Cover photo for National Pork Board's Advancing U.S. Pork Sustainability and Market Value Proposal

National Pork Board's Advancing U.S. Pork Sustainability and Market Value Proposal

National Pork Board,
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The goal of this project is to increase the sustainability of U.S. pork products by advancing climate-smart agriculture practices within the feed supply, thereby maintaining market demand and price premiums in a rapidly evolving consumer world.

The geography of focus – Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri – encapsulates a concentration of pork facilities supported by local grain production, representing a key region of the overall supply chain. Planned practices include cover crops, livestock integration in cover crops and manure management.

The project plans to offer participants, including small-scale and underserved producers, free initial soil testing, technical assistance from partner agronomists, cost-share for practice adoption and tuition or scholarships for participating producers to attend advanced soil health training workshops through peer-to-peer networking.

The proposal plans to deploy an Sustainable Environmental Consultant's Ecosystem Practices software platform which uses the COMET-Farm GHG tool and Nutrient Tracking Tool for estimating Soil Organic Carbon stock changes, Nitrogen Oxide emissions, and nutrient and sediment losses, and use soil sampling to benchmark results. The project plans to utilize a number of processes to ensure adoption of practices, including precision farm data, work orders, seed purchase receipts,  tagged images, remote sensed analytics, on-farm field inspection, and GHG results are planned to be aggregated from a field basis to the required spatial domain and will be delivered through dashboards and reports.

Once published the quantified GHG benefits of U.S. pork and all the continuous sustainability improvement information derived through this project may be used by many entities, organizations and companies marketing pork globally.

The project plans to support farmers to market their climate-smart commodities in a manner that best suits their production system and individual operation goals, empowering and incentivizing continuous improvement over the long-term (even after the grant is complete) including if they choose maturing environmental offset markets while also providing communications capacity to engage both producers (supply) and end-of-supply chain consumers (demand) in marketing resulting commodities and potential value-added. Priority ranking is planned for small and underserved producers.

Technical and financial assistance, will include 1) Free initial soil test and baseline reporting 2) Free Technical Assistance (TA) from DU agronomy, SEC staff, and Millborn seed optimization specialist 3) Cost-share payments for CSA practice adoption 4) funded opportunities for participating producers to attend an advanced soil health training workshop (peer-peer networking).


Application Instructions

  1. Eligible producers in Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri sign up for a Pork Cares Farm Impact Report

  2. Producers work with Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC) to collect their data and complete a Pork Cares Farm Impact Report

  3. Producers decide on an implementation plan for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices on their farm

  4. SEC and Ducks Unlimited provide technical assistance to support farms in adopting CSA practices

  5. SEC captures data regarding impact of CSA practices through the Pork Cares Farm Impact Reports


Financial Instrument


Total Program Funding


Updated December 21, 2023

Image Credit: Pixabay

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