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USDA Announces 70 Grants For Climate-Smart Commodities

US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack
Kevin Meerschaert via Zoom
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USDA
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced up to $2.8 billion in grants for 70 projects including eleven connected to New Mexico to encourage more climate-smart commodities.

The announcement made on Wednesday is part of the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program that encourages farmers, ranchers and others to focus on environmentally friendly crop, timber and meat production methods.

Vilsack says the response was overwhelming with over one thousand applications to initially participate in the program which was trimmed down to the 70 for the first round of projects.

“The 70 projects promote the development and marketing of climate smart commodities,” he said. “At its core this effort is about commodities, with higher value, sustainable produced, and linked to the market demanding and needing such commodities.”

Projects in New Mexico include one with sorghum producers to reduce carbon emissions and developing markets for sorghum as a climate-smart commodity.

As well as building a Regenerative Ranching Economy in the West, which will implement climate-smart grazing practices in beef production for 120 operations across thirteen states including New Mexico, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing market returns for participants.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.