Climate-Smart Program

NEW!  Please continue to monitor this webpage for more information on the pilot program as it becomes available. 

Prince George’s County Climate-Smart Local Producers Pilot Program

This project plans to pilot, evaluate, and build a Climate-Smart Local Producers Program to address marketing products grown using various climate-smart practices. The project will reduce barriers to practice implementation on existing and new farms.  A planned marketing strategy that resonates with County residents will combine the values of eating locally, utilizing on-farm climate-smart practices, and women and minority-owned farms. The County will work with Bowie State University (a Historically Black University) to develop a monitoring methodology, perform the analysis of greenhouse gas reductions, and leverage the measurement and monitoring methodologies developed by the state of Maryland for several sequestration practices and supply chain impacts.

Lead Partner: Prince George's County Government
Other Major Partners: Prince George’s County Government Agencies and Entities, including the Department of the Environment (DoE), Prince George's Soil Conservation District (PGSCD), Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC), Low Impact Development Center, Inc. (LIDC), Bowie State University, University of Maryland Extension
Primary States Expected: MD
Major Commodities: Fruit, Vegetables, Specialty Crops, and a variety of other Crops
Approximate Funding Ceiling: $3,250,000

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Press Release

For immediate release:
December 13, 2022

For more information, contact:
Linda Lowe, Public Information Officer
Department of the Environment
lmlowe@co.pg.md.us; (301) 836-2115 (cell)

USDA Awards $3.25 million to Prince George’s County for Climate-Centric Farming and Local Producers Pilot Program
 
Grant funding will support farmers and food producers in providing healthy food in the County

Largo, MD – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jennifer Lester Moffitt today announced Prince George’s County has received a competitive $3.25 million grant from Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. The grant will fund a pilot program to support farmers and producers, particularly those of color, 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,” said Under Secretary Moffitt. “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.”

Funding for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is available through USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation in two pools. Seventy projects were announced in September from the first funding pool, which included proposals seeking funds ranging from $5 million to $100 million. Seventy-one projects seeking funds from $250,000 to under $5 million, including the pilot program from Prince George’s County, were announced on December 12.  Prince George’s County is the only County and government entity in Maryland to receive a grant under the second funding pool.  Access the complete list of selected projects

The announcement was made at Bowie State University (BSU), a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). BSU hosted the event and will also work as a partner in the County pilot program.  BSU President Dr. Aminta Breaux welcomed guests on the campus and facilitated a tour of the school’s Greenhouse and Aquaponics Agriculture Facility and a panel discussion with County, BSU, USDA, and other officials.

“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.”

The Prince George’s County Department of the Environment (DoE) will lead the pilot.   DoE Director Andrea Crooms said, “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.”

 The proposed project will pilot, evaluate, and build a Climate-Smart Local Producers Program to address marketing products grown using various climate-centric practices. It will focus on breaking down barriers to implementing such practices on existing and new farms. Emphasis will be placed on encouraging the entry of historically underserved producers into the marketplace. This includes beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, veteran farmers, limited resource farmers, women farmers, and producers growing specialty crops. Supporting new and expanding green markets is essential to ensure that the County's agriculture sector remains competitive with surrounding counties. 

The County will work to scale up and institutionalize pilot successes upon completion of the initial five-year USDA-funded project period. DoE anticipates the partnership will expand as the pilot progresses. Key partners already engaged in the pilot program include:

Prince George’s County Government Agencies and Entities:

Non-Profit Partners:

Higher Education Institutions:

For more information on the Climate-Smart Local Producers Program, visit environment.mypgc.us.

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