The USDA-NRCS offers national and state-level Conservation Innovation Grants intended to drive innovation in resource conservation. All CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers. There are three levels of CIG projects:
- National: Call for proposals (CFP) released in the spring each year and applications due mid-summer. CIG projects range from $150,000 and $2,000,000. Each year’s CFP includes a specific project area. For 2020, CIG grant proposals should focus on water reuse, water quality, air quality, energy and wildlife habitat. Up to 10 percent of the total funds available for CIG in FY 2020 is set-aside for proposals from historically underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or community-based organizations composed of or representing these entities. A webinar for CIG applicants is scheduled for May 13, 2020 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time to address questions on this funding opportunity. Information on how to participate in the webinar is available here. Please contact our team at email@example.com or set up a consultation today to discuss your eligibility and ideas for a CIG grant.
- State: Some states will open up their own CIG projects that prioritize efforts in a smaller geographic area. States will post their calls for proposals on Grants.gov. You are welcome to contact the FarmRaise team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like assistance identifying the requirements and deadlines for your state-specific CIG program.
Innovation Trials: A recent addition to CIG, the Conservation Innovation Trials program sets aside $25,000,000 in CIG funding to stimulate the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with agricultural producers. These awards range from $250,000 to $5,000,000, and applications are due in late-May. Projects may last between 3 and 5 years in duration, and about $10,000,000 of the total funding allotment will go to projects that have a soil health demonstration trial focus.