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Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry

The Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry were established in 2015 as a framework for helping farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners respond to climate change. The effort relies on voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors.

Building Blocks Implementation Plan and Progress Report

The report outlined progress, implementation plans, and case studies for each of the following 10 building blocks:

The actions outlined in this Progress Report continue through the implementation of USDA’s conservation and energy programs. USDA has a long history of cooperative conservation and partnerships with farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners. The principles that have guided USDA's cooperative conservation efforts are:

  • Voluntary and incentive-based: Farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners are stewards of the land. USDA has a track record of successful conservation though voluntary programs designed to provide technical assistance for resource management. These efforts fit within USDA's approach of cooperative conservation.
  • Focused on multiple economic and environmental benefits: To be successful, the proposed actions should provide economic and environmental benefits through efficiency improvements, co-benefits, improved yields, or reduced risks.
  • Designed to meet the needs of producers: This strategy is designed for working farms, ranches, forests, and production systems. USDA will encourage actions that enhance productivity and improve efficiency.
  • Cooperative and focused on building partnerships: USDA will seek out opportunities to leverage efforts by industry, farm groups, conservation organizations, municipalities, public and private investment products, Tribes, and States.
  • Measured to evaluate progress: USDA is committed to establishing consistent quantitative goals and objectives for each building block and will track and report on progress. USDA will continue to use internationally recognized measures and will enhance the accuracy and precision of these metrics.