Solutions from the Land Commends Vilsack, USDA for Climate Smart Ag Initiative

September 30, 2021

Solutions from the Land commends Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the climate smart agriculture initiative that USDA rolled out yesterday.

“The Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative aims to finance the deployment of practices by growers that allow them to market climate-smart agricultural commodities,” said Pat O’Toole, SfL board member, president of the Family Farm Alliance, and a Wyoming cattle and sheep rancher and hay grower.

USDA will support a set of pilot projects that provide incentives to implement climate smart conservation practices on working lands. The initiative also aims to quantify and monitor the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices.

“We believe this project represents early steps toward enabling producers to sustainably intensify production, adapt and improve resilience, and deliver high value near term climate change mitigation services,” said O’Toole, who attended Vilsack’s briefing Wednesday on the plan at Colorado State University. “Our sector has long taken a lead position in meeting the challenges of a changing climate change and efforts like this can only enhance our ability to take on this growing challenge.”

The partnership initiative will support pilots that create new market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart practices. The pilots will invest in the science, monitoring and verification to measure the benefits of the climate smart practices. The USDA is seeking public input to inform it’s decision-making and enhance the design of this initiative.

“Given the devastation that comes with weather volatility – powerful winds, drought, wildfires and torrential rains leading to flooding – those who work the land are motivated to pursue the means that can stem this harsh phenomenon,” O’Toole said. “The USDA initiative could give us stronger tools and practices that can increase our productivity and incomes, enhance our resilience, and reduce and remove climate-changing, greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.”

For further information, contact SfL President Ernie Shea at 410-952-0123 or at


Solutions from the Land (SfL) builds and facilitates state, national and global initiatives and alliances through which farmers, ranchers, foresters and collaborating partners showcase examples of innovation and proactively advocate for policies, partnerships, investments and research that will enable agricultural landscapes to deliver near-term, cost-effective, integrated solutions to global mega-challenges: food and energy security; sustainable economic development; climate change and environmental improvement. For more on SfL, click here.

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