Big Bucks Steered to Greenhouse Gases

Big Bucks Steered to Greenhouse Gases

USDA authorizes $7.4 million for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture in 24 states.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently approved about $7.4 million to fund nine large-scale greenhouse gas mitigation projects in 24 states through U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Innovation Grants.

Ohio will receive funds for a pilot project encouraging innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from beef and dairy operations. The $1.056 grant will go to Unison Resource Co. which will use the funds to conduct work in eight states.

"We want to help farmers and ranchers make important and innovative contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Vilsack says. "These grants are designed to test and verify exciting new approaches to greenhouse gas reduction that other conservation-minded producers will want to put to work on their operations."

In addition to the $7.4 million, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, which administers CIG, will provide $10 million through its regular Environmental Quality Incentives Program to eligible producers to implement conservation practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

NRCS received 43 CIG proposals from 28 states. Nine projects were approved and will be implemented in 24 states. Grant recipients are required to provide matching funds—both cash and in-kind services.

CIG, a component of EQIP, stimulates development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS uses CIG to invest in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches with the goal of wide-scale adoption to address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation, and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues. Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally-recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals.

Here is a description of the Ohio project: Piloting Innovative Beef and Dairy Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Strategies in U.S. Feedlots and Dairies (Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin) – $1.056 million to Unison Resource Co. to pilot test methodologies that qualify carbon offsets and that stimulate feed use efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, monetize carbon credits, and enhance economic viability in the beef and dairy industries.

A summary of all selected proposals awarded in 2011 Conservation Innovation Grant is available at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/2011ghgawards.html.

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