STARKVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi State University (MSU) is the lead partner on a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct climate-smart projects.

Beth Baker, an Extension specialist in natural resource conservation in agroecosystems, is the lead investigator on the grant project. It is one of 70 nationwide that received funding from a $2.8 billion federal investment in climate-smart commodities and rural projects.

MSU’s project focuses on developing climate-smart grain markets in the Midsouth through diverse partnerships and a farming-systems approach to practice integration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This project seeks to demonstrate the viability of growing climate-smart grains that are sold to local poultry feed operations,” Baker said. “We will develop a pilot program for grain producers to utilize multiple climate-smart practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Investigators will develop a pilot program to incentivize practice adoption, monitor and verify greenhouse gas reductions, and support the sale of climate-smart grains directly to local broiler feed markets, which will simplify supply chain tracking.

Other partners in the grant include Southern Ag Services Inc., the University of Arkansas and Alcorn State University. Peco Foods Inc. also supports this project.

Corn, soybeans and poultry are the commodities primarily affected in Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana.

Those interested in participating in this pilot project can contact Baker for more information at beth.baker@msstate.edu or 662-325-7491.