A five-year $5 million USDA grant is providing funding for a multipronged research project at CSU Monterey Bay.
Arlene Haffa, professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry, and researchers will be measuring off-gassing in local agricultural fields. The data will be used to improve the way the USDA estimates climate impacts for specialty crops grown in this region. A group of bilingual staff members will provide small, underserved growers assistance in implementing more effective practices and will provide financial incentives if growers adopt them. There will also be an outreach and marketing component to the project.
The grant is administered by Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, a $3.1 billion USDA program. CSUMB’s project is one of 141 being funded by the agency.
The program’s website says the USDA “is committed to supporting a diverse range of farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners … This effort will expand markets for America’s climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production, and provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers.”