Terra Holds Kick-off Meeting at the Farmer Veteran Coalition Headquarters with Rangeland Partners to Promote Conservation Practices with Diverse Group of Ranchers
The meeting was a first step in strategizing the best way to engage a diverse group of range and pasture land managers with special attention given to veterans and historically underserved groups. Terra’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) will engage farmers and ranchers in implementing NRCS Practices from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in six Western States including California, Oregon, Washington, Texas, Hawai’i and Colorado. The CIG will leverage and build upon existing NRCS Climate-Smart Practices to create access to GHG markets and, stacked credits such as water quality and other conservation banking.
Over the last four years, methodologies and technical tools have been developed to simplify the quantification of GHG emission reductions from agricultural practices, but the market is nascent, fragmented, and not yet economically attractive to producers. Current GHG market methodologies do not support the comprehensive suite of NRCS conservation practices on range and pasture lands. Additionally, relatively few range/pasture land projects are producing marketable GHG credits, and producer awareness of environmental markets is extremely low. Through the CIG, Terra is working to engage farmer and ranchers from the very beginning of the protocol development so that data collection and monitoring requirements are attainable for those on the ground. This meeting with the Farmer Veteran Collation (FVC), Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), Carbon Cycle Institute (CCI) and California Rangeland Trust (CRT) helps funding from the CIG and GHG markets impact groups not typically involved. In addition, Terra is working to create links between conservation practices, GHG/ environmental credit markets, and consumer-branded range/pasture land products such as beef and wool and a credible set of metrics for investors in range/pasture lands to promote the sustainability of their practices to impact investors. This first landmark meeting with a board spectrum of organizations who support land managers, helps in communicating and partnering directly with range and pasture land managers to ensure meaningful participation, coordination and adoption across the diverse ranching community that makes up the West.