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Conservation Innovation Grants

 

Conservation Innovation GrantsNEW! CALL FOR CIG PROPOSALS for On Farm Trials, State, and National

  •  On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, proposals due July 15, 2019. This is a new, additional sub-program created by the 2018 Farm Bill. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial. Up to $25 million annually is available for On-Farm Trials. Funding goes directly to partners, which in turn provide technical assistance and incentive payments to producers to implement innovative approaches on their lands. Producers receiving On-Farm Trials payments must be eligible to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The maximum On-Farm Trials award for 2019 is $5 million. The minimum award is $250,000. Learn more at grants.gov here

  • Vermont NRCS call for CIG proposals, due July 29, 2019A total of up to $525,000.00 is available for CIG in FY 2019. Non-federal entities (NFE) and individuals are invited to apply, with the sole exception of federal agencies. Projects may be between one and three years in duration. The maximum award amount for a single award in FY 2019 is $75,000. Priorities for the Vermont call for proposals include--Water Quality, Soil Health, Forestry and Wildlife Habitat Management, and development of a “payment for ecosystem services” project for farmers who reduce phosphorus imports to their farm; and/or reduce phosphorus losses from their operation. Apply at grants.gov and search for USDA-NRCS-VT-CIG-199-GEN0010231. Learn more by viewing the request for proposals here. 

  • National Call for CIG Proposals, Due July 30, 2019. CIG's supports the development and field testing, on-farm research and demonstration, evaluation, or implementation of conservation technologies, practices, and systems and approaches to incentivizing conservation adoption. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one. The complete funding announcement information can be accessed through the Conservation Innovation Grants webpageThe National CIG program supports early pilot projects or demonstrations of promising conservation approaches.The 2019 CIG priorities are: 

  • -Increasing the pace and scale of conservation adoption
  • -Water quantity
  • -Pollinator habitat
  • -Urban agriculture

Conservation Innovation Grants are competitive grants that 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. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal entities.

CIG enables NRCS to work with other public and private entities to accelerate technology transfer and adoption of promising technologies and approaches to address some of the nation's most pressing natural resource concerns. CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with Federal, State, and local regulations. NRCS administers the CIG program which requires a 50-50 match between the agency and the applicant.  CIG is offered as both a nationwide and a state program.

  • The CIG National Component offers eligible entities offers eligible entities the opportunity to apply for grants. 
  • The CIG State Component offers eligible entities the opportunity to apply for grants up to $75,000.  This competition is limited to single and multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years, for projects with a direct nexus to the state of Vermont

‚ÄčApplicants can apply to the National program, the State program, or both.

 

 

2009 - 2017 Vermont State Conservation Innovation Grants

A total of $283,578 in federal funds were made available to five projects under the 2017 Vermont CIG state competition.The Vermont State CIG’s included the category of Natural Resources Concerns and Technology Needs for possible funding and seven applications were received.  The funded projects include:

  • Applying Gypsum as a Soil Amendment to Reduce Available Phosphorus on Fields with High Soil Test Phosphorus Levels
  • Revision of the Vermont Phosphorus Index for Improved Nutrient Management and Water Quality
  • Development of Phosphorus Mass Balances on Vermont Farms
  • Economic Analysis of Cover Crops & Reduced Tillage Systems in Vermont
  • Innovative Tools to Improve Nutrient and Financial Accounting of Conservation Practices on Vermont Farms.
  • Innovative Dairy Manure Nutrient Recovery Application for Water Quality Improvement and Environmental Conservation

Detailed project descriptions are available here

$75,000 in federal funds was made available for three projects under the 2016 Vermont CIG state competition.  The Vermont State CIG had one category of natural resource concerns and technology needs for possible funding. The category was Water Quality. The funded project are:  Revision of the Vermont Phosphorus Index for Improved Nutrient Management and Water Quality.

$166,589 in federal funds was made available for three projects under the 2015 Vermont CIG state competition. The Vermont State CIG had two categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs for possible funding and received three applications. The categories were: Water Quality and Energy. The funded projects are: Pilot Project Using Existing LiDAR to Identify and Map Forest Roads, Trails, and Log Landings on Private Forests in Vermont; Soap Bubble Insulation: A New Approach to Energy Conservation in Northern Greenhouses; and Use of Water Treatment Residuals to Reduce Phosphorus Availability in Agricultural Soils in Vermont

$50,000 in federal funds was made available for one project under the 2014 Vermont CIG state competition. The Vermont State CIG had three categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs for possible funding and received six applications. The categories were: Water Quality & Soil Health, Forestry/Wildlife and Energy. The funded project is: Tile Drainage Phosphorus Removal System in the Rock River Watershed.

$220,316 in federal funds was made available for three projects under the 2013 Vermont CIG state competition. The Vermont State CIG had three categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs for possible funding and received ten applications. The categories were: Water Quality, Forestry/Wildlife and Energy. The funded projects are: Better Cover Crop Mixes in Vermont; Development of a Web-based APEX Tool for Optimizing Best Management Practices and Conservation Planning on Vermont Farms; and Soil Health Demonstration Farm on Clay Soil.

$269,620 in federal funds was made available for five projects under the 2012 Vermont CIG state competition. The Vermont State CIG had three categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs for possible funding and received nine applications. The categories were: Energy, Water Quality, and Wildlife. The funded projects are: Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition for Improved Water Quality; Development of an Agricultural Water Quality Certainty Program in Vermont; Compost Sourced Heat Pump System for Heating a Vermont Greenhouse; Innovative Technologies for Energy Conservation in Vermont Greenhouses; and Using Grass-Based Livestock Farms to Demonstrate Regenerative Agriculture. 

$153,352 in federal funds was made available for four projects under the 2011 Vermont CIG state competition. The Vermont State CIG had six categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs for possible funding and received seven applications. The categories were: Energy, Soil Quality, Priority Landscapes, Nutrient Management, Program Outreach and Conservation Technology Transfer to Targeted Groups, and Sustainable Agriculture. The funded projects are: Digging Deeper: Improving the Implementation of Nutrient Management Practices in Vermont, Fuel from the Field to the Flue: Grass Pellet Heating Equipment Combustion Optimization Project, Innovative Technologies for Energy Conservation in Vermont Greenhouses, and Yestermorrow’s Greenhouse: A Model of Innovation. 

$69,812 in federal funds was made available for one project under the 2010 Vermont CIG state competition. The Vermont State CIG had three categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs for possible funding. The categories were: Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture, Energy, and Priority Landscapes. The funded project is: Increasing Livestock Production for Vermont Markets by Improving and Reclaiming Marginal Pasture. 

$317,596 in federal funds was made available for seven projects under the 2009 Vermont CIG state competition. The Vermont State CIG had four categories of natural resources concerns and technology needs for possible funding: Atmospheric Resources, Farm and Forest Energy Production, Maintaining Working Landscapes Sustainably, and Soil and Water Resources. Funded projects are: White River Watershed Landscape Auction, Anaerobic Digester Effluent Treatment to Reduce Agricultural Atmospheric Emissions, Pellet Fired Boiler for Multiple Greenhouses, Promoting Zone Tillage among Commercial Vegetable Growers in Vermont, Optimizing the Greenhouse Gas Storage Capacity and Productivity of Degraded Forest Lands, Increasing Carbon Sequestration in Vermont Pastures, and Designing a Sustainable Corn Silage Cropping System for Vermont.

 

National CIG Awards in Vermont

Twenty-eight National CIG awards have funded Vermont based projects or multi-state efforts that include Vermont. Here is a list of the projects. See the National CIG website for additional details.

Contacts

Sandra Primard
Agronomist - Vermont NRCS
Phone: 802-951-6796 x240
Email: sandra.primard@usda.gov

Joe Buford
State Resource Conservationist - Vermont NRCS
Phone: 802-951-6796 X-244
Email: joe.buford@usda.gov