On September 29, 2021, USDA announced a new initiative to finance the deployment of climate-smart farming and forestry practices to aid in the marketing of “climate-smart agricultural commodities.” The announcement said USDA expects to support a set of pilot projects that provide incentives to implement climate-smart conservation practices on working lands and to quantify and monitor the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices. The pilots could rely on the Commodity Credit Corporation’s specific power to aid in the expansion or development of new and additional markets.
USDA Seeking Comment on Climate Change and Agriculture Initiative
The Department published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment and input on the design of the new initiative. Comments may be provided on or before 11:59 p.m. EST on November 1, 2021, via the Federal Register, Docket ID: USDA-2021-0010.
USDA is seeking input specifically on:
- The current state of climate-smart commodity markets,
- Systems for quantification,
- Options and criteria for evaluation,
- Use of information collected,
- Potential protocols,
- Options for review and verification,
- Inclusion of historically underserved communities.
CalCAN worked with Ferd Hoefner, former NSAC Policy Director, and current NSAC staff and members to develop a memo, outlining how the Commodity Credit Corporation’s authority could be used to serve farmers and ranchers who are advancing climate solutions. See that memo here.
For those wanting to submit comment letters, please feel free to include portions of the memo. If you have any questions about the USDA comment period, feel free to get in touch with Jeanne Merrill, CalCAN Policy Director: firstname.lastname@example.org