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Conservation Innovation Grants

The Conservation Innovation Grant program (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. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers CIG. The CIG requires a 50-50 match between the agency and the applicant.

2017 CIG Funding Opportunity

NRCS will invest $25 million for new national CIG projects in fiscal year 2017. The focus areas this year are conservation finance; data analytics for natural resources; pay-for-success models to stimulate conservation adoption; precision conservation; water management technologies and approaches; and benefitting historically underserved farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners.

Up to $2 million of this year’s CIG funding has been set aside for projects that benefit historically underserved and military veteran farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers and those with limited resources and organizations that include or support them.

The application period will close on January 9, 2017.  American Indian tribes, state and local units of government, non-governmental organizations and individuals are eligible to submit applications. Project proposals must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov and a pdf copy must be e-mailed to nrcscig@wdc.usda.gov.

2017 Announcement for Program Funding offsite link image     

State Competition

The CIG state component emphasizes projects that benefit a limited geographical area. Participating states will announce their funding availability for CIG competitions through their state NRCS offices. For additional information about State CIG competitions, contact Marty Adkins.

National Competition

A CIG funding notice is announced each year. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, will be awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process. Projects may be watershed-based, regional, multi-state or nationwide in scope. The natural resource concerns eligible for funding through CIG will be identified in the funding announcement and may change annually to focus on new and emerging, high priority natural resource concerns.

2015 CIG Recipient Announcements

Statute:

H.R.2642, the Agricultural Act of 2014
TITLE II—CONSERVATION
Subtitle C—Environmental Quality Incentives Program
SEC. 2207. CONSERVATION INNOVATION GRANTS AND PAYMENTS

2014 Announcement

2013 Iowa CIG Recipients

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Projects Through the National Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Program

USDA-NRCS has reserved $10 million of EQIP financial assistance (FA) to support projects where eligible producers will implement GHG benefiting conservation practices that complement and support the GHG-CIG projects. Agricultural producers located in approved CIG project areas - including Iowa - may be eligible to submit applications to help implement GHG-related conservation practices. In addition, applicants must meet producer, land, and other EQIP eligibility requirements.

More Information

For more information, please contact one of the Iowa NRCS CIG contacts listed below. Complete application package materials can be found on the Iowa NRCS website or on the national CIG webpage.

CIG Program/Technical Contact

Marty Adkins
Phone: 515-284-4370
Email: martin.adkins@ia.usda.gov

CIG Administrative Contact (contract information, indirect costs, etc.)

Carolyn Christian
Phone: 515-284-4506
Email: carolyn.christian@ia.usda.gov