USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through June 29, 2020 for $15 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving solutions that boost production on farms, ranches and private forests and improve natural resources, according to NRCS. This year’s priorities are water reuse, water quality, air quality, energy and wildlife habitat.
“Through Conservation Innovation Grants, we’re able to co-invest with partners 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 producers’ operations and improve their bottom lines. This year will be the first time we are offering water reuse as a priority, and we’re excited to see how these projects play a role in USDA’s broader strategy for water reuse on agricultural land.”
CIG is a competitive grants program that supports development, testing and research of conservation technologies, practices, systems and approaches on private lands. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one.
All U.S.-based non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply. Complete funding announcement information can be accessed through the Conservation Innovation Grants webpage.
The National CIG program supports early pilot projects or demonstrations of promising conservation approaches and is distinct from the $25 million announced on March 12 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials. On-Farm Trials is a separate CIG component created by the 2018 Farm Bill. It includes a Soil Health Demonstration Trial.
State NRCS offices are also able to fund and hold their own CIG competitions in addition to the National CIG signup. Please visit NRCS state office websites for information about state CIG competitions.
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