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$12.5 Million in Conservation Innovation Grant Funding Available
Kansas Ag Connection - 06/11/2019

USDA announced it is investing up to $12.5 million to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through July 30 for national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) and through June 14 for State CIG funding opportunities. 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. All U.S.-based nonfederal entities and individuals are eligible to apply.

"Conservation Innovation Grants enable partners to co-invest with NRCS on the next generation of agricultural conservation solutions," said Kansas NRCS State Conservationist Karen A. Woodrich. "Conservation Innovation Grants have helped spur new tools and technologies to conserve natural resources, build resilience in their operations, and improve their bottom lines, and we're excited to see what these proposals will offer." National CIG

CIG 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 2019 CIG priorities are:

- Increasing the pace and scale of conservation adoption

- Water quantity

- Pollinator habitat

- Urban agriculture

The complete funding announcement information can be accessed through the Conservation Innovation Grants webpage. The National CIG program supports early pilot projects or demonstrations of promising conservation approaches.

National CIG program is distinct from the $25 million announced on May 15 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials. On-Farm Trials is a new CIG component created by the 2018 Farm Bill. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial.

Applications for this national CIG must be submitted through Grants.gov by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 30, 2019. A webinar for potential applicants is scheduled for 12 p.m. EST on June 11. Information on how to participate in the webinar is posted on the CIG website.

In conjunction with the national CIG, Kansas NRCS is also offering CIG statewide competitions (award maximum of $75,000) in Kansas. Projects must be within Kansas and may be area-based or statewide in scope. The complete 2019 Kansas CIG Request for applications can be found at Grants.gov. Reference the Grant Opportunities Number: USDA-NRCS-KS-CIG-19-GEN0010101. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. CST on June 14 on Grants.gov.

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