Air Quality

USDA Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands. Through creative problem solving and innovation, CIG partners work to address our nation’s water quality, air quality, soil health and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations.

Eligible Recipients:
National and State CIG – all non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply. All CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers.

Eligible Projects:
CIG generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research.

CIG funds the development and field testing, on-farm research and demonstration, evaluation, or implementation of:
• Approaches to incentivizing conservation adoption, including market-based and conservation finance approaches; and
• Conservation technologies, practices, and systems.

Projects or activities under CIG must:
• Comply with all applicable Federal, Tribal, State, and local laws and regulations throughout the duration of the project;
• Use a technology or approach that was studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success;
• Demonstrate, evaluate, and verify the effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of natural resource conservation technologies and approaches in the field;
• Adapt and transfer conservation technologies, management, practices, systems, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption; and
• Introduce proven conservation technologies and approaches to a geographic area or agricultural sector where that technology or approach is not currently in use.

Funding Source:
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Funding Amount:
The total amount of Federal funding the agency expects to award through this opportunity is $15 million. The agency expects to make between 15 and 25 awards. The maximum CIG award is set annually by the NRCS Chief and historically has been either $1 million or $2 million. An applicant’s CIG funding request must be matched at least 1:1 with non-federal funding.

Application Deadline:
A CIG funding notice is announced each year.

Complete applications must be submitted through and e-mailed to the NRCS National Office at

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