- Farm Business Management: economic/marketing
This project will allow 100 educators from across the Northeast SARE Region to use the knowledge and skills they gain at a regional “Marketing Carbon Credits Workshop” to help colleagues and farmers/landowners understand how to market carbon credits. Northeast farms are being approached by private companies to sell carbon credits generated by practices such as No-Till and anaerobic digesters. While mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is currently voluntary in the United States, carbon-credits are actively being traded on markets including Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and Environmental Defense (ED) and others. Currently most farmers/landowners do not understand the complexity of this new, developing market and most educators are not yet prepared to advise them. The proposed workshops and educational materials will provide educators with information and educational tools for explaining the marketing options of different agricultural practices and compliance requirements as they relate to carbon trading. The educational modules will cover: 1) Basic Cap-and-Trade and Market Opportunities, 2) Northeast Policy Perspectives and Federal 1605(b) Voluntary Reporting, 3) Qualifying Agricultural Practices, 4) Contracts, 5) Whole Farm Planning, and 6) Farms with Experience. Workshops and manuals will be evaluated by a focus group of experts and an evaluator to verify transfer and application of gained knowledge. A review of the literature shows that while there is ample information available on many of the scientific aspects of carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and some information about policy issues, there is very little extension educator material available about how to market carbon credits from the landowner/farmer perspective.
Performance targets from proposal:
100 educators from across the Northeast SARE Region will use the knowledge and skills they gained at the “Marketing Carbon Credits Workshops” to initiate outreach by one or more of the following: organizing local education sessions, giving presentations, working with individual farmers, answering questions, referring colleagues/farmers/landowners to educational resources.