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USDA launches new program to incentivize green farming practices

The United States Department of Agriculture launched a program yesterday that aims to increase and support innovation in climate friendly agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at Lincoln University in Jefferson City and introduced an initiative that will invest $1 billion in farmers and ranchers who use environmentally friendly practices.

The Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities program will fund agricultural production that uses methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or store atmospheric carbon.

“We can with this program position producers to be part of the solution to climate change,” Vilsack said. “In fact, I believe we can lead the nation in that solution, while at the same time creating enormous economic activity in rural places.”

He added that the program will prioritize small and underserved producers throughout the nation.

“Our goal is to fund a portfolio of projects that provide a wide range of agriculture and forestry operations, from cropland to specialty crops, to livestock to forestry and range land. The diversity of producers and landowners needs to be large and small,” Vilsack said.

The USDA is currently accepting applications for fiscal year 2022, and the first round of proposals is due April 8th.

Watch the full announcement - here.

Halle Jackson is a senior in the Missouri School of Journalism studying cross-platform editing and producing.