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News Release

NRCS Invites Proposals for 2020 Conservation Innovation Grant

Victor Hernandez (530) 792-5628
RaeAnn Dubay (530) 792-5653

DAVIS, Calif., March 11, 2020—USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Up to $750,000 is available for one- to three-year grants. The maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $125,000 in fiscal year 2020. Proposals are due by May 8, 2020.

CIG is a voluntary program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. Proposed projects should augment existing NRCS technical tools (planning, assessment/delivery) to better facilitate conservation on farms and ranches.

“As an Agency in a dynamic world we need to constantly adapt our technical tools to match them to the ever-evolving natural resource challenges found on California farms and ranches,” says NRCS California State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “CIG grants are a great way to open ourselves to the ingenuity available in both public and private partners and organizations.”

CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches to agricultural producers, into NRCS technical manuals and guides, or to the private sector. CIG generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research.

In 2020, NRCS California is prioritizing proposals that improve the “technical toolbox” to address the following on-farm resource concerns: improve plant and forest health/productivity; improve air quality associated with agricultural operations; work with agriculture operations to protect surface and groundwater quality; work with agriculture operations to protect surface and groundwater quantity; improve soil health; and enhance habitat for terrestrial and aquatic species. Applicants are encouraged to explore the complete announcement to better match their proposals to these needs:

Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process and in 2020 will not include a pre-proposal process. Eligible applicants include state and local government, nongovernment organizations, Tribal governments, eligible private business and individuals. Contact Erik Beardsley at for more information.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. (Pacific) on May 8, 2020. Applications must be submitted electronically through, and a PDF of the complete application must be emailed to Both submissions must be received by the submission deadline.

For information on past California projects go to: