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Advancing climate action in agriculture with USDA

By Farms.com

The USDA's recent unveiling of the Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Program signifies a forward leap in agricultural climate action, authorized by landmark legislation under the Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA) and SUSTAINS Act.  

These acts are designed to integrate farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners into the voluntary carbon markets, enabling them to contribute to greenhouse gas reduction while benefiting financially from carbon credits. 

Highlighting the role of the agricultural sector as a key player in combating climate change, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the initiative as a pathway for agriculturalists to capitalize on carbon market opportunities, bolstering both environmental benefits and producer livelihoods.  

The program aims to demystify carbon markets by providing a trusted list of technical assistance providers and third-party verifiers, alongside accepted carbon credit protocols to ensure market consistency and efficiency. 

In anticipation of the program's official launch in 2024, the USDA is taking proactive steps, including public consultations and the formation of an advisory council, to steer the program's direction. Additionally, through the SUSTAINS Act, the USDA is exploring innovative conservation partnerships, augmenting its suite of climate-smart agricultural practices. 

This initiative is part of a broader vision under the Biden-Harris Administration to revamp the American food system, emphasizing resilience, equity, and sustainability. By fostering climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices, the USDA is not only addressing climate change but also ensuring the prosperity and sustainability of the American agricultural landscape for future generations.


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