Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, celebrated an announcement that it will receive up to $50 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a broad climate-smart initiative.

Edge will spearhead a multi-partner project ― Farmer-led Climate Smart Commodities Initiative: Building Success from the Ground Up ― aimed at expanding climate-smart markets and establishing dairy and sugar as climate-smart commodities. The co-op applied for the grant earlier this year through the USDA’s new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. The grant was one of 70 announced on Sept. 14.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Edge to further empower our members as they adapt to an evolving marketplace, one that increasingly demands sustainably produced food," said Brody Stapel, president of Edge. "Over the past seven years, we and our partners have built a nationally recognized model for high-impact, tailored agricultural sustainability projects, and we have proven its success in a network of farmer-led conservation groups. Now, we will be able to greatly expand these efforts, connecting more farmers with tools to implement and measure climate-smart practices, and better positioning their businesses for long-term success. We are grateful to be chosen for the funding, and we are excited about what more we can accomplish.”