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Top federal agriculture official touts "climate smart farming" to mid-Michigan agri-business leaders

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small said meeting like the one this week are about "making sure people know about about the programs that we have and that we’re good partners in that work."

A top U.S. Agriculture official met Thursday with mid-Michigan farmers and Agri-business leaders to discuss “climate smart farming.”

Climate Smart Farming is an approach that helps guide actions to transform agri-food systems towards green and climate resilient practices.

Xochitl Torres Small is the under secretary for the Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She met with about two dozen individuals at a farm in Otisville, just north of Flint.

She says the Climate-Smart Commodities program is aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and developing new revenue streams for small and under-served farmers.

“There’s always opportunities for more collaboration,” said Torres Small. “As we look for ways to support these local solutions, it’s making sure that our programs are accessible.”

Torres Small says it’s important for farmers and local groups to know the USDA is a “good partner.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.