The Rodale Institute received the largest state grant in its 75-year history.

The organization from the village of Maksatani received a grant in the amount of 25 million dollars under the program of the United States Department of Agriculture Partnership for Climate Smart Goods initiative. The initiative is designed to support the production and marketing of agricultural products produced using agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or carbon sequestration.

“These efforts will increase the competitive advantage of U.S. agriculture both domestically and internationally, create wealth that stays in rural communities, and support a diverse range of producers and types of operations,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. grant.

Last week, Vilseck met with senior Rodale scientists to discuss a project at the institute called “Quantifying the Potential to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Increase Carbon Sequestration by Growing and Marketing Climate-Smart Commodities in the Southern Piedmont.”

“We are grateful that USDA has decided to support small-scale, diversified vegetable production in the southern Piedmont region of the United States, which covers Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama,” he said. Dr. Andrew Smith, Rodale’s Chief Operating Officer. “This interdisciplinary project brings together organic and conventional farmers, agricultural nonprofits, and public, private, and historically black colleges and universities to measure and promote climate-smart commodities.”

Smith said the project is expected to increase the acreage and number of farmers using cover crops and other conservation practices.

Rodale Institute will partner with several organizations and academic institutions on this project, including the Soil Health Institute, Carolina Farm Management Association, Georgia Organics, Virginia Organic Agriculture Association, Emory University, Clemson University, University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University.

“This project will provide technical and financial support to smallholder vegetable farmers in the southern Piedmont region to adopt climate-smart practices,” said Dr. Reza Afshar, Rodale’s Chief Scientist. “Our interdisciplinary team will also identify the social and economic barriers to consumer adoption of climate-smart products. In addition, our work will focus on developing the market for climate-smart products produced by farmers in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.”

The Rodale grant is one of $2.8 billion that the USDA is awarding under the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative to 70 projects across the US. For more information visit

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