Kerr Center

Application Deadline: USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Application Deadline: USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Up to $10 million is available for the national component of CIG in 2018. The deadline for applications is Feb. 26, 2018 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The full application package, including all necessary forms and instructions and submission information, is on Applicants may also visit the CIG applicants page for additional help in preparing applications. A webinar for potential applicants is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2018 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and can be accessed by clicking here.

Conservation Innovation for America’s Working Lands

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that drive public and private sector innovation in resource conservation. Authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill, CIG uses Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, American Indian Tribes, or individuals. Producers involved in CIG funded projects must be EQIP eligible.

Through the NRCS CIG program, 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 leverage the federal investment by at least matching it.

NRCS understands the importance of supporting historically underserved, new and beginning and military veteran producers in farming and ranching. These producers are a part of the fabric of American agriculture and our communities. Annually, a portion of CIG funding is set aside for projects that support these producers.

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.

CIG Program Components

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.

NRCS will award more than $22.6 million to 33 projects nationwide through its CIG program in 2017.  The 2017 CIG awards bring the total NRCS investment to nearly $286.7 million for 711 projects since 2004.​  Learn more and view the project list.

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, contact your State NRCS office or search for the latest postings here.