With more than a million acres enrolled in a carbon-credits program, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation has launched a new, wholly owned subsidiary to expand the carbon aggregation program.  AgraGate Climate Credits Corporation stands ready to capture the nation’s rapidly expanding market for agriculture’s carbon credits.

Leading the new company is Dave Krog, who serves as chief executive officer. AgraGate recruited Krog from E-Markets, an Ames-based company that provides e-commerce solutions for firms in the agriculture and food industries. At E-Markets, Krog was a co-founder and vice president of research and development.

“I’m honored about having this opportunity to grow what’s already the leading carbon credits aggregator for American farmers, ranchers and private forest owners,” Krog said. “This market is ready to expand rapidly and we plan to be at the forefront in making that happen.”

Farm Bureau has been involved in the environmental credits arena since 1997 and began its carbon offsets aggregation program in 2003. “We were among the first to join the CCX when it opened in 2003 and we already have the most experienced people and the most diverse product line of any company involved in aggregating credits from agricultural activities,” says IFBF’s director of research and commodity services, Dave Miller.  Miller has been a key player in helping to establish the CCX rules that ensure offsets are tracked carefully and verified before they’re marketed.  He will serve as AgraGate’s chief science officer. 

“Through June 2007 AgraGate had registered more than a million acres of land producing carbon credits from farmers, ranchers and forest owners in 16 states, from South Carolina to Colorado and from Texas to Minnesota. We have contracts with forest owners in seven states and we have registered seven methane projects from dairy and swine farms,” said Miller.

IFBF’s chief business development officer, David Lyons, sees the environmental and corporate business interests growing in the ‘green field’ of carbon aggregation.  “I believe this emerging market is demonstrating that sound environmental practices and good business are not mutually exclusive,” Lyons said. “Farmers, ranchers and foresters get a financial benefit while they’re doing the right thing by their land.”

How carbon sequestration works
Sequestering, or holding, carbon in the soil helps reduce carbon dioxide, one of several greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming of the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide can be stored in the soil through no-till planting, restoring wetlands, converting cropland to permanent grass or trees, planting conservation buffers and using cover crops.

The carbon stored in the soil creates an offset, or credit, that can be sold on the CCX. Not only is this good for the soil and the environment, it can also help facilitate the adoption of carbon emission reductions by companies. Companies that have made a commitment to reduce their carbon footprint then buy these credits from farmers, ranchers and foresters.

CCX-approved third parties must verify aggregated offsets before they can be registered and sold through the CCX.   More information is available at the AgraGate web site: www.agragate.com, and at the Chicago Climate Exchange site, www.chicagoclimatex.com.

IowaFarm Bureau