Despite the uncertainty around the major legislations like the Build Back Better Framework, policy shifts within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) such as the Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership and the Equity Commission are demonstrating the powerful role policy can play in driving change.
“The new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity provides up to $1 billion for pilot projects that create market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart practices.” The pilot program has already received 450 proposals ranging from $5 million to $100 million each.
The Equity Commission looks to fulfill President Biden’s commitment that the USDA “address historical discrimination and disparities in the agriculture sector… [through] one or more equity commissions to address racial equity issues within USDA and its programs.”
“Shape policy to build a resilient agricultural economy” was identified by Forum for the Future as one of the key leverage points to accelerating the transition to regenerative agriculture in the US. In seeking to address past injustices against marginalised farm communities while investing in climate-smart commodities helps ensure the US are investing in the future resilience of its agricultural system.
With the renewal of the Farm Bill on the horizon (the national package of legislation that massively impacts American farming systems), the extent to which policy can deliver more transformative change remains to be seen.
To see how these different signals across the agriculture system are impacting the future system that we envision, keep an eye out for the upcoming report from
Growing our Future.
Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program update https://ocj.com/2022/05/partnerships-for-climate-smart-commodities-pilot-program-update/
USDA Announces Intent to Establish an Equity Commission, Solicits Nominations for Membership https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/09/24/usda-announces-intent-establish-equity-commission-solicits