Grants to California domestic, non-federal entities and individuals for novel environmental projects that benefit the agricultural industry. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches, tools, and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. Funds may be used for pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research.
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) to agricultural producers, into government technical manuals and guides, or to the private sector.
Innovative Conservation Projects or Activities
CIG funds the development and field testing, on-farm conservation 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.
*"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.
Projects or activities under CIG must comply with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws and regulations throughout the duration of the project; and:
- Use a technology or approach that was studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability of 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;
- Introduce proven conservation technologies and approaches to a geographic area or agricultural sector where that technology or approach is not currently in use.
CIG Priorities for FY 2023:
- Improve plant and forest health/productivity
- Improve air quality associated with agricultural operations
- Work with agriculture operations to protect surface and groundwater quality
- Improve soil health
- Enhance habitat for terrestrial and aquatic species
- Urban Agriculture
For details on the above priorities, see p. 5 of the NOFO in Supporting Documents below.