Delta Institute Partnership with Iroquois Valley Farms Awarded USDA Conservation Innovation Grant

On September 8, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded Iroquois Valley Farms a three-year Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) of $944,715 to support its partnership with Delta Institute to develop and launch an innovative investment vehicle for soil restoration efforts.

This project will provide critical support to farmers during their multi-year transition period from conventional to USDA certified organic production, and could provide an investment model that can be replicated to support entities making the transition to organic farming.

“By enabling impact investing into sustainable agriculture practices, we can achieve measurable improvements in both soil and water quality and build a healthier food and agriculture system,” said Delta Institute CEO Bill Schleizer. “We look forward to partnering with Iroquois Valley Farms on this exciting project.”

“Delta ignites potential,” said John Steven Bianucci, Director of Impact, Iroquois Valley Farms. “Since I began working with Ryan Anderson on this project almost 18 months ago, I’ve been confident we’ll deliver meaningful results to the country. We are proud Iroquois Valley Farms, Delta Institute, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are now partners in developing a more regenerative agriculture, one that restores health to our food system and resiliency to the planet’s ability to temper climate change.”

Delta Institute will be assessing soil management practices and their relationship with increased soil health and carbon sequestration. This work advances Delta’s strategic objective to catalyze ecosystems stewardship by testing and promoting models for better agricultural practices.

The USDA Conservation Innovation Grant program is designed to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural land. Delta was the lead grantee on a CIG from 2011-2015 that resulted in the launch of the Delta Nitrogen Credit Program. This project marks the sixth CIG on which Delta has partnered.

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