The Texas Climate-Smart Initiative is a 5-year financial incentives program made possible by the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities grant. The incentives program provides funds to non-industrial, private, small-acreage landowners to conduct science-based, Carbon-Focused Forest (CFF) management practices to establish new forest stands, improve the health and vigor of existing stands, and/or encourage holistic forest management upon the landscape.

    Click here to learn more about the Texas Climate-Smart Initiative program's forestry practices.
     + What is a Farm Service Record and how do I establish one?

    A Farm Service Record registers you and your agricultural operation so that you may apply for USDA financial assistance programs such as farm loans, disaster assistance, crop insurance, NRCS programs, and the Texas Climate Smart Initiative. This registration creates a unique farm and tract number. Without a Farm Service Record, you are not eligible to receive reimbursement.

    The Farm Service Agency (FSA) can help you establish your Farm Service Record. To find your local FSA office and to schedule an appointment visit Get Started at Your USDA Service Center |

     + I don’t have Farm Service Records yet or they are still being processed, can I still submit an application?
    Yes. All applicants are encouraged to apply and start an initial conversation with their local Texas A&M Forester or certified consultant forester. The Texas Climate Smart Initiative acknowledges that farm record establishment takes time.
     + I don’t currently have a forester, what should I do?
    Visit My Land Management Connector to connect with a consulting forester and find your local Texas A&M Forest Service office to get started.
     + What are the specifications for each carbon focused forest management practice?
    Each carbon-focused forest management practice has detailed information outlining the required specifications. Contact your local Texas A&M District Forester for more information, or visit
     + Will sampling need to be done on my property in order to participate in the Texas Climate Smart Initiative?
    Landowners must be willing to allow pre- and post-treatment health monitoring measurements to be taken by a TCSI team member. Samples being taken include soil samples and tree measurements, such as tree height, diameter, and canopy coverage. Incentive payments are not contingent upon data results.
     + Under the Texas Climate Smart Initiative can I receive funding for multiple practices?
    Under the Texas Climate Smart Initiative Forest Management Reimbursement Program, an applicant can only receive funding for one practice (for the same treatment area) per applicant/year.

    • Eligible Scenario: Total treatment area is 50 acres. Landowner wants to conduct a stand establishment on 25 acres, and a thinning operation on the remaining 25 acres.
    • Noneligible Scenario: Total treatment area is 50 acres. Landowner wants to conduct a thinning application on 50 acres and a nutrient management treatment on the same 50 acres.
     + Under the Texas Climate Smart Initiative can I apply more than once?
    Applicants can only have one active contract at any given time. Once a contract is successfully completed, and incentive payment has been received, an applicant can reapply for additional incentives.
     + I’m currently enrolled in another federal/state cost share program, can I also enroll in the Texas Climate Smart Initiative?
    The Texas Climate Smart Initiative is funded by the USDA, as such applicants may not receive funding for the same practice on the same acre from other state/federal cost-share programs.
     + Can I hire my own contractor or do the work myself and receive reimbursement for the work?
    No, all applicants are required to use a Texas A&M Forester or a certified consultant forester. To help ensure the proper and prudent implementation of approved forest management practices which will result in a healthy and vigorous stand while following Texas Best Management Practices, a professional forester is required.
     + When can I start implementing the carbon focused forest management practices on my property?
    All applicants will undergo a site visit before, during, and after practice implementation. Work that is started before receiving an approval letter risks forfeiting reimbursement.
     + Can I participate in this program and a carbon credit project?
    Yes. If the terms and conditions of each TCSI practice are met, there is no restriction to selling any available carbon credits generated off your land.
     + Do I need to provide receipts or submit bills to receive cost share payments?
    The payment rate is the unit cost of compensation to be received by the participant. Payment rates do not require the participant to submit bills or receipts. However, invoice receipts, and other supporting documentation may be required to support the work performed meets practice standards and specifications.
     + How will I receive payment?
    Once an implemented practice has been inspected and verified as complete, a Texas A&M Forester will sign off and submit the completed contract packet. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board will then process the payment to the landowner via direct deposit (recommended) or mailed check.