BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Students at Southern University and A&M College are now partnering with the federal government in an attempt to conquer global warming.

Southern University is now a part of a small group of universities nationwide to increase the use of climate-smart agriculture – using rice farming operations.

“So we can manage soils to sequester more carbon. We can manage rice to reduce methane emissions. We can manage livestock to reduce methane emissions. And if we can create incentives for farmers, ranchers, and forest owners to do that, we can maintain the productivity of our lands even while we help the climate,” said Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie.

Bonnie says the increase in climate-smart agriculture practices will result in a reduction in water usage. Southern University students will assist in the research data.

“It’s exciting to have our Southern University students be a part of this climate-smart ag initiative,” said National Outreach Coordinator of USDA’s Partnership and Public Engagement Allison Johnson. Southern University A&M College, Executive Vice-Chancellor & Provost, Bijoy Sahoo agreed.

“Southern University is going to add to this smart part of the climate-smart agriculture,” he said..

Bonnie believes if this study works it will improve sustainability for all farmers. They will have a reduction in their cost input but most importantly he says we will have a better environment.

“To be able to show that they can continue to produce a healthy product even while they reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And Southern University is going to help us measure those outcomes. So we can tell that story,” he said.

Students will start the research immediately.