Wyoming wool producers invited to apply for Climate Beneficial Fiber Program

New program provides technical assistance and direct payments to woolgrowers

Through the Climate Beneficial Fiber Partnership program, woolgrowers in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota have a new opportunity to access technical and financial assistance in implementing climate smart land practices that build drought resilience, improve soil health, and can increase profitability of family ranches and farms.

This project will distribute approximately $11 million to 50-60 finewool (19-22.4 microns) producers, enabling them to choose and adopt climate-smart land management practices that fit with their farming operations and goals. 

Producers will work with conservation planners to identify opportunities to increase carbon in soils and vegetation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate-smart practices have additional benefits such as increasing water-holding capacity of soils, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers, boosting overall farm productivity, and increasing drought resilience.  

Participants can apply for incentive payments to implement practices, with payout rates based on the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (NRCS EQIP) payment schedules. Over the next four years, the program aims to sign up at least 54 ranches in the Northern Great Plains, and help those ranches improve conditions across more than a million acres.  

A key part of the program focuses on expanding markets for wool raised using climate-smart practices. Building on the Climate Beneficial™ Verification program already developed by Fibershed, the Fibershed team will be working with well-known clothing brands and textile manufacturers to expand markets for wool grown on ranches implementing practices compatible with the Carbon Farm Plans developed through this program. 

Louis Wertz is editor-in-chief of On Land and communications director at the Western Landowners Alliance. He lives in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, with his wife and two young children.