$20MM IN FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR THE CONSERVATION INNOVATION GRANTS (CIG) PROGRAM

Since 2009, USDA has invested over $145 million to fund nearly 400 national and regional CIG awards (see past successful projects here). The 2016 CIG announcement of funding has been released with the program aiming to spark the development and adoption of cutting-edge conservation technologies and approaches for farmers, ranchers and other landowners while benefiting the environment. The grant is administered through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

The CIG program spurs development of new tools and market-based strategies and practices.

PROJECT FOCUS COULD INCLUDE:
• On-farm pilot projects and field demonstrations
• Innovative conservation to benefit historically underserved agricultural producers
• Improving and protecting water quality
• Demonstrating the effectiveness of public-private partnerships for conservation
• Sustainable agriculture and forestry
• Leveraging private capital for private lands conservation
• On-farm energy and fertilizer use
• Climate change mitigation

REQUIREMENTS: CIG awards are made through a nationally competitive process. Projects may be single or multi-year but cannot exceed three years. Projects must involve EQIP-eligible agricultural producers or landowners. A 50% cash match or in-kind contribution is required.

PRIORITY APPLICANTS: Priority will be given (but not limited) to underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and those with limited resources.

DUE DATE: May 10, 2016

MORE INFORMATION: Further detail is available on the NRCS CIG website.

CHANGES FROM PREVIOUS YEARS: This year's application process includes two other significant changes: an increase in the maximum award amount to $2 million, up from $1 million in 2015, and a streamlined single proposal process.

If you are interested in this program or have any questions please contact Morrison Principal Toni Scott at 530-893-4764 ext. 205 or at tscott@morrisonco.net.

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