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News Release

NRCS Offers New Opportunities for Conservation Innovation Grants

Blaine Delaney

Richmond, VA, February 14, 2018 – USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications for up to $450,000 in funding to promote the development and adoption of innovative approaches to cropping systems, erosion prevention, and grazing management in Virginia. 

Grants will be awarded for projects between one and three years’ duration with individual awards not exceeding $75,000. State and local units of government, non-governmental organizations, and individuals interested in applying for these competitive grants must submit proposals by 5 p.m. on April 6, 2018. Those selected will be notified by May 1, 2018.

This year, NRCS is seeking proposals focused on pioneering farming systems to enhance soil health, innovative high tunnel technologies, treatments for legacy sediments trapped by historic millpond dams, drone mapping of invasive species, and improving forage quality with native warm season grasses. CIG funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research as defined in the funding announcement. Projects must involve landowners who meet eligibility requirements for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). 

“CIGs inspire creative problem-solving that boosts production and net profits on farms, ranches, and private forests,” says NRCS State Conservationist Jack Bricker. “Over the past eight years, Virginia NRCS has invested $1.9 million in 31 promising collaborations with public and private-sector partners. We look forward to offering Virginia farmers more options for sustainable production methods with this next crop of CIGs.”

Application packages must be emailed in PDF format to Virginia CIG Program Manager Blaine Delaney at AND also submitted electronically on

The CIG Announcement of Program Funding can be found here on and on the Virginia CIG web page. More information on EQIP is available on the Virginia NRCS website.