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Conservation Innovation Grants

CIG Web Asset



The Conservation Innovation Grant (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. These projects may be watershed-based, regional, or statewide in scope.

  • A CIG funding notice is announced each year. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, are awarded through a competitive grants process.
  • The latest CIG success stories can be found on the USDA Blog.
  • Follow the link to access the searchable prior years funded national and state CIGs projects database: National CIG Search.

National CIG Competition

  • The FY2021 National CIG Application Period is OPEN for New On-Farm Trials Applications.

NRCS offered a funding opportunity to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies, while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production.

  • 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
  • Follow the link to obtain information on the National CIG Program, NRCS nationally-administered CIG grant program.

California CIG Competition

The FY 2021 Application Period is CLOSED for New Applications.

  • California CIG application packages are due via by 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST) on April 23, 2021
  • The agency anticipates making selections by May 21, 2021 and expects to execute awards by June 18, 2021.
  • View a webinar here on the FY 2021 USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants competition for California (Video; 9:27 min.)
  • FY 2021 USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants competition for California presentation (MS PowerPoint; 7 MB)

Available Funding in FY 2021.

  • A total of up to $1,000,000 is available for the California CIG competition in FY 2021.
  • Projects may be between one and three years in duration.
  • The maximum award amount for a single award in FY 2021 is $150,000.

All non-federal entities (NFE) and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of federal agencies.

  • State and Local Government Entities
  • Tribal Entities
  • Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Individuals

The CIG state component emphasizes projects that benefit a limited geographical area.

  • The intent of the CIG state competition is to provide flexibility to NRCS State Conservationists to target CIG funds to individual producers and smaller organizations that may possess promising innovations, but may not compete well on the larger scale of the national grants competition.

Projects must involve producers who meet the EQIP eligibility requirements set forth in § 1466.6(b)(1) through (3).

  • EQIP Eligibility Requirements
  • Selected applicants may receive grants of up to 50 percent of the total project cost, NOT to exceed $150,000.
  • Applicants must provide non-Federal funding EQUAL to the amount of Federal Funds requested. Non-Federal Funds must be derived from cash and/or in-kind sources, Matching Funds must be secured at the time of application.

How To Apply

To apply, follow the requirements in the California CIG Announcement:

  • Applications MUST be submitted electronically through
  • In addition, a PDF of the complete application must be emailed to the program manager.
  • Both submissions must be received by the submission due date, April 23, 2021  by 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST).
  • See section D of the CIG Notice of Funding Opportunity for more information regarding how to submit an application.
  • Required documents and instructions are available on

Interested applicants must submit a complete application package consisting of the documents below:

  1. Project Abstract
  2. Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424)
  3. Project Narrative
  4. Assessment of Environmental Impacts
  5. Budget Information
  6. Indirect Costs
  7. Matching
  8. List of Previous CIG Awards (if applicable)
  9. Certifications
  10. Letters of Support


Program Contact

Amber Till, Program Manager
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Davis State Office, California
Phone: 530-792-5603


Updated: 05/18/2021