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Conservation Innovation Grants

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Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands.

What's New in CIG?

CIG now facilitates on-farm conservation research and demonstrationand pilot-testing of new technologies or innovative conservation practices.

A new reporting requirement was added for participants.


National CIG: A CIG funding notice is announced each year. Funds for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, will be 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 will be identified in the funding announcement and may change annually to focus proposals on new and emerging high priority natural resource issues.

Applications should describe the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource conservation concern or concerns. Applications are evaluated by a technical peer review panel against criteria identified in the funding notice. Evaluated applications are forwarded to an NRCS Grants Review Board which makes recommendations to the NRCS Chief for final selection. Awards are made through a grant agreement.

State CIG: The State component emphasizes projects that benefit a limited geographic area. Projects may be farm-based, multi-county, small watershed, or Statewide in scope. Public notices in each participating State will announce the availability of funds for the State CIG competitions

Beginning Farmers, Limited Resource Farmers and Ranchers, and Indian Tribes

NRCS recognizes the need to provide special consideration to historically underserved producers, and strives to ensure that these producers benefit from innovative technologies and approaches. CIG offers two programmatic exceptions intended to encourage the participation of beginning and limited resource farmers and ranchers, and Indian Tribes, in CIG. 1) Each year, up to 10 percent of National CIG funds may be set aside for applicants who are beginning or limited resource farmers and ranchers, or Indian Tribes, or community-based organizations comprised of or representing these entities. 2) CIG allows applicants that are historically underserved to derive a higher percentage of project matching funds from in-kind contributions.

More Information

Once funds for CIG become available, a funding notice is posted on the federal eGrants portal, The funding notice also may be accessed from the NRCS website at:

The notice will specify the information required from applicants. Complete applications must be submitted to the NRCS National office at the address identified in the notice.

If you need more information about CIG, contact the National CIG Program Manager at (This link tries to open an email client. If you are using webmail, swipe the address and paste it into the address on your browser.)

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