Four Oregon-based organisations will receive grants totalling $100 million, according to an announcement made today by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon. The grants are intended to foster partnerships throughout Oregon to support the production and marketing of climate-smart commodities.
These initiatives aim to increase markets for goods produced with lower or no carbon footprints, so reducing the carbon pollution that is contributing to the global warming crisis and assisting Oregon’s climate-smart agricultural producers as well as the companies that support them.
As the guardians of the land, we must ensure that agriculture farmers have the resources and incentives to keep producing and farming in a sustainable, climate-friendly manner, according to Merkley. “Agriculture producers play a big role in Oregon’s economy,” he added. These climate-smart prizes represent a significant advance for Oregon’s agricultural farmers and the environment.
According to Wyden, “Oregon farmers, ranchers, and timber producers have long created jobs throughout the state and produced high-quality items that are in high demand nationwide.” “This substantial federal investment assures they can continue to produce those jobs and things utilising new approaches that combat the climate challenge in a clever and sustainable way.”
The following projects and recipients are listed:
- $15 million for the TRACT Program Traceable Reforestation project of the Oregon Climate Trust: a plan that takes into account the need to recover and develop the country’s forest estate in order to balance the rising demand for wood products with the growing requirement for forests to act as carbon sinks. The number of forest products produced and each planted acre will have a measured and validated climate benefit in metric tonnes of CO2e.
- Sustainable Northwest receives $10 million for their project to “Build a Regenerative Ranching Economy in the West”: In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost market returns for participants, this project will apply climate-smart grazing methods in beef production for 120 businesses spread over thirteen states and more than 7 million acres of public and private rangelands.
- $50 million for the Climate Smart Potatoes initiative at Oregon State University (and other universities): The Pacific Northwest states of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, where more than 62% of U.S. potatoes are grown and 15% of the domestic seed potato supply is produced, will benefit from this project’s development of climate-smart markets and advancement of the adoption of climate-smart management systems.
- Sustainable Northwest receives $25 million for its project, Building the Climate Smart Wood Economy: In order to manage and repair tens of thousands of acres in Oregon, this project brings together Tribal, small family forest, and nonprofit wood producers with data scientists and the design and construction sector. The project will develop resources for project teams to help them navigate climate-smart markets through the pre-design, design, and construction phases and support sales, as well as quantify the positive effects of climate-smart management on carbon sequestration, wildfire intensity, and cultural values.
Part of USDA’s larger plan to establish agriculture and forestry as pioneers in climate change mitigation through voluntary, incentive-based, market-driven methods is Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. Visit www.usda.gov for information on this initiative as well as updates, tools, and resources linked to climate change across the Department.
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