The USDA has published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment and input on a new climate partnership.
In a media release, the USDA said it “is committed to partnering with agriculture, forestry and rural communities to develop climate solutions that strengthen rural America.” The department is now requesting public comments to aid in designing the new initiative to create revenue streams for producers using climate-smart practices to produce commodities.
“Through extreme weather, drought and fire, our agriculture producers are on the frontlines of climate change,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the release. “The new Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative will support pilots that create new market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart practices and position U.S. farmers, ranchers and forest landowners as leaders in addressing climate change. The pilots will invest in the science, monitoring and verification to measure the benefits of these climate-smart practices. Today, we ask for public input to inform our decision making and enhance the design of this initiative.”
The deadline to provide comments is Nov. 1, 2021, and comments must be submitted via the Federal Register, Docket ID: USDA-2021-0010.
The USDA is specifically seeking input on the current state of climate-smart commodity markets; systems for quantification; options and criteria for evaluation; use of information collected; potential protocols; options for review and verification; and inclusion of historically underserved communities.
Farmers and farmer organizations, commodity groups, livestock producer groups and agriculture businesses are among those encourage to comment.