(Photo: Bethany Baratta/Iowa Soybean Association)
Vilsack lauds ISA's innovative approach
May 4, 2023 | Brock Johnston
Midwest farmers will soon be eligible to apply for financial incentives for farmer-led efforts to implement and scale on-farm practices yielding positive environmental outcomes.
The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) has been awarded $95 million for the creation of the Midwest Climate-Smart Commodities Project, administered by the Soil & Water Outcomes Fund (SWOF). The grant, made possible through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, was reaffirmed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack during his remarks at Commodity Classic 2023 in Orlando, Florida.
Secretary Vilsack and ISA President Randy Miller took to the main stage of the Commodity Classic trade show to officially sign the grant. They were joined by ISA President-Elect Suzanne Shirbroun, ISA Secretary Jeff Frank, ISA At-Large Director Tom Adam, and U.S. Under- Secretary of Agriculture Robert Bonnie.
The five-year program will provide direct financial incentives for farmers operating in 12 states to implement on-farm practices resulting in positive environmental outcomes.
“ISA has long touted this innovative approach — with farmers leading the way and being rewarded for implementing practices that have far-reaching benefits,” says Miller. “We extend a sincere thank you to Secretary Vilsack, Under-Secretary Bonnie and our other project partners for their continued efforts to support climate-smart outcomes in agriculture.”
Vilsack recognized ISA and Iowa soybean farmers, saying the public and private partnerships are necessary to achieve sustained improvements in air and water quality while adding value to every acre and commodity enrolled.
“The Iowa Soybean Association has always been at the forefront of new and creative ways to farm,” Vilsack says. “I appreciate the great work that’s been done, and the unique partnership formed by this project. It’s everything we envisioned when establishing the program because it not only focuses on producers but involves those who also get the advantage of utilizing products grown on the farm.”
In addition to supporting farmers, federal funds will be leveraged with corporate commitments and used for farmer enrollment and technical assistance, as well as outcome quantification, measurement, reporting and verification.
Farmers interested in enrolling can visit the SWOF website and complete a brief interest form at theoutcomesfund.com. As enrollment opens, an agronomist will reach out to answer questions and assist with the enrollment process.