Farmers, Forest Owners Can Learn To Profit From Carbon Credits

May 27, 2008

North Escambia farmers, ranchers and private forest owners will have the opportunity tonight to learn how to make additional profit off their land by selling carbon credits to green thinking companies across the country.

Some may be able to capitalize on a new partnership between the state’s largest general agricultural organization and the nation’s leading supplier of carbon credit aggregation services to agriculture.

There will be a special meeting open to all those interested in carbon trading in the Molino Park Elementary School cafeteria tonight. The meeting is sponsored in part by the Escambia County Extension Services Department and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Florida Farm Bureau Federation and AgraGate Climate Credits Corp. have agreed to partner in providing carbon credits services to farmers, ranchers and private forest owners. Producers with continuously no-tilled fields and newly established grasslands, managed reforestation or new plantings on forested land and on-farm methane digesters can earn credits based on the amount of carbon sequestered by their agricultural practices. Producers can then sell these carbon credits, also called offsets, to utilities, manufacturing companies and others who want to offset their carbon emissions.

As a contract facilitator, the Florida Farm Bureau will assist landowners in registering eligible properties and practices for carbon credits. AgraGate, a subsidiary of the Iowa Farm Bureau, collects credits from individual farmers and ranchers and combines the credits into sizable pools. The carbon credits are sold on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), with the proceeds returned to the agricultural producers.

“We’re pleased that the Florida Farm Bureau Federation has agreed to work with us as we aggregate carbon credits from farmers and ranchers in the state,” said Dave Krog, chief executive of AgraGate “The market for carbon credits offers farmers, ranchers and private forest owners a brand new revenue opportunity. It’s important to partner with people who have significant experience in the state so they can help explain both the opportunities and the risks involved in the program.”

According to Scheffer, “Farm Bureau is always looking for new ways to help keep Florida’s agricultural producers profitable. Giving them access to a voluntary market that will compensate them for their environmentally friendly practices is clearly a good thing, and it is something we are proud to be promoting.” There will continue to be opportunities for Florida agriculture to produce alternative energy and provide additional environmental benefits. We look forward to working with AgraGate, the CCX and the University of Florida-IFAS to identify other innovative projects for Florida’s agricultural producers.”

“Farm Bureau has taken the lead on this project”, said Scheffer, “because this could be a huge benefit to local farmers and ranchers”.

Carbon Sequestration Basics:
Sequestering, or holding, carbon in the soil helps reduce carbon dioxide, one of several greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming of the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide can be stored in the soil through no-till planting, restoring wetlands, converting cropland to permanent grass or trees, planting conservation buffers and using cover crops.

The carbon stored in the soil creates an offset, or credit, that can be sold on the CCX. Not only is this good for the soil and the environment, it can also help facilitate the adoption of carbon emission reductions by companies. Companies have made commitments to reduce their carbon footprint and pay farmers, ranchers and foresters for these credits.

CCX-approved third parties must verify aggregated offsets before they can be registered and sold through the CCX. More information is available at the AgraGate web site:, and at the Chicago Climate Exchange site,

AgraGate, a subsidiary of the Iowa Farm Bureau, is the leading aggregator of carbon credits from agriculture. On behalf of farmers, ranchers and private forest owners, the company has marketed carbon credits from more than 2.1 million acres in 26 states on the Chicago Climate Exchange.


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