USDA Announces Availability of $12.5 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants

USDA announced it is investing up to $12.5 million to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through July 30, 2019, for national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG).

CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests. Utimately, they improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat. All U.S.-based non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply.

“Conservation Innovation Grants enable partners to coinvest with NRCS on the next generation of agricultural conservation solutions,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “Conservation Innovation Grants have helped spur new tools and technologies to conserve natural resources, build resilience in their operations, and improve their bottom lines, and we’re excited to see what these proposals will offer.”

National Conservation Innovation Grants

CIG support the development and field testing, on-farm research and demonstration, evaluation, or implementation of conservation technologies, practices, and systems and approaches to incentivizing conservation adoption. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one.

The 2019 CIG priorities:

  • Increasing the pace and scale of conservation adoption
  • Water quantity
  • Pollinator habitat
  • Urban agriculture

The complete funding announcement information can be accessed through the Conservation Innovation Grants webpageThe national CIG program supports early pilot projects or demonstrations of promising conservation approaches.

State NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants

State NRCS offices are also able to fund and hold their own CIG competitions (awards maximum of $75,000) in addition to the national CIG signup.

Visit state NRCS office websites for information about state CIG competitions.

Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted through by 5 p.m. EDT on July 30, 2019.

A webinar for potential applicants is scheduled for 12 p.m. EDT on June 11, 2019. Information on how to participate in the webinar is posted on the CIG website.

On-Farm Trials

National CIG program is distinct from the $25 million announced on May 15 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials. The USDA announced on May 15 it will invest $25 million per year over the next five years to help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019, for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), a new, additional subprogram created by the 2018 Farm Bill for the USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial, also created by the 2018 Farm Bill

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