Accelerating Appalachia has launched a historic, expansive project to spread climate-smart, regenerative farming across Appalachia and the Southeast.
We’re excited to announce the launch of the Building Soil, Building Equity program (BSBE), our initiative to expand the use of climate-smart, regenerative agriculture across eight states.
On Thursday, June 29, 2023, we gathered our partners at the Red River Gorge Resort’s Trillium Room to formally launch the program, which has the ambitious goal of reaching 600 farmers and sequestering over 700,000 tons of carbon over three to five years.
The initiative is supported by the USDA, which awarded us $20 million to directly incentivize farmers to adopt and sustain regenerative farming practices with funding, technical training, business development, and peer network support.
The program supports medium-sized growers in rural communities to help them build soil health, strengthen their businesses, and to increase equitable access to resources and opportunities for market growth. It is not only beneficial to farmers, regenerative farming improves food nutrition, increases water retention, reduces greenhouse gasses, and helps restore biodiversity and ecology to create a resilient food system. It’s a win-win.
We are proud to be working with a strong team of partners.
- The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), will support technical training for program participants. NCAT provides direct technical assistance, free CSAF information and resources, and network-building services in partnership with federal agencies including the USDA and with vulnerable communities of color engaged in food systems and energy solutions.
- Kentucky State University, Kentucky’s only public historically black university, will provide testing and analysis services for total soil carbon, labile soil carbon, and aggregate stability and will conduct outreach in Kentucky and beyond as needed.
- Working Trees, an app-based project created at Stanford’s TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, will integrate their app into the monitoring systems of BSBE to collect and report tree carbon sequestration data for the program and introduce producers to democratized carbon markets.
- Carbon Harvest, an innovative start-up initiative that uses regional soil and tree profiles to calculate accurate carbon sequestration benefits. Pilot producers implementing or expanding silvopasture/agroforestry will be selected from the BSBE participant pool to engage in the carbon markets through Carbon Harvest.
- GRC Advising, a global brand marketing and investment firm specializing in sustainability and social impact, will provide branding and marketing services for ACAP and the launch of the BSBE program.
- Latent Talent Accelerator (LTA) is a Central Appalachian-based organization that builds strategic plans, operating models, iterative improvement strategies, and match-procurement strategies in partnership with high-impact nonprofits, institutions, and companies. LTA will provide operational support throughout the program.
The BSBE initiative is part of the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-smart Commodities program, which is estimated to expand climate-smart production on more than 25 million acres across the country. This is a tremendous opportunity for farmers to make a real difference in building a resilient future for our communities, our region, and the world.
We know it’s a big goal, but, working together, we know we can do it. We’ve been helping farmers and producers grow their businesses through regenerative agriculture for over ten years. This project is perfect for us.
We’re passionate about supporting our farmers and the communities where we live and work. We know you are too. Let’s unite to build a better future for everyone.
We are actively recruiting farmers in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, southeastern Ohio, and northern Georgia to participate in our program. Sign up here to learn more and be notified when registration opens later this year.