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Conservation Innovation Grants - Utah


The Conservation Innovation Grant (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.


The Conservation Innovation Grant (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 funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals. 

National CIG Competition 

To see about applying at the national level, go to the National CIG program site

Utah CIG Competition 

The intent of the CIG state competition is to provide flexibility to NRCS State Conservationists to target CIG funds to individual producers and smaller organizations that may possess promising innovations, but may not compete well on the larger scale of the national grants competition. Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process.  Eligible applicants include state and local government, nongovernment organizations, eligible private business, and individuals. 

Available Funding in FY 2022 

It is anticipated that a total of up to $200,000 will be available to fund multiple one- to three-year projects. Single projects may be eligible to receive $20,000 to $200,000 in funding. Applicants are encouraged to explore the complete announcement to better match their proposals to these needs. The announcement, number USDA-NRCS-UT-CIG-22- NOFO0001145, can be viewed at https://www.grants.govoffsite link image    . Applications must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Time (ET) on April 29, 2022. 

In 2022, Utah NRCS is accepting proposals in the following categories: 

  1. Soil Health: Proposals in this category must support the improvement or adoption of soil health practices in one or more soil health management principles (minimize disturbance, maximize biodiversity, maximize soil cover, maximize living roots, livestock integration). Proposals should reflect a clear understanding of soil health issues in Utah.    

  1. Water Optimization Technologies: Proposals in this category must apply innovative technologies that address one of the following irrigation issues. 


  • Enhance the efficiency, timing, and placement of irrigation water. 

  • Reduce the severity and extent of salinity through irrigation water management, 

  • Mitigate the impacts of drought on irrigated cropland through innovations in cropping systems, tillage, or other cultural practices.    

  1. Urban Farming Technologies: Proposals in this category must demonstrate innovative approaches or methods that will support the adoption of conservation practices for farming operations located in urban high-density settings or develop an urban conservation farm showcase to provide training to urban farmers on urban conservation strategies. 



Sara Saunders, Program Manager 
Phone: 385-600-1043 

Ready to get started?

Contact your local service center to start your application.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit

How to Get Assistance

Do you farm or ranch and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease?

Natural Resources Conservation Service offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners.

how to get started

To get started with NRCS, we recommend you stop by your local NRCS field office. We’ll discuss your vision for your land.

NRCS provides landowners with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you.

We’ll walk you through the application process. To get started on applying for financial assistance, we’ll work with you:

  • To fill out an AD 1026, which ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed. It also ensures that identified wetland areas are protected.
  • To meet other eligibility certifications.

Once complete, we’ll work with you on the application, or CPA 1200.

Applications for most programs are accepted on a continuous basis, but they’re considered for funding in different ranking periods. Be sure to ask your local NRCS district conservationist about the deadline for the ranking period to ensure you turn in your application in time.

As part of the application process, we’ll check to see if you are eligible. To do this, you’ll need to bring:

  • An official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID)
  • A property deed or lease agreement to show you have control of the property; and
  • A farm tract number.

If you don’t have a farm tract number, you can get one from USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Typically, the local FSA office is located in the same building as the local NRCS office. You only need a farm tract number if you’re interested in financial assistance.

NRCS will take a look at the applications and rank them according to local resource concerns, the amount of conservation benefits the work will provide and the needs of applicants.

If you’re selected, you can choose whether to sign the contract for the work to be done.

Once you sign the contract, you’ll be provided standards and specifications for completing the practice or practices, and then you will have a specified amount of time to implement. Once the work is implemented and inspected, you’ll be paid the rate of compensation for the work if it meets NRCS standards and specifications.