Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities - Building Markets and Investing in America’s Climate-Smart Farmers, Ranchers & Forest Owners to Strengthen U.S. Rural and Agricultural Communities

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract- OAK Climate Smart Commodities Partnership Dr. Ashton Wright, The Food Connection, University of Kentucky OAK is pursuing this new funding opportunity, announced by USDA earlier in 2022 with a deadline of May 6 for proposals $5 million to $100 million and June 10 for the proposals up to $4,999,999. Up to $1 billion will be made available for projects through this funding opportunity, which will build markets and invest in America’s climate-smart farmers, ranchers, and forest owners to strengthen U.S. rural and agricultural communities. Projects will support the production and marketing of climate-smart commodities that provide voluntary incentives through partners to producers and landowners, including early adopters, to: ? implement climate-smart practices, activities, and systems on working lands (including enrollment of small and/or underserved producers), ? 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. OAK’s work in Kentucky and experience developing and delivering educational programming, technical assistance, and participation in the regional organic and regenerative agricultural value chain and marketplace positions the organization to present a strong proposal. Central to this project is a Farm Sustainability Assessment Tool that tracks production practices while measuring GHG emissions and related environmental co-benefits as well as social and human capital impacts of the farming operation. OAK has been working with a domestic and international team for the past year to adapt this assessment tool to be used on KY farms. There are hundreds of farms in the state using climate smart practices from reduced tillage to cover cropping and rotational grazing to agroforestry. OAK aims to seize the opportunity to support their early adoption while also offering technical assistance and incentives to farms in order to increase expanded adoption of best practices and build out regional market opportunities for climate-smart products. To ensure the largest farm impact and lasting value chain development in Kentucky, we are interested in involving multiple partners in this project that provide the following services: ? Buyers interested in procuring climate-smart commodities and developing the value chain ? Aggregators working with farmers using climate-smart practices interested to access new verification and market opportunities ? Institutional and organizational local food system expert partners to collaborate on developing and scaling KY''s climate-smart commodities value chain. ? Farmers currently using or planning to implement climate-smart practices and interested to measure greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental co-benefits of these practices ? Marketing and branding partner to work with partners in developing accessible visual content that communicates the value of climate smart commodities. The Food Connection''s (TFC) current work to expand value chain opportunities in KY, TFC''s reach through extension, and TFC''s technical expertise working with farmers one a state-wide scale, will be key components of this project. The Food Connection will partner in planning for the Aggregator and Buyer Focus Groups as well as be a member of the Climate-Smart Value- Chain Advisory Committee for the project.
Effective start/end date3/15/248/31/28


  • Organic Association of Kentucky: $52,691.00


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