Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Historic Investment in Minnesota Climate-Smart Commodities and Rural Projects

WASHINGTON [9.27.22] – Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced historic federal funding that will expand climate-friendly agriculture in Minnesota and around the country.

“Our farmers and agricultural communities are critical to our state economy,” said Klobuchar. “These investments will help create new markets for our agricultural products and encourage voluntary farming practices that help protect our environment.”

“From educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies and producer groups to technology startups, a broad range of Minnesota organizations are at the cutting edge of research into climate-smart agriculture,” said Sen. Smith. “These investments will accelerate the growth of environmentally sustainable agriculture in our state and around the country while taking important steps to reduce emissions and fight climate change.” 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making historic investments in 70 selected projects around the country under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. Projects from the second funding pool will be announced later this year. The investments will create market opportunities for American commodities produced using climate-smart production practices. These projects will expand markets for 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 selections announced this week reflect a broad set of applicants, from non-profits and government entities to farmer cooperatives and environmental groups. Many of the recipients are based in Minnesota or partner with Minnesota businesses and organizations such as Land O’ Lakes, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota Soil Health Coalition and more. 

“These investments will lead to quality data for farmers to make informed decisions on conservation practices and looking to add to their crop rotations and livestock management systems,” said Keith Olander, Executive Director of AgCentric. “AgCentric is excited to be a part of this work to support Minnesota farmers in this quest to balance economics with climate smart practices.”

A complete list of projects identified for this first round of funding is available here. The projects will significantly impact producers and communities nationwide and are projected to result in:

  • Hundreds of expanded markets and revenue streams for producers and commodities across agriculture ranging from traditional corn to specialty crops.
  • More than 50,000 farms reached, encompassing more than 20-25 million acres of working land engaged in climate-smart production practices such as cover crops, no-till and nutrient management.
  • More than 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent sequestered over the lives of the projects. This is equivalent to removing more than 10 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
  • More than 50 universities, including multiple minority-serving institutions, engaged and helping advance projects, especially with outreach and monitoring, measurement, reporting and verification.
  • 70 of the selected projects include plans to match on average over 50% of the federal investment with nonfederal funds.