What You Really Need to Know About Carbon Markets

In the ranching community, it’s no surprise that the same range cows are grazing is also sequestering carbon. What may come as a surprise to some is that the unseen act of carbon sequestration on today’s ranches could be a potential source of revenue. As carbon markets surface in more and more recent industrywide conversations, some ranchers are cautiously venturing into the space. However, a greater number of ranchers are likely consumed by a list of questions when they hear of the new concept.

“How much is a carbon credit worth?”

“Does entering a carbon market contract impact my ranch management decisions?”

“How is carbon stored and how are payments calculated?”

“Could this be a worthwhile revenue stream for my ranch?”

Good Grazing Makes Cent$ and the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance have teamed up to answer some of these questions during their event “What You Really Need to Know About the Carbon Market.” The two panel discussion will take place at the 76th Annual Society for Range Management Meeting in Boise, Idaho on February 15, 2023, and will be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube as well.

The first panel will consist of several ranchers currently partaking in carbon markets or focusing on carbon sequestering strategies, as well as experts in soil science, research, law and land valuation. This panel will discuss many of the common questions ranchers may have about carbon markets, namely their application on the ground and important considerations prior to entering a contract. The second panel will host carbon market aggregator representatives who will explain their programs and field questions from the audience, both in person and online.

By first exploring carbon markets from ecological, economical, legal, and logistical angles, participants can weigh the pros and cons of this new opportunity. Learning from the experiences of other ranchers who participate in the carbon market will help those interested better understand both the potential implications and possible opportunities before making a well-informed decision for their operation.

Carbon market aggregators will then be on hand to further explain how contracts work, what is expected of the rancher, and how carbon credits may add to the bottom dollar. As the carbon market is a relatively new concept in the ranching industry there are many different contract designs, so a variety of aggregators on the second panel will ensure multiple options are explored and questions can be thoroughly answered.

Both panels will feature short introductions, but the focus of the presentations is to answer ranchers’ questions about carbon markets, so the format will be interactive for both in-person attendees and online viewers. This aligns with the overall goal of Good Grazing Makes Cent$, a program of the Society for Range Management, which aims to provide practical, applicable, and economically feasible range management solutions to improve productivity of the land and the bottom dollar of the ranch. The event is cohosted by the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, a rancher-led, grassroots organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life for rural communities throughout the Northern Great Plains through collaborative conservation projects, rancher education events, and local community outreach.

To learn more about the event, participate online, or register to attend in person, visit goodgrazing.org/carbonmarkets.

Anne Johnson, DVM
Bank of Malta
Ezzie’s Wholesale
First State Bank of Malta
HUB International