FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A GREENER WORLD, RURAL ADVANCEMENT FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL-USA, AND SOIL HEALTH INSTITUTE AWARDED USDA CLIMATE-SMART COMMODITIES GRANT
—The project to receive up to $4 million in funding to expand access to regenerative farming markets—
Project partners A Greener World (AGW), Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) and Soil Health Institute (SHI) have been awarded a grant with an approximate funding ceiling of $4,000,000 from the second funding pool of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities.
The grant is part of a historical $325 million federal investment in 71 new projects. According to the USDA announcement, the major investment will deliver on its promise to:
- Expand markets for America’s climate-smart commodities.
- Leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production.
- And provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers across the country.
Non-profit certifier A Greener World will lead the project, titled, ‘Increasing Accessibility to Regenerative Farming Practices and Markets for Small and/or Underserved Producers,’ with RAFI-USA and SHI as partners in implementation. The project will assist small and underserved producers with climate-smart regenerative farm planning and emissions reduction plan design, and incentivize participation, and climate-smart practice implementation. A Greener World also plans to provide customized marketing support to project participants with its certification and support in becoming Certified Regenerative which allows producers to access new climate-smart markets and sell commodities for a higher premium. RAFI-USA and SHI will work alongside A Greener World to assist farmers, ranchers, and landowners, with RAFI-USA providing technical support in regenerative plan development and SHI providing practical and scientific expertise in soil health analysis and measurement.
“We are thrilled to team up with RAFI-USA, Soil Health Institute, and the farmers, partners and businesses joining this project to positively impact agriculture and increase access to regenerative farming resources and markets for underserved producers. We look forward to expanding opportunities across the supply chain for farms implementing regenerative, climate-smart practices, resulting in positive, measurable benefits at the farm level and beyond.”
RAFI-USA Executive Director Edna Rodriguez says,
“We are pleased for the opportunity to work with A Greener World, Soil Health Institute, and other partners on the ‘Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities’ project. Our plan is designed to increase accessibility to regenerative farming practices and help underserved and small producers access new and existing markets. This dovetails with RAFI-USA’s mission of encouraging the viability of small to mid-sized farming operations and supporting farmers of color who have historically been disadvantaged.”
Soil Health Institute Research Soil Scientist Dr. Dianna Bagnall says,
“SHI is pleased to be partnering with A Greener World and RAFI-USA to support the adoption of regenerative systems that build soil health. We look forward to serving as a technical partner to provide standard methods for measuring soil carbon, scaling soil health assessment, and collecting quality verification data. This project directly aligns with SHI’s mission and leverages our work to expand access to science-based tools and technical resources for underserved producers.”
In addition to the project’s three core partners, small and underserved farmers, and ranchers throughout the Southeast will be recruited for the project, and provided with technical, financial, and marketing support on their journey toward regenerative farming and certification. Details on how farms can participate will be available later in the Spring of 2023. For more information on the status of the project, sign-up for email updates from A Greener World.
ABOUT A GREENER WORLD
A Greener World (AGW) identifies, audits, certifies, and promotes practical, sustainable farming systems by supporting farmers and ranchers and informing consumers. AGW’s growing family of trusted certifications includes Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW, Certified Regenerative by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW. Each program is designed to have positive and measurable impacts on the environment, society and animals, and to encourage truly sustainable farming practices. AGW’s standards and procedures are robust, transparent and achievable.
A nonprofit funded by donations, AGW offers a range of resources to help people make informed food choices, including an Online Directory of certified farms and products and Food Labels Exposed–a definitive guide to food label claims (available in print and online). For more information visit agreenerworld.org.
ABOUT CERTIFIED REGENERATIVE BY AGW
Certified Regenerative by A Greener World (AGW) is a comprehensive, plan-based sustainability certification helping producers demonstrate their commitment to the environment and local communities. More than a certification, it serves as a tool for measuring the impacts of management practices. Certified Regenerative farms maximize soil health while mitigating the negative impacts on humans and livestock. This includes the positive management and regeneration of soil, water, air, cropping systems, livestock, biodiversity, wild harvested resources, and people.
The term ‘regenerative agriculture’ is often used to refer to a range of sustainable stewardship practices, many of which have been used by indigenous and traditional agricultural communities for thousands of years. But rising interest has led to a wide and growing variation in how ‘regenerative’ is defined and practiced. As commitments to adopt regenerative practices increase, so does the risk of misusing the claim to imply sustainability without delivering it—also referred to as ‘greenwashing.’ Currently, most regenerative claims are not verified, resulting in wide gaps in consumer expectations and on-farm practices. Unlike most food labels, AGW’s certifications ensure independent trained auditors visit every farm in the program to verify they’re meeting the standards. For more information visit: agreenerworld.org/certifications/certified-regenerative.
ABOUT RURAL ADVANCEMENT FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL-USA (RAFI-USA)
RAFI-USA challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities. RAFI-USA envisions a thriving, sustainable, and equitable food system: where farmers and farmworkers have dignity and agency; where they are supported by just agricultural policies; and where corporations and institutions are accountable to their community. RAFI-USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and incorporated in 1990. Visit RAFI-USA at rafiusa.org.
ABOUT SOIL HEALTH INSTITUTE
The Soil Health Institute is a global non-profit with a mission of safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils through scientific research and advancement. Our vision is a world where farmers and ranchers grow quality food, fiber, and fuel using soil health systems that sustain farms and rural communities, promote a stable climate and clean environment, and improve human health and well-being. Accordingly, the Institute brings together leaders in soil health science and the industry to conduct research and empower farmers and other landowners with the knowledge to successfully adopt regenerative soil health systems that contribute economic and environmental benefits to agriculture and society. The Institute’s scientific team holds doctorates in various soil science and related disciplines, with specialties in carbon cycling, nutrient cycling, water cycling, nutrient management, soil microbiome, farmer/adviser education, ecosystem services, soil-plant relationships, on-farm economics, and others. The team follows a comprehensive strategy for advancing the adoption of regenerative soil health systems.
Healthy soils are the foundation for restoring our land. Together, we can create a secure future for all, mitigate the effects of climate change, and help farmers and organizations meet production and environmental goals at scale. Visit www.soilhealthinstitute.org to learn more and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.