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News Release

Iowa NRCS Announces Funding for 2014 Conservation Innovation Grants

Paul Goldsmith

DES MOINES, IOWA, Feb. 18, 2014 — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is requesting project proposals for the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program – at both the state and national level.

The purpose of the CIG program is to develop and adopt innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG provides farmers the opportunity to address some of Iowa’s most pressing natural resource conservation needs through innovative measures.

In Iowa, $800,000 is available in funding for proposals, which are due by April 30. Selected applicants may receive up to 50 percent of the total project cost, not to exceed $75,000.  Applicants must provide non-federal matching funds for at least 50 percent of the project cost, of which up to 25 percent of the total project cost may be from in-kind contributions.

Project proposals should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address one or more of the following natural resource concerns: soil health/quality, Iowa nutrient management strategy, grassland management, marketing of grass fed beef, drought mitigation, or technology related to establishing cover crops.

State applications can be submitted by email to Paul Goldsmith at Application materials are available on the Iowa NRCS website.

For national grants, NRCS must receive pre-proposals by March 7. NRCS will select pre-proposals by April 7, and then selected applicants must submit a full proposal package by May 5. CIG will fund single and multiyear projects, not to exceed three years.

Applicants must be a non-governmental organization, a private business or individual, a federally recognized Indian Tribe, or state or local unit of government. If you are interested in applying online, visit

For more information about the National CIG program, visit