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Conservation Innovation Grants

Web header for the Conservation Innovation Grants2019 CIG Funding 

On May 30, NRCS posted to the 2019 national CIG funding announcement. Access the full CIG Funding Announcement and read the CIG Press Release.

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.

Program At A Glance

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 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 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.

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.

South Dakota CIG

The NRCS serving South Dakota will award two new state level proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). NRCS SD designated $150,000 for FY2018 state level proposals with each proposal limited to a $75,000 maximum.

NRCS SD is announcing a new request for state proposals that must be received by April 20, 2018. Learn more at the national CIG Webpage

All opportunities for grant applications are listed on the national web site at  Click here to directly access the South Dakota CIG announcement.

State Program Manager
Jay Cobb, CIG Program Manager, USDA NRCS South Dakota, 200 Fourth Street SW, Huron, SD  57350
Phone: 605-352-1260 | Email:

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft Word.

Application for Federal Assistance - Standard Form 424 (PDF; 93 KB)
Budget Information - Standard Form 424C (PDF; 119 KB)

National CIG

National CIG Page

National CIG Fact Sheet

CIG Congressional Report

CIG Success Stories

CIG On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials

2017 CIG Project Multimedia Stories

Sample Executive Summary

Sample Project Description A

Sample Project Description B

Sample Budget A

Sample Budget B

Sample Budget C

SF424 - SF424A Budget Instructions