$80 million coming to Iowa & Missouri for Horizon II project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

By Rebekah Jones, IAWA Communications Director

ANKENY, Iowa (IAWA) – An $80 million project to enhance climate-smart markets, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve carbon sequestration in agriculture will be funded by USDA. It’s part of a $2.8 billion announcement made by USDA Wednesday morning.

The project is a major win for Iowa, bringing millions of dollars from USDA’s Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities into Iowa and Missouri for conservation practices that will also improve water quality.

Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC. Is leading the project, called Horizon II, with the Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance’s Support.

“We are thrilled to partner with ISA, the Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, Iowa Pork, Iowa Corn, Roeslein Alternative Energy, Iowa State University and others on this transformational project that will drive adoption of prairie strips and cover crops; create clean, renewable natural gas; improve water quality, address climate change and improve America’s energy independence,” noted Sean McMahon, Executive Director of IAWA.

Major partners also include the Iowa Soybean Association, Biostar Renewables, Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa State University, Missouri Prairie Foundation, Sievers Family Farms, Soil and Water Outcomes Fund, Smithfield Foods, The Nature Conservancy, University of Missouri, Verdesian, and Veterans in Agriculture.

The program will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve carbon sequestration for corn, soybean, pork, and beef commodities by 250 million metric tons CO2e per year. This impact is equivalent to displacing diesel fuel consumption by 20.7 billion gallons annually.

More wins for Iowa

One of IAWA’s founding members, the Iowa Soybean Association is also receiving $95 million through the USDA.

ISA and partners’ project is called the Midwest Climate-Smart Commodity Program, and will build markets and provide funding to farmers via outcome-based contracts for the reduction and removal of carbon dioxide through the adoption of new climate-smart practices. It will also support farmer enrollment assistance, carbon quantification, technical assistance support, measurement, reporting and verification, and underserved farmer outreach and enrollment.

Of the $2.8 billion announced for 70 Climate-Smart Commodity and rural projects, nearly one billion of the funding will go to projects that include Iowa. See all of the projects being funded here.

Published on Sept. 14, 2022.