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2009 Conservation Innovation Grant Awards

Updated 01/12/2010

Below is a list of the Fiscal Year 2009 Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) National Component awardees. The information includes the State(s) in which the project will be carried out, the total amount of NRCS funding provided, and the project title.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Category

Maryland Department of Agriculture (MD)


Implementing Point to Non-Point Source Nutrient Trading in the Chesapeake Bay

Maryland's Nutrient Trading Program is a recently developed public market place for buying and selling or nutrient credits. This project is the implementation of an agricultural nutrient trading or offset program for the State of Maryland to use in managing nutrient loads from point and non-point sources.


Western PennsylvaniaConservancy (PA)


Aughwick Creek Streambank Stabilization and Fencing to Reduce the Effects of Erosion and Nutrient Loading

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will address sedimentation issues that are the result of streambank erosion, as well as, agricultural influences within the Aughwick Creek. Projects to be completed in Aughwick Creek will be collaborative efforts to address the creation of riparian buffers, eliminate streambank erosion, reduce in-stream sedimentation and nutrient loading, and construct in-stream habitat structures.


Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc (PA)


Innovative Ways to Increase Ag BMP Adoption

Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and partners will demonstrate innovative approaches to increase implementation of agricultural best management practices. CBF will offer a best management practice credit system.


The Pennsylvania State University (PA)


Promoting Adoption of Innovative Conservation Cropping System on Livestock Farms

The purpose is to promote adoption of innovative conservation cropping systems on livestock farms in Pennsylvania and use the performance evaluation to improve their effectiveness in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


The Food Alliance (PA)


Market Incentives for Conservation in Pennsylvania

Food Alliance will partner with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) to introduce a highly successful sustainable agriculture certification program in Pennsylvania, and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The purpose of the project is to replicate a successful market incentive for conservation to promote improvements in management of agricultural lands in Pennsylvania to benefit water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.


West Virginia University Research Corporation (WV)


Precision Nutrient Management Using a Systems Approach in Karst Geology

The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia is a major agricultural center with some of the most intensive agriculture in the State. The purpose is to demonstrate the effectiveness of precision agriculture in combination with cover crop, nutrient allocation and sequestration to improve ground and surface water quality in Karst Geology of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Natural Resources & Technology Categories


AuburnUniversity (AL)


Demonstrating Use of High-Residue, Cover Crop Conservation Tillage System to Control Glyphosate-Resistant Palmer Amaranth

The purpose is to demonstrate that glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth can be managed with high residue conservation tillage systems with or without fall inversion before cover crop planting.


Bat Conservation International, Inc (AZ)


Southwest Subterranean Program: Roost Conservation for Pollinating and Insect Eating Bats

The project stimulates the adoption of innovative conservation approaches related to bats and regional agricultural production. This initiative will use a partnership-based model to implement priority actions explicitly identified by Western Bat Working Group; US Fish & Wildlife species recovery plans and multiple Southwest State Wildlife Action Plans.


Agflex, Inc (CA, DE, IA, ID, IL, IN, MD, MN, MO, NC, NE, NY, OH, PA, SD, VA, WI)


BMP Challenge Across the Corn Belt and Rapid Adoption of Conservation Tillage in California through Improved Technical Assistance and Managing Risk

One of the goals of this project is to accelerate the adoption of conservation tillage acreage for silage corn in California's Central Valley by providing financial guarantees against the risk of crop losses associated with the transition to a new tillage practice.


Helena Chemical Company (CA)


Smart-rate Technology: Improving fertilizer use efficiency

The purpose is to reduce the phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer applications in various cropping system by using Smart (Variable) Rate Technology


Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District (CA)


Insectaries for Pollinators and Farm Biodiversity

The purpose is to create or enhance pollinator habitat on six working farms in western Sonoma County, with particular emphasis on supporting native bee populations, through the development and implementation of Pollinator Farm Plans including insectaries hedgerows, buffer strips, riparian enhancement zones, and pond re-vegetation.


CaliforniaSustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CA)


Driving Conservation Innovation and Sustainable Winegrowing Adoption through Performance Benchmarking, Tools and Resources

The purpose is to develop, implement and evaluate a comprehensive system of industry-wide performance benchmarking, tools and resources in order to drive conservation innovation and speed adoption of sustainable practices in California wine community and other wine region and agricultural sectors to address national natural resource concerns such as water, atmospheric and soil resources, and wildlife habitat.


Pollinator Partnership (CA)


Evaluating and communicating the ecological and economic costs and benefits of incorporating pollinator and other beneficial insect floral resource strips into vegetable production system

The purpose of this project is to compare the costs of installing and maintaining single-species annual and multi-species perennial floral strips in vegetable production systems with the ecological and economic benefits gained, and to translate this information for use by vegetable growers in diverse agricultural regions.


Xerces Society, Inc (CA)


Promoting Agricultural Sustainability through Conversing Beneficial insects: Restoring Pollination and Pest Control Services on Farms in California's Central Valley, Phase II

The purpose is to evaluate the effects of habitat restoration for crop pollinating native bee, natural enemies of crops pests and crop productivity and disseminate the results.


Electric Power Research Institute, Inc (CA)


Coupling Market Infrastructure with Ecosystem Service Markets: Initial Framework Scoping for an Ohio River Credit Trading Program

The project will identify the structure, and preliminarily test the function of a specific agricultural credit calculation tools and related infrastructure for water quality and greenhouse gas trading in a robust water quality credit trading market developing in the Ohio River.


Colorado State University (CO)


Promoting Adoption of Ammonia Reduction Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Feedlots and Dairies

The goal of this project is to promote adoption of ammonia best management practices (BMP) and document changes in ammonia emission following BMP implementation, and to reduce nitrogen deposition and accompanying ecological damage in Rocky Mountain National Park ecosystems, in particular through reductions in agricultural ammonia emissions.


Western Laboratories (CO, ID, WA)


Adoption of Precision IPM Technology for Site - Specific Pathogen and Nematode Management in Potatoes

The purpose is to demonstrate the feasibility of using GPS-driven grid sampling fro improved management of diseases and nematodes in potatoes, resulting in a 30 percent reduction of fumigant use.


Conservation Districts of Iowa (IA)


Landowners and Operators Care about the Land: A market-driven operator certification and conservation incentives program

The purpose is to create a market-based incentive for operators to implement conservation-friendly management on land owned by absentee landowners.


University of Kentucky Research Foundation (KY)


Soil Moisture-Based Automatic Pulse Irrigation System for Water Conservation

This project will demonstrate and encourage adoption of a new soil moisture-based automatic pulse irrigation system to reduce water use and maintain crop yield quality.


Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Inc (KY)


MACED 2009 NRCS CIG Application

The purpose is to demonstrate and grow the role carbon revenue can play as market-based economic incentives that result in sustainable forest practice at scale in private lands.


American Forest Foundation (ME, NH, VT)


Northern Forest Watershed Services: Parallel Pilot Initiatives Providing Incentives for Forest Management and Conservation

This initiative will utilize market mechanism to incentivize private forest landowners to restore, enhance, and protect aquatic resources in two critical watersheds in the Northern Forest region.


Coveyou Farms, LLC (MI)


Innovative Geothermal/Solar On-Farm Refrigeration Demonstration System

The purpose is to design, install evaluate and document an on farm refrigeration system that use geothermal and solar technology to provide vegetable and fruit cooling benches and storage for small farm growers.


Michigan State University (MI)


Integrating No-Till Cropping, Manure and Cover Crops with Manure Slurry Seeding

The purpose is to prevent erosion and protect soil and water quality on cropland where livestock manure is used as a soil amendment.


Clinton Conservation District (MI)


Filter Mound Milking Center Wastewater Treatment

The purpose is to provide an affordable solution for small to mid-size dairy farmers for the safe disposal of milking center wastewater


Regents of the University of Minnesota (MN)


Harvesting Biofuel from Working Prairies for Environment and Commerce

This project will demonstrate, test and disseminate information on how biofuel from high-diversity native grassland can simultaneously provide a new source of renewable energy while providing a crucial array of ecosystem services.


Missouri Department of Conservation (MO)


Best Management Practices for Water Quality on Private Timber Sales

The purpose is to implement a pilot cost share program for implementing best management practices (BMP) in private land timber sales in a partnership of nine public agencies and non-government organizations, private landowners and loggers.


Environmental Resources Coalition (MO)


MissouriInnovative Environmental Stewardship Project will demonstrate best management practices for nutrient reductions in water runoff and introduce carbon and nutrient trading to Missouri farmers.

This project will introduce the concept of environmental trading (nutrient and carbon credits) in Missouri and develop a model environmental trading program.


The Curators of the University of Missouri (MO)


Demonstrating alternative methods of biofuel production to enhance farm profitability while improving wildlife habitat and soil and water conservation

The purpose is to demonstrate alternative land management strategies that agricultural producers can adopt for the production of biofuels while enhancing farm profitability, soil conservation and water quality, and results in improved wildlife habitat.


Southwest Mississippi RC&D, Inc (MS)


Demonstration of Bio-Energy Heating Systems for Poultry Broiler Houses in Mississippi Using Poultry Litter (primary) and Wood Residues (secondary)

The purpose is to demonstrate state-of-the-art technology in biomass energy systems and the potential for such systems to help Mississippi's 2,000 poultry producers to reduce the cost of energy consumed by their poultry operations.


National Network of Forest Practitioners (MS)


Expanding Conservation Opportunities with Sustainable Forestry in Rural Communities

The purpose is to provide enhanced access to and enrollment in conservation incentives for African-American landowners in forest-dependent communities of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.


The Blackfoot Challenge, Inc (MT)


Community-based Fire Management Innovative for Private Lands

The purpose of this project is to implement land use practices that enhance fire management through partnerships with producers, private landowners, forest managers, and NRCS.


Ecosystem Management Research Institute (NE, SD)


Coordinated Restoration of Native Grasslands Using Innovative Practices

The purpose is to implement a coordinated and collaborative grassland restoration program that addresses restoration objectives identified in South Dakota and Nebraska Wildlife Action Plans as well as the Grassland Conservation Plan for Prairie Grouse.


The NC Farm Center for Innovation and Sustainability(NC)


A Field Demonstration of Mobile Torrefaction Technology to Produce Bio-char and Evaluate its Benefits on North Carolina's Farms

The purpose of this project is to demonstrate and evaluate the potential benefits derived from using a mobile torrefaction machine on a farm and from applications and production of bio-char.


The Nature Conservancy (OK)


Integrated Management of Sericea Lespedeza in Tallgrass Prairie

The purpose is to demonstrate the effectiveness of integrating patch burn grazing and spot-application of herbicides to manage sericea lespedeza prairie.


Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers Association (OK)


Grass-finished & organic livestock production technology education for limited resource farmers

The purpose is to develop a whole farm approach using prescribed grazing technology and/or organic techniques to help socially disadvantaged, limited resource producers.


The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc (OK)


Switchgrass and Native Rangeland Management for Grazing and Bioenergy

The purpose is to educate producers, farm managers, and the general public of best management practices for use in the establishment and production of switchgrass and native rangeland in grazing, bioenergy, and conservation systems.


Burnt River Soil and Water Conservation District (OR)


Baker County Grassbank Project

The goal is to improve the ecological function of Baker County grazing lands while maintaining the ranching traditions and economy of the west by establishing a self-sustaining pilot grassbank on a county-wide basis.


Xerces Society, Inc (OR)


Develop and Test Pollinator Habitat Job Sheets for Six Regions of the US

The purpose is to develop regionally-appropriate, general and crop specific formulas for creating pollinator habitat on working lands.


University of Puerto Rico, Estación Experimental Agrícola (PR)


Windrow composting of agricultural residues demonstration and validation

The purpose is to validate and demonstrate the use of windrow composting to manage agricultural organic residues as a resource for nutrients and organic carbon in Puerto Rico.


Integral Fund for Agricultural Development of Puerto Rico, Inc (PR)


Technology Transfer for Enhanced Management and Utilization of Poultry Litter in Puerto Rico Directed to Poultry Producers technical Personnel and Farmers who are Users of End Products

The purpose is to transfer technology to Puerto Rican farmers and agronomists regarding the proper handling and use of recycled poultry litter.


South Dakota State University (SD)


Precision cover crops for improved soil health

The purpose is to demonstrate that precision cover crops can increase the sustainability of renewable resources, improve soil health, microbial diversity, water availability, and salt accumulation within continuous no-tillage systems.


Thule Group of Consultants (SD, WI)


Establishing Carbon Credits for Aerobic Treatment of Manure Lagoons

The goal of this project is to establish market-based incentives using Carbon Credit dollars to encourage the use of promising new technologies for aerobic manure treatment.


James E Bradbury (TN)


Middle Tennessee Agriculture Resource Management - Water Project

The purpose is to develop a prioritized set of rules for precision agriculture mapping packages to aid in selection of land areas within a farmstead that are best suited to handle the nutrient loading associated with animal waste application to minimize impacts on water quality.


Buck Farms LP (TN)


Innovative cattle solid waste system

The purpose is to develop and demonstrate innovative cattle solid waste handling systems that efficiently large-bales bedding to improve storage, transportation and land application logistics and nutrient management.


University of Tennessee (TN)


Enhancing Resource Conservation through Low-Input Grazing: Native Warm-season Grasses on Mid-South Farms

The purpose is to demonstrate the use of native warm-season grasses as a low-input grazing system with significant resource conservation benefits to regional producers.


Hansen Energy and Environmental (UT)


Production of butanol from animal manure and food waste for use as a liquid fuel in rural America

The purpose is to demonstrate an economical method to convert methane that is produced on the farm from waste products into a liquid fuel.


New River-Highlands RC&D Council (VA)


ExtremeForest Makeover: Expanding the Local Knowledge of sustainable Forest Management in the Appalachian Hardwood Region of Virginia

The purpose is to increase the acres of sustainability managed forest land, via coached implementation of forest management projects.


The Nature Conservancy (VT)


Protecting Wildlife Habitat, Biodiversity and Forest Productivity in Focal Conservation Areas of Vermont's Champlain Valley

The goal of the project is to increase the number of landowners who incorporate land management practices that improve bat habitat; improve habitat for aquatic and riparian species; and reduce invasive terrestrial plant infestations that affect forest productivity and the quality of wildlife habitats.


University of Vermont & State Agricultural College (VT)


Phosphorus and E. Coli Reduction from Silage Leachate via Innovative Steel Slag Filtration

The purpose is to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative steel slag filtration technology in pollutants, solids, and pathogens reduction from silage leachate.


The Nature Conservancy (WA)


Farming for Wildlife - Phase II: Building a Model for Sustainable Wetland Rotations and Long Term Soil Stewardship

The purpose is to establish new wetland rotation demonstration sites to determine which combination will maximize agronomic and habitat benefits.


Washington State University (WA)


Absentee Forest Landowner Education Project

The purpose is to engage absentee forest owners in face-to-face and online learning to stimulate stewardship behaviors and create a desirable future condition.


College of Menominee Nation (WI)


Demonstrate Innovative Approaches of Carbon Sequestration Strategies

The purpose is to demonstrate the viability of carbon sequestration as a market mechanism tool for promoting environmental preservation, biodiversity, conservation, and sustainable development among tribes and their lands.


SureHarvest (Nationwide)


The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops

The purpose of this project is to develop a system for measuring sustainable performance throughout the specialty crops supply chain. The project seeks to offer a suite of outcomes-based metrics to enable operators at any point along the supply chain to benchmark, compare, and communicate their own performance.

Grant Leveraging

Integral Fund for Agricultural Development of Puerto Rico, Inc(PR)


CIG/FIDA Grant Leverage Collaboration for Renewable Energy Projects on Existing Farm Operations in Puerto Rico

The purpose of this project is to establish a grant program similar to CIG for administering a Competitive Grants Process aimed specifically at renewable energy projects for agricultural operations.


United States Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Inc(TBD)


Advancing Healthy Watersheds through Healthy Forests: A Conservation Innovation program to Effect Improved Watershed Function through Improved Management and Retention of Non-Industrial Privately Own

The purpose of this project is to establish a thematically-targeted, geographically-focused grant program in two to three identified watersheds in the Eastern US for the purpose of advancing water management and conservation through watershed health and forest retention.