Climate Smart

The Lempert Report
May 03, 2022

Sally: Well, Phil, secretary Vilsak is saying that there's a lot of interest in a new program called the climate smart commodity program. They have so many applications for this program that they don't think that the $1 billion they have to fund it is going to cut it. 

Phil: Yeah. And what's so interesting. So, this is on April 25th. They started, you know, receiving all these, all this paperwork for people to get these grants. The, the grants are for projects that measure greenhouse gas impact from various practices and farming forestry and food processing and distribution very worthwhile program. But to Vilsac's point, they don't think that it's gonna be enough money to get all these programs. And I think one of the most important things that they find is they're gonna learn so much from this. You know, what, what we all know we've talked about here and on Farm Food Facts is that farming has the potential to absorb and hold carbon through soil practices and to reduce emissions all that great stuff. So what we need to do is, is we need to really impress upon Congress that they need some more money. The question is, is that gonna happen?  

Sally: The 1 billion, to me, does seem like not a lot of money for something that is so important for the help of our planet for our food system. I mean, this is going to provide them with a lot of great data where they have gaps, you know, in the U S D S has got, has got gaps in their data. And they wanna know about livestock and conservation and, and what they have is really old data. So it is a very important program and they also might be working towards a climate smart labeling program through this. So, I think that they need more money. 

Phil: Yeah, I, I agree. You know, it's gotta come from somewhere and it's gonna come from us as taxpayers. Certainly, but Congress really needs to understand. And to your point, you're making a very important point, Sally, that a lot of the data, especially as it relates to lifestyle and animals is five years old, 10 years old, and it really needs to be updated.