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Grants to USA Individuals and Non-Federal Agencies for Conservation Initiatives in Agriculture

NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) Classic Program

GrantWatch ID# 129980
Agency: Federal

Funding Source
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
CFDA Number: 10.912
Funding or PIN Number: USDA-NRCS-NHQ-CIGCLASSIC-22-NOFO001218
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Conference Date: 08/24/22
Deadline: 10/11/22 11:59 PM ET Receipt

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories individuals and non-federal agencies to promote the adoption and development of innovative approaches to conservation in agriculture. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Priority funding areas include climate-smart agriculture, combatting invasive species, and conservation in urban agricultural systems.

The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects present innovations that are expected to result in the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and inventive approaches (such as market-based systems) to agricultural producers, into technical manuals and guides, and for practical use in the private sector. CIG generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research. On-farm conservation research is defined as an investigation conducted to answer a specific applied conservation question using a statistically valid design while employing farm-scale equipment on farms, ranches, or private forest lands.

Innovative Conservation Projects or Activities:

  1. CIG funds the development and field testing, on-farm research and demonstration, evaluation, or implementation of:
    1. Approaches to incentivizing conservation adoption, including market-based and conservation finance approaches, and
    2. Conservation technologies, practices, and systems.
  2. Projects or activities under CIG must:
    1. Comply with all applicable Federal, Tribal, State, and local laws and regulations throughout the duration of the project,
    2. Use a technology or approach that was studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success,
    3. Demonstrate, evaluate, and verify the effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of natural resource conservation technologies and approaches in the field,
    4. Adapt and transfer conservation technologies, management practices, systems, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption, and
    5. Introduce proven conservation technologies and approaches to a geographic area or agricultural sector where that technology or approach is not currently in use.

Technologies and approaches that are eligible for funding in a project’s geographic area using an EQIP contract for an established conservation practice standard are ineligible for CIG funding, except where the use of those technologies and approaches demonstrates clear innovation.

For FY 2022, NRCS is only accepting proposals that address one or more of the priorities listed below. Each proposal must clearly identify a primary priority. The primary priority selected by an applicant will determine which expert peer panel will review the application.

  • Priority 1: Climate-Smart Agriculture
    • 1a: Producer adaptation to extreme weather events
    • 1b: Building resilience through emerging production systems for climate smart agriculture
  • Priority 2: Combating Invasive Species
  • Priority 3: Conservation in Urban Agricultural Systems

NRCS is committed to the success of the nation’s Historically Underserved (HU) producers, businesses, and partners. HU producers play a vital role in securing a healthy agricultural economy for our country and are momentous leaders in protecting, enhancing, and sustaining our valuable natural resources. NRCS encourages proposal submissions from entities that represent or are composed entirely of HU producers.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
All non-Federal entities and individuals based in the United States are eligible to apply for projects carried out in the United States. “Based in the United States” includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).

Any award made pursuant to this NFO will be made to a single entity. Applicants that apply as “partnerships” or other similar groupings must clearly describe the relationship between the applicant and the “partner” parties. In all but exceptional cases, an awardee/sub awardee relationship must be reflected in the award.

All CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers that meet EQIP’s eligibility requirements listed in 7 CFR 1466.6(b)(1) through (3):
i. Must comply with the highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions (7 CFR Part 12).
ii. Must be a person, joint operation, Indian tribe, or Native corporation, or other legal entity that is engaged in agricultural production or forestry management or has an interest in the agricultural or forestry operation as defined in 7 CFR Part 1400.
iii. Must have control of the land involved for the term of the proposed contract period.

Applicant entities identified in the exclusions database as ineligible, prohibited/restricted, or excluded from receiving Federal contracts and certain Federal assistance and benefits will not be considered for Federal funding, as applicable to the funding being requested under this Federal program.

Funding restrictions can be found on pp. 28-29 of the NOFO in Attached Files below.

Pre-Application Information
Applicants must submit their applications through by 11:59 pm (EDT) on Tuesday October 11, 2022.

The agency anticipates making selections by January 30, 2023 and expects to execute awards by May 1, 2023. These dates are estimates and are subject to change.

While a account is not required to download an NFO and related documents, your organization is required to have a account to submit an application. If your organization has never applied though, please be aware that there are several steps you must take to register your organization before you can submit an application. Completing these steps can take a significant amount of time, so plan accordingly.

SAM registrations may take several weeks. Therefore, organizations should begin the process early to ensure they have sufficient time to complete registration and meet required application submission deadlines.

Questions about this announcement can be emailed to staff. “Frequently Asked Questions” document based on potential applicants’ submitted questions will be posted on at least 2 weeks before the proposal due date.

This NFO requires an applicant to provide cost share, also known as “match”, of at least 50 percent of total project costs (total project costs include the Federal and non-Federal portions), except for applicants competing for HU funding. Cost sharing may be achieved with contributions of cash, services, materials, equipment, or third-party in-kind contributions.

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For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants
The agency expects to make between 15 and 20 awards.

Estimated Size of Grant
- Award Ceiling: $2,000,000
- Award Floor: $300,000

Term of Contract
Projects may be 1 to 3 years in duration. Applicants should plan their projects based on an estimated project start date of May 1, 2023.

Contact Information
Potential applicants may contact NRCS with questions at:
Name: CIG Staff
with a copy to FPAC.BC.GAD@USDA.GOV

For technical issues with, contact Applicant Support at 1-800- 518-4726 or Awarding agency staff cannot support applicants regarding accounts.

RFP & Supporting Documents
Full Grant Text RFP

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates / changes / addendums / conferences / LOIs.

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