USDA Secretary Vilsack announces over $70MM to advance climate-smart agriculture

Statement by Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability at Environmental Defense Fund

May 12, 2016
Cristina Mestre, (212) 616-1268

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 12, 2016) One year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced 10 “building blocks” for climate-smart agriculture and forestry, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 120 million metric tons by 2025.

Today, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new report outlining progress made in each of the building block areas, in addition to an additional $72.3 million in funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help farmers improve soil health and advance nutrient stewardship.

The following is a statement by Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability at EDF:

“USDA’s new commitment to advancing climate-smart agriculture techniques and programs is a huge boost for the environment and for growers’ bottom lines. Collaboration between farmers, ranchers and the private sector is the best way to bring agricultural sustainability to scale.

Conservation and economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand, and USDA’s new building blocks report reveals huge progress in making agriculture more resilient to the effects of climate change. The big increase in funding through EQUIP will accelerate stewardship efforts across the Corn Belt and help to improve farmers’ yields.

The opportunity for private sector collaboration is also unprecedented, with agricultural retailers such as United Suppliers leading the way through on-the-ground sustainability programs such as SUSTAIN.”

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