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Texas A&M AgriLife to Lead Historic Investment in Texas’ Efforts to become ‘Climate-Smart’

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is anticipating the largest competitive grant in the organization’s history, up to $65 million, to execute a five-year multi-commodity project to work with Texas’ large agricultural sector on expanding climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices.

The grants are not just historic for The Texas A&M University System, but for the nation, as part of a federal investment in 70 partnerships recently announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to the USDA announcement, these federal projects will expand markets for 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.

“We are proud to lead this major effort,” said Chancellor John Sharp. “The diversity of Texas’ climates, soils and agriculture allows a carefully crafted Texas Climate-Smart Initiative to serve as a model for future climate-smart programs nationwide. This grant further cements Texas A&M as the No. 1 research university in Texas and the Southwest.”

“Production agriculture is the backbone of the Texas economy,” said Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences. “This grant proves that when we assemble a team of expert researchers and leaders, while simultaneously staying focused on being responsive to the needs of Texas and key priority areas, that real magic can happen. We’re proud to be creating meaningful solutions for the people of Texas.”

Project partners will be tasked with providing technical and financial assistance to producers to implement climate-smart production practices on a voluntary basis on working lands.

“Sustainable production systems that strengthen economies and bolster human health are cornerstone priorities for our research enterprise,” said Cliff Lamb, Ph.D., director of AgriLife Research. “Over the next five years, we will build on all the competitive advantages that make AgriLife Research the premier agency to lead a research initiative of this magnitude in Texas.”

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