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USDA awards $35 million to Wolfe's Neck Center to spread climate-friendly farming

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daveynin
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A view of Googins Island from Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park in Freeport, Maine.

Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment has received a $35 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Climate-Smart Commodities Program.

Wolfe's Neck Executive Director Dave Herring says the funds will allow the center to hire up to ten new staff to export climate-friendly, regenerative farming practices nationwide.

"This isn't $35 million to come to Freeport and stay in Freeport," says Herring. "But it's $35 million for us to lead this national alliance, and to incentivize farmers, up to 1,000 pilot projects on farms across the country, where we will be paying farmers to implement practices that we know are good for the environment and help us solve climate change."

Those practices could include reduced-till and no-till farming, and using cover crops. Herring says these strategies will not only help farmers sequester more carbon, but will also make them more resilient to a changing climate.

Herring says the funding is for five years, after which he hopes other incentives will be available for farmers to continue implementing climate-friendly practices.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.