USDA awards millions to Prince George’s Co. for climate-centric farming program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that Prince George’s County, Maryland, will receive a $3.25 million grant from Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities.

The multi-million dollar grant will fund a pilot program to support local farmers and producers of color, and to implement climate-centric practices in organic farming.

“USDA is committed to supporting a diverse range of farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities,” Jennifer Lester Moffitt, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs, said in a release.

“We congratulate Prince George’s County in receiving this award that will expand markets for America’s climate-smart commodities, leverage greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production, and provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers.”

The project hopes to address how to grow and market farm products grown using climate-centric practices, focusing on implementing these practices on new and existing farms in the county.

The grant also emphasizes the need to encourage the entry of historically underserved farmers and producers into the market.

The announcement was made at Bowie State University, which will also work as a partner in the pilot program.

“We are ‘Prince George’s Proud’ to receive this investment funding from the Biden-Harris Administration,” said Prince George’s County executive Angela Alsobrooks.

“This funding will allow Prince George’s County to continue to lead in climate and environmental justice, provide funding for farmers in underserved communities, reduce barriers to farm owners and operators, and contribute to the availability of healthy food across our great county.”

“This award allows us to foster the partnership between the department, our world-class institutions of higher learning, non-profit leaders, and farmers utilizing climate-smart practices across the county,” said Andrea Crooms, director at the PGC Department of the Environment, who will help facilitate the pilot program.

Upon completion of the initial five-year USDA-funded project period, the county will continue to scale up successes from the pilot program.

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is a freelance digital writer/editor at WTOP. She is a recent graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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