SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The USDA gave $25 million to Missouri University to assist farmers in implementing practices that can help stave off the effects of climate change.

Robert Balek, a horticulture expert with the UM Extension Office of Springfield, said that this is the largest grant his organization had ever been awarded from the USDA.

“This is a grant for climate change,” Balek said. “It’s helping farmers implement new practices to mitigate their crops for climate change.”

The funds will be used to help farmers fund cover crops, regenerative grazing practices, agroforestry practices and other methods to help keep their incomes steady when the effects of climate change impede their yields. The practices also help move carbon into the soil rather than into the air, where it can worsen the effects of climate change.

“A farmer can have a couple of bad years and probably still be OK, but when things keep piling up, it gets tough,” Balek said.

The money is going to the farmers, but it will also be used to educate farmers and help them implement the practices on their farms.

Those who want to take part in the funds and improve their farm’s eco-consciousness can reach out to their local UM Extension Office. Springfield’s local office can be reached at 417-874-2963.