Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities

Action for Climate-Smart Agriculture

Through USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, Wolfe’s Neck Center will collaboratively lead an investment of $35 million in advancing climate-smart agriculture.

Our project will develop partnerships, tools and sustained funding to create a sustainable marketplace for climate-smart commodities in the long term.

Over the course of our 5-year project, we will improve soil health by funding climate-smart practice adoption and implementation, measure and model the climate impacts of adopting those practices, and expand market demand of climate-smart commodities for producers in the Northeast, Mountain West, and Western United States.

We are:

  • Enrolling hundreds of Farm Projects, 40% of which are owned or operated by underserved farmers or ranchers.
  • Beginning or deepening partnerships with at least 20 purchasers, amounting to growth in regenerative commodity procurement in key US markets.
  • Deploying over $15 million of federal funds in transition finance for on-farm services.

This project will:

Empower Producers with Shared Knowledge and Market Access

  • Provide funds for on-farm and on-ranch climate-smart agriculture implementation with support of Technical Assistance Providers.
  • Implement modeling, measuring, and verification of climate benefits to support research concurrent with advancing widespread climate-smart agriculture implementation.
  • Engage producers with open source and connected tools and technology, equipping them and other food systems actors with shared knowledge, collaborative frameworks, business planning, and access to marketplace opportunities.

Bolster Capacity Within Existing Technical Assistance Provider Networks

  • Invest in existing Technical Assistance Provider networks to grow collective, place-based expertise in on-farm soil sampling through partnerships with experts in soil science, sampling methodology, and ecological data collection and storage.
  • Outreach to Technical Assistance Providers about OpenTEAM’s tech ecosystem, engaging them for early input regarding digital marketplaces and other technology systems and tools for farmer-partners.

Develop and Utilize Connected Digital Tools

  • Develop a reputable, evidence-based scoring mechanism that demonstrates directional change toward climate-smart agriculture.
  • Connect producers and food purchasers with tools that will help provide each with the production and supply network information they need to make the best decision for their operations.
  • Utilize science and technology to drive improved greenhouse gas quantification, amongst other environmental factors, through soil analysis and modeling of climate benefits.

Build and Deepen Partnerships Across Public and Private Sectors

  • Partner with food purchasers to lead innovative financing mechanisms that regenerate supply chain networks in the long-term.
  • Cultivate community with new and existing collaborators across the West, Mountain West, and Northeast as the project grows.
  • Develop interconnected and accessible technological infrastructure between producers, buyers, funders, TAPs, tools and systems.

What Does Climate-Smart Agriculture Mean to Us?

At Wolfe’s Neck Center, our goal is to foster a more just and resilient food system in the face of climate change. We see climate-smart agriculture as another strategy to expand implementation of regenerative agriculture practices in food systems everywhere.

Through this Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, the USDA is investing a historic $3.1 billion in 141 selected projects that are creating or advancing market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart production practices. Our project will not only arm producers with the understanding and training they need to implement climate-smart agricultural practices, but the tools, technologies, and continued funding to enable long-term systemic change with increased market access.

Project Partners

For More Information

Producers looking to participate in this project may reach out to the Regional Markets Program Manager in your region:

  • Western Markets Program Manager – Molly Taylor,
  • Mountain West Markets Program Manager – Sunni Heikes-Knapton,
  • Northeast Markets Program Manager – Karna Ray,

Producers can learn more about the benefits of this program and fill out an interest form when they are ready!

Buyers looking to participate in this project may reach out to Hannah Tikalsky directly, Director of Network Development for Environmental Markets, at

This work is supported by a subaward from a federal grant, led by Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment through OpenTEAM, a community-driven initiative we facilitate.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number NR233A750004G032.

Relevant data and stories will be shared with other USDA project awardees and USDA leadership to inform the next generation of grant funding and other climate-smart infrastructure supports. Data will only be shared by the USDA in aggregate and de-identified. Learn more about USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, any reference to specific brands or types of products or services does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for those products or services.

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