MADISON, Wis. — The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), collectively known as the Tri-Societies, along with the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR), a non-profit organization that builds public-private partnerships to fund audacious research addressing the biggest challenges in food and agriculture, announced today a $200,000 investment to build inclusivity and accessibility into the Tri-Societies’ new educational website Decode 6. The website provides free educational resources in carbon and ecosystem services and their respective markets for the agricultural and environmental sectors. It is named for carbon, the sixth element on the periodic table.
This partnership, represented by a $100,000 investment from both the Tri-Societies and FFAR, will add accessibility features to the Decode 6 website including closed captioning and transcripts for videos and podcasts for the visually and hearing impaired, language translation services for Latino communities, and collaboration with 1890s Land-Grant Universities for content development and focused outreach to people of color.
Carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, are permits that represent the equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide removed and sequestered from the atmosphere. In the United States, credits can be purchased or traded through voluntary carbon markets. Trusted, unbiased information about these markets and supporting programs are limited. In 2021, the Tri-Societies began work to build a source for science-based information to assist all populations working in agronomy, crops, soils, and agriculture at large to better understand and adopt carbon programs to help curb climate change and evaluate the science behind practices and markets.
The resulting Decode 6 website launched earlier this month. Covering six key topic areas, including carbon, markets and economics, water, nutrients, biodiversity and habitat, and climate, Decode 6 provides bite-sized, science-based information in question-and-answer format. Podcasts, videos and short articles seek to answer the key questions farmers, in-field advisers, agricultural retailers, conservationists, market providers and policymakers need to evaluate today’s opportunities in carbon and ecosystem services practices and markets.
“Accessing science-based, unbiased information on emerging carbon markets and programs can often be challenging,” said Dr. LaKisha Odom, FFAR scientific program director. “FFAR is excited to support Decode 6 in providing equitable access to practical agricultural information and enabling more informed decision-making.”
“This partnership between FFAR and Tri-Societies allows Decode 6 to reach underserved communities that are looking to better understand and leverage opportunities in carbon and ecosystem services markets,” said Chris Boomsma, director of science & strategy for Decode 6. “But it’s not just a one-way push of educational materials to these communities. Through this partnership, Decode 6 will work directly with individuals in underserved communities to co-create actionable education materials related to carbon, markets and economics, water, nutrients, biodiversity and habitat and climate.”
ASA is a progressive international scientific and professional society that empowers scientists, educators and practitioners in developing, disseminating and applying agronomic solutions to feed and sustain the world. Based in Madison, ASA is the professional home for over 7,000 members and over 12,000 certified professionals (Certified Crop Advisers) dedicated to advancing the field of agronomy.
CSSA is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the vision to improve the world through crop science. Based in Madison and founded in 1956, CSSA is the professional home for over 4,000 members dedicated to discovering and applying plant science solutions to improve the human condition and protect the planet.
SSSA is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for over 6,000 members and over 800 certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The organization provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, forestry, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, urban uses, mining and reclamation, and across many closely related scientific disciplines and applied fields.
Due to their common interests, ASA, CSSA and SSSA share a cooperative relationship under the management and administrative support services of the Alliance of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Science Societies (ACSESS). Each organization is autonomous with its own bylaws and governing boards of directors.
FFAR builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.
–American Society of Agronomy
Soil Science Society of America
Crop Science Society of America