Habitat + Biodiversity • Quality Water

Rice Stewardship Partnership receives $80 Million from USDA

Ducks Unlimited receives historic support for RSP through Climate-Smart Commodities Grant

By Staff

RIDGELAND, Miss. – Sept.14, 2022 – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USA Rice – Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership (RSP) along with project partner the National Black Growers Council, will receive $80M in funding through its Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities program. Through this new program, USDA finances innovative partnerships that create market opportunities for commodities produced using climate-smart practices.


“While DU is synonymous with creating better habitat for ducks, the truth is that, for 85 years, the wetlands we’ve restored have provided cleaner water for communities, protection from flooding, sequestration of carbon, countless opportunities for outdoor recreation and much more,” said Dr. Karen Waldrop, DU Chief Conservation Officer. “The support from this grant will help DU and USA Rice continue that work on a greater scale and magnify our conservation impact across a landscape that is vital to the future of rice production and waterfowl habitat.”


In 2013, USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited forged a model of collaboration between a farm group and a conservation organization – the Rice Stewardship Partnership. For nearly a decade, this partnership has offered rice producers assistance to address water quantity, water quality and wildlife habitat on working ricelands. From 2020-2021, RSP impacted 728,021 rice acres in the U.S.


“The Climate Smart Commodities Grant marks a historic moment in the Rice Stewardship Partnership,” said DU CEO Adam Putnam. “Ducks Unlimited learned long ago that working together with landowners is the best way to optimize resources for the benefit of both waterfowl and people. If it’s good for rice, odds are it’s also good for ducks. This funding will allow DU and our partners to take this already highly successful program to the next level, and we appreciate Secretary Vilsack and USDA for their leadership in this tremendous investment.”