Virginia Conservation Innovation Grants
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds are used to award competitive grants to non-federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals.
CIG enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the Nation's most pressing natural resource concerns. CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
NRCS administers CIG and requests proposals for national and state projects.
National CIG information (national NRCS website)
Virginia CIG - 2013 Solicitation for Proposals (pdf, 190 KB)
The priority need for the Virginia State CIG in FY2013 is for projects that seek to improve soil health and function on Virginia farmland in order to improve the productivity, profitability, and environmental impact of agriculture. Priority projects will seek to demonstrate, evaluate, and promote implementation and integration of the following principles:
Maintaining cover on the soil surface
Reducing soil disturbance (from tillage, compaction, etc.)
Maximizing amount and duration of plant production (continuous living cover)
Maximizing biological diversity, both in crops/plants and animals
Integrating livestock, forage crops, and annual crop production to further boost diversity
These principles apply to cropland as well as grassland systems. Projects that seek to increase adoption of only one of the above principles can qualify as meeting the priority need. Projects that address multiple principles and integrated systems will generally receive a higher ranking from the CIG Review Group.
NRCS Virginia anticipates that soil health will be a priority need in FY2014 for the next round of CIG grants.
Virginia CIG Program Manager: