The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded Riceland Foods $20 million Wednesday (Sept. 14) as part of the first pool of partnerships for a “Climate-Smart Commodities” initiative. Seventy projects were selected nationally as part of a $2.8 billion partnership.
Riceland Foods, in partnership with Winrock International, Arva Intelligence, Blue Raster and the Intertribal Agriculture Council, will use the money to create a farmer-friendly system to support adoption of climate-smart practices and interact with commodity buyers in climate-smart markets.
The Riceland-Winrock program will build a farmer focused asset registry system for data collection, benefit quantification, verification, and farmer compensation. Eligible farmer members will be provided direct payments to adopt Natural Resource Conservation Service practices, receive technical support and participate in the design of a registry system that will enhance farmers’ ability to access environmental markets.
Additionally, farmers will be able to sell greenhouse gas (GHG) certificates to commodity buyers.
“Today’s announcement reinforces Riceland’s Ingrain Good Carbon Ready Initiative adds value for our farmer members,” Riceland President and CEO Jason Brancel said. “We are excited about this opportunity to work collectively with USDA in our efforts to reward farmers for climate-smart agronomic agricultural practices, and we appreciate the confidence that has been shown in our ability to deliver results.”
“This grant provides Riceland farmers with a unique opportunity to be rewarded financially for their sustainable rice production,” Riceland Chairman of the Board of Directors Roger Pohlner said. “Our farmers are leading the way on climate smart practices, and we are very pleased the USDA recognizes this and provided us with the opportunity to showcase and encourage the implementation of Riceland’s Ingrain Good Carbon Ready Program.”