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$80 million Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Initiative grant among largest USDA awards

The 2022 calendar year provided many highlights for research, scholarship and creative activity at South Dakota State University. Sustainable research continues to have a positive impact on students, the citizens of South Dakota and society overall. Some highlights this past year included:

  • Proposals for research sponsorship totaled $247 million, 42% higher than the previous year and the highest total dating back to before 2015.
  • Awards of grants and contracts increased 4% from 2021 to $51 million.
  • Total research expenditures, a partial measure of research activity, increased 16% in a year to $60 million.

$80 million partnerships for climate-smart commodities initiative grant among largest USDA awards

South Dakota State University was awarded $80 million of the $2.8 billion the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in 70 selected projects as part of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Initiative. Only five other universities are listed as the lead on projects receiving $50 million or more.

The $80 million is the largest grant ever received by the university. Daniel Scholl, SDSU’s vice president for research and economic development, said the announcement was “a historic day for the university and the state of South Dakota.

“Investments at this level in research are vital to helping solve the complex issues of today,” Scholl added. “The trust the USDA has in our project and our partners to invest at this level only shows confidence in the work that is being done at our university and the quality of our faculty and students to conduct this type of research.”

Kristi Cammack, director of SDSU West River Research and Extension, will serve as the project lead. Other major partners on the project include Millborn Seeds, Buffalo Ridge Cattle Company, AgSpire, Tanka Fund, Cold Creek Buffalo Company, SDSU Extension, the SDSU Center of Excellence for Bison Studies, the National Bison Association, Texas A&M University, Yard Stick, C-Lock and Adopt-Ag.

Titled "The Grass is Greener on the Other Side: Developing Climate-Smart Beef and Bison Commodities,” SDSU’s project will create market opportunities for beef and bison producers who utilize climate-smart agriculture grazing and land-management practices.

The project will guide and educate producers on climate-smart practices most suited for their operations, manage large-scale climate-smart data that will be used by producers to improve decision-making, and create market demand for climate-smart beef/bison commodity markets.

SDSU leaders and partners pose for picture at USDA grant announcement.



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