Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national dairy cooperative owned by nearly 11,000 family farmers, has been selected to receive $22.8 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to implement a pilot project to reduce methane emissions on dairy farms through the use of an innovative feed additive.

The grant was one of 81 announced on Nov. 1, through the USDA RCPP, which awarded more than $1 billion in funding to advance and expand the reach of conservation efforts and climate-smart agriculture through partner-driven solutions to conservation on agricultural land. DFA’s grant will focus on working with interested farmer-owners to incorporate an enhanced feed additive into feed rations to reduce enteric methane emissions on dairy farms in California, Idaho and Utah.

Additionally, the project creates a pathway for its farmer-owners to receive compensation through a carbon marketplace for the environmental benefits they generate.

“We’re thrilled to receive a Regional Conservation Partnership Program grant from USDA and help foster the accelerated adoption of these innovative agricultural practices on our owner farms in the western U.S.,” said Gary Stueve, chief operating officer of DFA’s Western Area. “We know that dairy is part of the solution to addressing climate concerns, and these funds will allow our farmerowners to receive value and credit for their efforts.”

“It is exciting to see new tools and systems that will help accurately measure progress so farmers are finally compensated for their efforts,” said Shawn Osborne, chief operating officer of DFA’s Mountain Area. “Our farmers have been working to reduce their carbon footprint for many years and are focused on continuing to advance progress. In parallel, DFA has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure farmers receive credit for their work. Receiving the RCPP grant is an example of the leadership DFA has provided to support its farmers in this area.”