The USDA awarded $3.25 million to Prince George’s County for Climate-Centric Farming and Local Producers Pilot Program.
Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Prince George’s County has received a $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.
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:
Department of the Environment (DoE)
Prince George’s Soil Conservation District (PGSCD)
- Non-Profit Partners:
Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC)
Low Impact Development Center, Inc. (LIDC)
- Higher Education Institutions:
Bowie State University (BSU)|
University of Maryland Extension (UMD Extension)