BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech will lead groundbreaking research to curb climate-changing gases, thanks to the university’s biggest grant ever.
The university was awarded $80 million to research ways to implement climate-smart practices on farms.
Most of the money, at least $54 million, will go directly to farmers and producers to help them put those practices into action for crop and animal production.
The grant will create a three-year pilot program in Virginia, Arkansas, Minnesota, and North Dakota that will test the feasibility of rolling out a similar program on a national scale.
Farmers will get $100 per acre or animal unit, for adopting climate-friendly practices, which protect the farmers’ bottom line and leads to environmental benefits for the public.
“If we have fertile soils, we reduce soil erosion, we reduce runoff and leaching of potential contaminants from farm fields, that all benefits the public,” said Tom Thompson, the Associate Dean and Director-CALS Global for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
If scaled up nationally, the program could help producers reduce agricultural emissions by 55 percent and total emissions in the United States by 8 percent after 10 years.