USDA Launches Initiative To Train Over 100 Future Conservation Leaders

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News in brief:
– USDA introduces Working Lands Climate Corps, part of President Biden’s American Climate Corps, to train over 100 young leaders in climate-smart agriculture and conservation.
– The initiative fosters partnerships with AmeriCorps, The Corps Network, and NACD, aiming to address climate challenges while creating economic opportunities for local farmers and ranchers.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled its latest initiative to nurture the next generation of conservation and climate leaders. Called ‘The Working Lands Climate Corps,’ it is an integral part of President Biden’s American Climate Corps, aimed at equipping over 100 young individuals with technical expertise in climate-smart agriculture.

By fostering partnerships with AmeriCorps, The Corps Network, and the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), the USDA is spearheading efforts to address climate change while bolstering economic opportunities for local farmers and ranchers.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small introduced the Working Lands Climate Corps at the National Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting in San Diego. The program seeks to harness the enthusiasm of over 50,000 individuals who have expressed interest in joining the American Climate Corps. With a focus on President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, the initiative promises to unlock billions of dollars in funding for climate-smart agriculture, paving the way for fulfilling careers within the USDA.

USDA's Working Lands Climate Corps

Empowering young leaders in climate-smart, conservation agriculture

President Biden’s National Climate Advisor, Ali Zaidi, emphasised the pivotal role of the Working Lands Climate Corps in confronting pressing agricultural challenges posed by climate change. By engaging farmers and ranchers in innovative solutions, the initiative underscores a commitment to sustainable practices and community resilience.

Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps, highlighted the program’s roots in addressing contemporary environmental crises. Drawing parallels to the historic Civilian Conservation Corps, the Working Lands Climate Corps signifies a concerted effort to combat climate change while creating employment opportunities in climate resilience and clean energy.

Charting the course for sustainable agriculture

Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network, stressed the importance of preparing the next generation for the evolving landscape of climate-smart agriculture. Through mentorship and hands-on experience, the Working Lands Climate Corps aims to cultivate a skilled workforce capable of implementing sustainable farming practices.

Kim LaFleur, President of the National Association of Conservation Districts, focused on the collaborative nature of the initiative. By providing essential training and support, the program aims to empower young adults to spearhead conservation efforts in their local communities.

Opportunities for engagement

Interested organisations can participate in upcoming webinars hosted by the USDA, providing insights into the application process and program requirements. With the deadline set for March 8, 2024, stakeholders are encouraged to seize this opportunity to contribute to climate resilience and sustainable agriculture.

For more information about the Working Lands Climate Corps and application details, visit

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.


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