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News Release


Natural Resources
Conservation Service

355 East Hancock Ave., Ste. 212
Athens, GA, 30601
Voice:  706-546-2069
Web:  http://

Release No.: 00010.18   ­

Tansel Hudson
(706) 546-2272

Printable version (PDF) (53 KB)

ATHENS, GA, March 5, 2018 --- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering grants for innovative ideas for conservation strategies and technologies in Georgia. State Conservationist, Terrance O. Rudolph, for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Georgia plans to invest up to $300,000 in the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, funding innovative conservation projects in three focus areas: grazing lands, organic systems and soil health.  Grant proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) April 16, 2018.

"Conservation Innovation Grants play a critical role in developing and implementing new methods to help our customers in Georgia conserve natural resources, strengthen their local communities, and improve their bottom lines," said Rudolph. “Today's announcement supports our efforts to help producers build economically-strong and resilient farms and ranches by providing producers tools to utilize across their working farmlands.”

The NRCS uses CIG to work with partners to accelerate transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches that address some of the nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns. This year, NRCS is focusing funding in these areas:

  • Grazing Lands: Helping livestock producers make grazing management decisions, encouraging prescribed burning as a grazing management practice, and improving access to conservation planning tools used for developing grazing management plans.
  • Organic Agriculture Systems: Helping organic producers develop innovative cropping and tillage systems, edge-of-field monitoring, crop rotations and intercropping systems.
  • Soil Health: Supporting both cropping and grazing systems, in a variety of climatic zones, that incorporate soil health management systems for addressing specific resource concerns like nutrients and availability. Evaluating multiple soil health assessment methods to assist in the development of new soil health indicators and thresholds.

“Every sector of American agriculture has its unique conservation challenges,” said Rudolph. “CIG enables USDA to help support new, innovative tools and techniques which have helped U.S. agriculture become the powerhouse we see today, leading the world in both production efficiency and conservation delivery. We encourage groups and individuals in Georgia to take advantage of this grant opportunity.”

Potential applicants should review the announcement of program funding (number USDA-NRCS-GA-CIG001) available at, which includes application materials and submission procedures. All U.S.-based non-federal entities and individuals are invited to apply. Up to 20 percent of CIG funds will be set aside for proposals from historically underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers or groups serving these customers.

For fiscal year 2018, up to $300,000 is available for the Georgia State CIG competition. Individual grants will not exceed $75,000 from NRCS. Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process.

Applications must be submitted electronically through In addition, a PDF of the complete application must be emailed to Both submissions must be received by the submission due date of 5:00 p.m., EST April 16, 2018. 

CIG is authorized and funded under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Projects can last up to three years.  For more information on the CIG program in Georgia, please visit and navigate to the Programs tab under Financial Assistance, and then Conservation Innovation Grants or click here

For further questions, please contact the state of Georgia’s CIG contact Tansel Hudson at 706-546-2272.