U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces $1 Billion Investment in Climate-Smart Farming

WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/09/22]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced $1 billion in funding for a new program that will support climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in Minnesota and across the country.

As part of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will launch pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. Senator Smith encourages eligible public and private entities in Minnesota to apply now that project applications are open.

“Climate friendly farming and land use practices are a win-win for Minnesota’s environment and ag economy,” said Smith. “These Climate-Smart programs are a creative way to combat the climate crisis while boosting rural economies and generating opportunity for farmers. I encourage local governments, small businesses, and other eligible entities in Minnesota to apply.” 

Funding for these pilot projects will be provided to partners through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. The projects will provide incentives for producers and landowners to: 

  • implement climate-smart conservation practices, activities, and systems on working lands,
  • measure/quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with those practices, and
  • develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.

How to Apply

A range of public and private entities may apply, including:

  • County, city or township governments
  • Special district governments 
  • State governments 
  • Small businesses 
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized) 
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments) 
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) (other than institutions of higher education) 
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) (other than institutions of higher education) 
  • Private institutions of higher education, or
  • Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education.

Funding will be provided in two funding pools, and applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on:

  • April 8, 2022, for the first funding pool (proposals from $5 million to $100 million), and 
  • May 27, 2022, for the second funding pool (proposals from $250,000 to $4,999,999). 

The USDA has committed to equity in program delivery and is specifically seeking proposals from entities serving all types of producers, including small or historically underserved producers.