Agriculture

Organic Valley receives a USDA grant to help fight the climate crisis

CLIMATIC Comments

Investments to expand markets for climate-smart goods

Organic Valley received a USDA grant to help small organic family farms develop and measure methods to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions. Through this program, Organic Valley will include direct payments to farmers for carbon reduction and removal, as well as cost-sharing to develop and implement climate-smart farming practices.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — As cows graze on the Anibas family’s organic dairy farm, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Sept. 15 celebrated historic investments in support of projects that help farmers build resilience to fight the climate crisis and strengthen rural areas America. Up to $2.8 billion for 70 projects spanning the agriculture industry have been initially selected as part of the Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities funding opportunity, including several projects in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The USDA partnership program included a $25 million award to a cooperative headquartered in rural Wisconsin called Project: Organic Valley Carbon Insetting Program: Building a multi-stakeholder pathway to produce, sell and promote climate-smart goods across the US The grant aims to help small organic family farms establish and measure methods to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions.

The grant will provide technical and financial resources to accelerate the adoption of 1,200 new carbon reduction and removal projects on 500 Organic Valley member farms across rural America over the next five years. For Organic Valley, this is based on a a new study in the August issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production, showing how organic dairy farming can store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Through this program, Organic Valley will include direct payments to farmers for carbon reduction and removal, as well as cost-sharing to develop and implement climate-smart farming practices. Climate-smart practices included in Organic Valley’s carbon sequestration program include improved grazing, pasture and cropland, manure harvesting, feed additives, agroforestry and solar energy.

“Through the Climate Smart Commodities Partnership, the USDA is delivering on its promise to create and expand market opportunities for American agriculture and to be a global leader in climate-smart agricultural production,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to join stakeholders at Organic Valley to highlight our strong partnership in increasing the competitive advantage of US agriculture, creating wealth that stays in rural areas and supporting new revenue streams for climate-smart American producers.”

The funding will provide the resources needed to scale the Organic Valley Carbon Inclusion Program (OV-CIP) from a one-year pilot to a full multi-year program. Funded by the USDA and in partnership with more than 20 climate grant partners, this award helps Organic Valley work toward achieving carbon neutrality without the use of carbon offsets. The resulting carbon reduction and removal will apply to Organic Valley branded products and help reduce the carbon footprint of dairy and eggs. A portion of the carbon credits will also be transferred to participating ingredient supply chain partners and applied to their products and climate goals.

“With the effects of the climate crisis intensifying, this action by the USDA is vital for the future of US agriculture to withstand current and future storms. This strategic funding from the USDA allows us and others to innovate meaningfully with farmers and bring climate-safe food to market,” said Nicole Rakabich, Director of Sustainability at Organic Valley. “Organic Valley is creating a model approach to reducing carbon emissions, and we believe this model can be replicated across the food sector. We will share our developments and best practices as we move forward with the introduction of carbon. After all, we are happy to offer consumers the products they demand in the market: low-carbon dairy products and eggs.”

As part of Organic Valley’s mission, this project will bring more resources to small family farms. A large portion of participating farms will meet the USDA’s definition of an underserved producer, with an emphasis on resource-constrained and beginning farmers. Organic Valley will continue to work to expand its carbon program while building a stronger foundation for regional farm diversity and climate resilience.

About Organic Valley
Organic Valley is committed to doing what is right for people, animals and the earth, and strives to provide ethically sourced organic food to families everywhere. Organic Valley is the largest farmer-owned organic cooperative in the United States and one of the largest consumer brands in the world. Founded in 1988 to support family farms through organic farming, the co-op represents nearly 1,800 farmers in 34 states in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. For more information visit ov.coop/influence. Organic Valley is also @OrganicValley on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

— Organic Valley

https://www.morningagclips.com/organic-valley-receives-usda-grant-to-help-with-climate-crisis/ Organic Valley receives a USDA grant to help fight the climate crisis

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