C-Repeat Binding Factors (CBFs) are DNA-binding transcriptional activators of gene pathways imparting freezing tolerance. Poaceae contain three CBF subfamilies, two of which, HvCBF3/CBFIII and HvCBF4/CBFIV, are unique to this taxon. To gain mechanistic insight into HvCBF4/CBFIV CBFs we overexpressed Hv-CBF2A in spring barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivar 'Golden Promise'. The Hv-CBF2A overexpressing lines exhibited stunted growth, poor yield, and greater freezing tolerance compared to non-transformed 'Golden Promise'. Differences in freezing tolerance were apparent only upon cold acclimation. During cold acclimation freezing tolerance of the Hv-CBF2A overexpressing lines increased more rapidly than that of 'Golden Promise' and paralleled the freezing tolerance of the winter hardy barley 'Dicktoo'. Transcript levels of candidate CBF target genes, COR14B and DHN5 were increased in the overexpressor lines at warm temperatures, and at cold temperatures they accumulated to much higher levels in the Hv-CBF2A overexpressors than in 'Golden Promise'. Hv-CBF2A overexpression also increased transcript levels of other CBF genes at FROST RESISTANCE-H2-H2 (FR-H2) possessing CRT/DRE sites in their upstream regions, the most notable of which was CBF12. CBF12 transcript levels exhibited a relatively constant incremental increase above levels in 'Golden Promise' both at warm and cold. These data indicate that Hv-CBF2A activates target genes at warm temperatures and that transcript accumulation for some of these targets is greatly enhanced by cold temperatures.