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We are thrilled to share that farmers and ranchers in Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and Virginia will have the opportunity to pilot the RIPE100 concept of $100 per acre or animal unit payments for conservation, thanks to an $80-million grant through USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program.
Under the three-year pilot program, we will have the opportunity help agricultural producers in those four states prove the value of paying farmers and ranchers $100 per unit for stewardship practices that deliver public value through carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reduction, improved soil health, water quality, water conservation and other environmental services.
“We are honored and gratified that USDA sees the potential in our approach to paying producers fairly for conservation,” said RIPE Executive Director Aliza Drewes. “USDA’s willingness to pilot the RIPE100 concept signals that producers can earn $100 per unit, if they ask for it. This pilot provides producers an opportunity to move away from the cost-share model.”
RIPE Board President and third-generation Iowa farmer Curt Mether echoed the excitement:
“Farmers want to hand a healthy farm down to the next generation, and the RIPE100 approach will help us do that, he said. “I am eager to put our principles of paying producers fairly for voluntary conservation in action and look forward to seeing the outcome.”
Stay tuned for more information about which counties the pilot will be offered in and how to get involved!