The Soil Inventory Project (TSIP) Awarded $20 Million by USDA Climate-Smart Commodities Program to Lead the Partnership for Impact and Demand

Key TSIP USDA Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities Stats & Facts

  • The USDA selects The Soil Inventory Project (TSIP) and its partners for tentative award of $20 million to enable hundreds of US farmers implement or enhance climate-smart farming practices across 120,000 acres.
  • TSIP and its partners will use grant funding to pay farmers to adopt new land management practices, measure and monitor soil carbon sequestration, and model long-term impacts on crop yields and other climate benefits.
  • Farmers will receive technical assistance throughout the 5-year grant period and impact metrics to help make climate-smart brand claims to market buyers.
  • The Partnership includes Nature For Justice, The Glynwood Center for Regional Food & Farming, Jackson Family Wines, the International Wineries for Climate Action, Corteva, Inc and Vayda.
  • Globally, soil contains three times more carbon than all of earth's vegetation and twice the amount currently in the atmosphere - and it can store more.
  • This award is part of the USDA's $2.8 billion Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities, designed to help farmers and foresters explore sustainable practices and collect data on climate and market benefits.

TSIP partnership will unlock consumer demand for climate-smart farm products by quantifying greenhouse gas mitigation and farm resilience on climate-smart agricultural practices across 120,000 US acres


Chicago, IL - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities program selects The Soil Inventory Project for tentative award of $20 million to lead an ambitious project that will help farmers across America apply climate-smart farming practices. This is part of the larger $2.8 billion funding opportunity awarded to 70 organizations announced by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week. TSIP will quantify and share climate-smart impact.

"This unprecedented national-scale exploration of the link between sustainable farming and verifiable outcomes will support the growing community of producers, market developers, lenders, and insurers looking to critically evaluate agriculture's more resilient future as a leading climate solution," said TSIP's Co-Founder and President Dr. Kris Covey.

Globally, soil contains three times more carbon than all of earth's vegetation and twice the amount currently in the atmosphere--and it can store more. Soil can draw down and store atmospheric CO2 via climate-smart and sustainable agroecological systems. But climate-smart farm product supply needs to connect with demand. Farmers and land managers need assured markets and tools to overcome climate-smart transition costs.

TSIP designed the Partnership for Impact and Demand to overcome these barriers. The Partnership will provide technical assistance and financial support to farmers applying climate-smart land management, measure and monitor soil carbon sequestration, and model the impact on crop yield stability and soil health. The Partnership will develop and share impact metrics to strengthen climate-smart brand-claims. It will quantify climate-smart agriculture and forestry (CSAF) value for consumers.

"It is exciting to know TSIP was selected among a large pool of excellent proposals submitted to the Climate Smart Commodities. Coupling soil measurements with regional modeling of soil organic carbon baselines is critical to understanding the impacts of practices on soil health, crop yields and climate benefits.  TSIP is well-positioned to engage a wide range of stakeholders in better understanding the value of soil carbon sequestration and its co-benefits in building resilient and sustainable agricultural systems at large," says TSIP co-founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Bruno Basso.

The TSIP partnership for Impact and Demand will unlock consumer demand for climate-smart 

farm products by working with farmer networks across 120,000 US acres. It will directly support growers of the most common American row crops, specialty wine-grapes, and specialty fruit, grain, vegetable, and livestock. It will support historically marginalized and underserved farming communities of color.

"We are thrilled to partner with leaders in agriculture, environmental justice, and climate science to study and scale climate-smart farming, all while centering the farmer experience and their livelihoods," says Sonali Lamba, Executive Director TSIP. "By connecting farm impact to commodity markets at scale, this project can contribute to aligning climate-smart commodity supply and demand, a critical step to scaling climate-smart agriculture."

Key organizations include Nature For Justice, The Glynwood Center for Regional Food & Farming, Jackson Family Wines, members of the International Wineries for Climate Action, Corteva, Inc., and Vayda.


About The Soil Inventory Project

The Soil Inventory Project (TSIP) is a collaboration between experts in working lands management, biogeochemical modeling, soil sampling, and climate-smart agriculture. TSIP comprises a producer-driven public data collection campaign that allows land managers to confidently plan, predict, and visualize the impact of management decisions on soil carbon stocks. TSIP was incubated on former Vice President Al Gore's family farm, Caney Fork Farms in Carthage, TN. Mr. Gore is a senior advisor to TSIP.

TSIP's vision is supported by two distinct approaches to quantifying soil carbon. The first is a nationally distributed, app-based soil sampling system developed by TSIP that allows land managers to collect soil samples and analyze carbon in a rapid and cost-effective manner. The second is a model of regional soil carbon practice baselines created from existing soil carbon data aggregated from corporate partners. Critically, these two approaches support each other, producing benefits for all agricultural producers involved, from small farms to large agricultural corporations.

TSIP's paired field data and modeling system will:

a. develop the critical pathway to link farm-scale data to regional management practice impact.

b. advance our understanding of, and show quantitative evidence for, the co-benefits generated by climate-smart practice adoption.

c. establish accurate relationships between crop yield stability, soil carbon, and soil health.

Measured and modeled results will allow us to quantify:

a. what agricultural land management practices produce what climate impact,

b. where land management affects the largest climate outcome,

c. which land management scenarios are more suitable for future climate outcomes by region.

TSIP's founding core belief is that social inclusivity is a requirement for data integrity. TSIP provides compelling and affordable quantitative tools to groups who often apply agricultural practices of unique ecosystem service value but who cannot quantify this impact in a way that lends economic value and pricing premiums to agricultural products. This unified measurement approach can change this.

To date, TSIP has contributed to surveying nearly 75,000 acres of land across the US. TSIP launches its free, public, in-field soil sampling mobile app this fall. TSIP is fiscally sponsored by The Meridian Institute.