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Expansion of climate-smart farm grants underway

Expansion of climate-smart farm grants underway

By Jamie Martin

The administration's commitment to enhancing agriculture's role in addressing climate change is evident in the expanding reach of the USDA's climate-smart agriculture grants. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking to the Organic Trade Association, highlighted the program's growth and its goal to include 20,000 farms by year's end.

This $3.5 billion initiative has sparked interest among a diverse group, including universities and trade organizations, which co-fund projects that promote environmentally sustainable practices in agriculture. Already covering 10 million acres, these grants support farms and forests in producing climate-smart commodities.

Critics, mainly from congressional Republicans, express concerns about the program's direction and funding. Despite this, Vilsack remains optimistic about the program's potential to test the market for products labeled as climate-smart, which could influence consumer preferences towards more sustainable options.

As the program progresses, it aims not only to expand in scale but also to become a crucial element in the strategy to mitigate climate change through agriculture, transforming how farms operate and contribute to environmental health.

Photo Credit: usda

Categories: National

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