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The basic idea of the Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities Program is to have various groups conduct pilot projects that would help farmers produce more so called "climate smart commodities" and sell them for premium prices, while fighting climate change at the same time.

"We got 450 applications from 350 organizations and groups, commodity groups, non profits, for profit organizations; all 50 States," noted Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Probably three to four times the billion dollars that we put on the table.  So there's tremendous interest."

But now USDA has to carefully plow through those proposed projects to choose which ones get funding. That announcement coming later this summer. Meanwhile, USDA is taking another round of applications for smaller projects geared toward minority and under-served producers.

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