U.S. Department of Agriculture: Conservation Innovation GrantsDeadline: July 30, 2019
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) seek to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) to agricultural producers, into Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) technical manuals and guides or to the private sector. CIG generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, evaluation, or implementation of:
- Approaches to incentivizing conservation adoption, including market-based and conservation finance approaches
- Conservation technologies, practices, and systems
Projects or activities under CIG must comply with all applicable Federal, Tribal, State, and local laws and regulations throughout the duration of the project, and:
- Use a technology or approach that has been studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success
- Demonstrate, evaluate, and verify the effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of natural resource conservation technologies and approaches in the field
- Adapt and transfer conservation technologies, management, practices, systems, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption
- Introduce proven conservation technologies and approaches to a geographic area or agricultural sector where that technology or approach is not currently in use
The focus areas in this year’s competition are:
- Increasing the pace and scale of conservation adoption
- Water quantity
- Pollinator habitat
- Urban agriculture
Note: On-farm research is defined as an investigation conducted to answer a specific applied conservation question using a statistically valid design while employing farm-scale equipment on farms, ranches, or private forest lands.
Amount: $12,500,000 is available to make awards that range from $150,000-$2,000,000. The project duration is 1-3 years. The program will not fund more than 50% of the entire project cost. Up to 10 percent of the total funds available for CIG are set aside for proposals from Historically Underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or community-based organizations comprised of or representing these entities.
Eligibility: All U.S.-based non-federal entities and individuals, with the exception of Federal agencies, are eligible. Projects must involve producers who meet the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligibility requirements (https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2017-title7-vol10/pdf/CFR-2017-title7-vol10-sec1466-6.pdf).