$10 Million Effort for Soil Health, Climate Change Mitigation Launched

$10 Million Effort for Soil Health, Climate Change Mitigation Launched

Wolfe's Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment in Freeport, Maine; Stonyfield Organic; the LandPKS project at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR) have announced the launch of a $10 million public-private partnership to improve soil health and mitigate the effects of climate change around the world.

The first open source technology ecosystem to address soil health and climate change, OpenTEAM (Open Technology Ecosystem for Agricultural Management) is a connected, interoperable platform that will give farmers and farms of any size and in any country access to field-level carbon measurement tools, digital management records, remote sensing tools, predictive analytics, and input and economic management decision support. In addition to having control of their own data, farmers will be able to access any tool available through the OpenTEAM platform.

In addition to the founding partners, organizations helping to develop, fund, and implement the project, which will be coordinated by Wolfe’s Neck Center, include the Soil Health Partnership; General Mills; Colorado State University/USDA-NRCS Comet Farm; Applied GeoSolutions, LLC; DNDC Applications, Research and Training; Dagan, Inc.; Michigan State University Global Change Learning Lab; Sustainable Food Lab and Cool Farm Alliance; Nori; Purdue University Open Technology and Systems Center (OATS); the University of British Columbia Center for Sustainable Food Systems; Regen Network; Our.Sci; Quick Carbon at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; U.S. Cover Crop Council decision tool; the Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado (SILC); the University of Colorado Boulder; and FarmOS.

The project is funded by a $5 million grant from FFAR and more than $5 million in matching grants from its partners, including a $200,000 grant from the Stonyfield Foundation and $200,000 in cash and in-kind contributions from Stonyfield Organic.

"Optimizing soil management practices not only improves soil health but also protects the environment," said FFAR executive director Sally Rockey. "At scale, OpenTEAM can improve soil management practices for farmers around the globe and mitigate the effects of climate change."

"Stonyfield is strongly committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions," said Britt Lundgren, director of organic and sustainable agriculture at Stonyfield Organic. "Over half of our emissions come from agriculture, so in order to hit our target we know we need to work with the farms who provide our ingredients and help them reduce their emissions and sequester more carbon. OpenTEAM will enable us to do this, and track farms' progress so we can be confident we’re hitting our goals."