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Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovation Grants

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that drive public and private sector innovation in resource conservation. CIG projects inspire creative problem solving that boosts production on farms, ranches, and private forests - ultimately, they improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat.

National and State CIG

Public and private grantees develop the tools, technologies, and strategies to support next-generation conservation efforts on working lands and develop market-based solutions to resource challenges. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one.

On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials

Newly authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill, On-Farm Trials support more widespread adoption of innovative approaches, practices and systems on working lands. On-Farm Trials projects feature collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.

The Soil Health Demo Trial (SHD) component of On-Farm Trials focuses exclusively on implementation of conservation practices and systems that improve soil health. Eligible entities receiving SHD awards agree to follow consistent soil health assessment protocols to evaluate the impacts of practice and system implementation.

Learn more about On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials.

Who Is Eligible

National and State CIG – all non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply. All CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers.

How To Apply

National Competition - A CIG funding notice is announced each year. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, are 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 are identified in the funding announcement and may change annually to focus on new and emerging, high-priority natural resource concerns. The funding announcement for 2020 is published on grants.gov 

State Competition - The CIG state component emphasizes projects that benefit a limited geographical area. Participating states announce their funding availability for CIG competitions through their state NRCS offices. For additional information about State CIG competitions, please contact your State NRCS office or search for the latest postings here. 

On-Farm Trials - Up to $25 million annually is available for On Farm Trials. Funding announcements are published on grants.gov. Read more.

More Information

CIG Webinar for NFO Applicants

CIG Fact Sheet 

National CIG FAQs (PDF)

2016 CIG Congressional Report

2019 CIG Congressional Report

2017 CIG Project Multimedia Stories

2018 CIG Project Multimedia Stories

Historically Underserved Producer Definitions

CIG Success Stories

Read about some of our CIG successes here.

CIG Webinar Series

NRCS has established a webinar series to allow NRCS employees, partner conservationists, and other interested stakeholders to hear directly from CIG grantees. A new webinar is scheduled each quarter and generally covers a single topic area and multiple CIG projects. The goal of the webinar series is to showcase CIG results and provide insights directly from program grantees. 

Program Contact

nrcscig@wdc.usda.gov