate smart commodity capacity and scale in US agriculture through our accredited market program – both in our ESMC Eco-Harvest market program and in our ESMRC research, innovation and piloting program. We look forward to continuing to expand opportunities for producer participation in meaningful ways that build a more resilient, climate-smart food and agricultural sector. The five projects where ESMC is a partner include:

  1. The Mid-Atlantic Conservation Innovation Fund Climate-Smart Commodities Project. Led by ESMC Legacy Partner member the Conservation Innovation Fund, this project will help expand climate-smart markets and address climate-smart plans and practices for hundreds of dairy producers and will provide an on-ramp and serve as a catalyst for additional state and private capital to bolster the implementation of whole farm plans.
  2. Strengthening Grassroots Leadership and Capacity to Scale Climate-Smart Production Systems and Facilitate Underserved Producers’ Access to Markets. Led by ESMC Legacy Partner member the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), this project will work through NACD’s network of 3,000 conservation districts throughout the nation to grow and advance grassroots efforts to ensure producers and local communities are prepared to meet the demand and have access to climate-smart commodity markets.
  3. Climate-Smart Grasslands: The Root of Agricultural Carbon Markets. Led by the University of Tennessee, this partnership of 28 entities will develop climate-smart grasslands agriculture markets and practices for the eastern U.S. through a large-scale pilot project. The project collaborates with 245 working farms to install innovative, scientifically sound practices that improve soil carbon storage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and maintain operational profitability and resiliency.
  4. An Integrated Approach to Scaling-Up Climate-Smart Practices for Crop, Livestock, and Agroforestry Production. Led by The Curators of the University of Missouri, this project will focus on a training program about climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices in conjunction with financial incentives for ag producers who implement the CSA practices. The goal is to expand climate-smart agriculture markets throughout Missouri and serve as a teaching model for other states.
  5. Farmers for Soil Health Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership. Led by ESMC funder the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, this project proposes to accelerate long-term cover crop adoption by creating a platform to incentivize farmers. The platform will quantify, verify, and facilitate the sale of ecosystem benefits, creating a marketplace to generate demand for climate-smart commodities.

ESMC is excited to partner with these organizations and stakeholders to further grow capacity, resilience and market linkages with producers and their communities. These grant awards will leverage the public and private investments in ESMC’s non-profit, pre-competitive, collaborative market and innovation programs. They will expand our reach and engagement with more diverse production systems, farmers and ranchers, communities, and stakeholder leaders. Through the projects we can continue to generate soil carbon removal and reduced greenhouse gas outcomes, water quality, water quantity, and where possible, biodiversity credits to meet corporate and society demand. Congratulations to the awardees; we are excited to strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones through these great opportunities.

© 2023 Ecosystem Services Market Consortium

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