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Conservation Innovation Grants


2021 CIG Funding

Wisconsin CIG
Applications due by May 7, 2021

National CIG On-Farm Trial
Applications due by June 21, 2021

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. 

In Wisconsin, Conservation Innovation Grants are available through national- and state-level grant competitions.

Program at a Glance

National Classic and Wisconsin 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 supports 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 CIB projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers.

How to Apply

To fill out an application please visit

National Competition - A CIG funding notice is announced each year. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, 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.

Wisconsin Competition - The Wisconsin CIG component emphasizes projects that benefit a limited geographical area. One to three year projects stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies on agricultural lands in Wisconsin.

The electronic submission interface is called Workspace. Workspace is the standard way for organizations or individuals to apply for federal grants in Workspace allows an applicant grant team to access and edit different forms within an application simultaneously. In addition, the forms may be filled out online or as a PDF.

Please allow extra time to register in Workspace because there are several preliminary registration steps before an applicant can submit the application. To register, go to, click on "Applicants," then click on "Get Registered." If you have completed a prior application you may already have completed the registration process.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication (e.g. Braille, large print or audio tape), should contact the USDA TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

National CIG Resources

Wisconsin CIG Resources

Program Contact

Program Contact
Ryan Gerlich, CIG Program Manager
(608) 662-4422 ext. 227