Cover photo for NYS Connects

NYS Connects

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Climate-Smart Farms and Forests

Utilizing behavioral systems approach to break through social norms/barriers, this project will build on strong existing partnerships in the conservation and agricultural communities in NY state to expand climate-smart markets. This project will fund ag producers/forest landowners to implement multiple climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices, utilize modern tools to quantify results of climate-smart agriculture, and build connections between landowners and companies with a demand for climate- smart commodities.

COMET-Planner is planned to be used to assess each climate-smart practice in the project. For key practices, including the pilot practice areas in methane mitigation, enhanced weathering and agroforestry, the project plans to use International Panel on Climate Change methods, empirical data collection by Cornell University and Soil and Water Conservation District staff, and other tools.

Utilizing existing data, along with new data collected from implemented climate-smart practices during the project period, a new decision support tool will be created to more accurately assess carbon sequestration for farmland and GHG mitigation as a result of implemented practices.  The Ecological Platform for Assimilation of Data (EcoPAD) platform, developed and scientifically validated over the past two decades and deployed primarily for research in C cycling, will be further developed to allow New York State to use the system to determine the best incentive practices that balance economic activities with GHG emissions mitigation and C sequestration. Blockchain Technology will be part of the mechanism to track carbon through supply chain ecosystem.

A pilot project will be developed for New York’s building sector to help transition to low carbon construction materials. A New York State Climate-Smart Commodities Label ecosystem will be created.

The New York Climate-Smart label would track & promote climate-smart commodities through the value chain by commodity type to the final product. The project plans to engage directly with underserved and socially disadvantaged producers through an extensive network of service providers including the Cornell Small Farmers Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension Specialists and Soil & Water Conservation Districts, planning to reach at least 200 small and underserved producers with financial incentives.

The project plans to give participants the option to have cost-share paid directly to the contractor to help overcome financial barriers to practice implementation associated with upfront funding needs.


Financial Instrument


Total Program Funding


Updated December 21, 2023

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