The USDA says the second funding pool through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity received over 600 applications from more than 400 groups. While USDA is calculating the final numbers, the overall interest in the opportunity already exceeds more than $18 billion. “The results of the second funding pool clearly demonstrate the strong demand in the U.S. agriculture and forestry industry for solutions that expand markets for American producers and forest landowners, particularly those that are small or historically underserved,” says USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. “The second round of funding received significantly more applications than the first, and we’re looking forward to going through the large pool of applications.” The second funding pool was designed to support proposals between $250,000 and $5 million that emphasize the enrollment of small and-or underserved producers. The proposals could also include monitoring, reporting, and verifying activities developed at minority-serving institutions.