BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Virginia Tech was awarded a record $80 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help farmers implement climate safe practices that could significantly reduce greenhouse gasses.
VT’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, along with the Alliance to Advance Climate-Smart Agriculture will distribute more than $57 million of the grant money to implement a program that pays producers to start climate-smart practices on farms of all sizes, hoping to have a significant impact on curbing climate-changing gases. The program will pay $100 per acre or animal for voluntary adoption of climate-smart practices that deliver more than the amount in public environmental benefits.
Along with Arkansas, Minnesota, and North Dakota, Virginia will test the ability to running out a similar program on a national scale. If it can run on a national level, the program could help producers reduce agricultural emissions by 55% and total emissions in the country by 8-10%.
Virginia Tech researchers will be creating a model that selects participants to ensure the program is affecting and usable wide range of farmers and producers. As well as helping the environment, the program also targets boosting agricultural production to continue to feed the world’s growing population.
Additionally, VT will also be heavily involved in tracking the greenhouse gas savings of the project as they are implemented, evaluating the benefits of other environmental impacts such as reduced soil emissions, and examine a consumer’s willingness to pay for these climate-smart products.
For more information, visit www.cals.vt.edu.