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Grants to California Non-Federal Entities and Individuals for Environmental Projects that Benefit the Agricultural Industry

Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) - California


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA) - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
CFDA Number: 10.912
Funding or PIN Number: USDA-NRCS-CA-CIG-23-NOFO0001297
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Geographic Focus
USA: California

Important Dates
Deadline: 06/19/23 11:59 PM ET Receipt Save

Grant Description
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
  • Climate
  • 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.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
All U.S. domestic, non-Federal entities (NFE) and individuals are eligible to apply, with the sole exception of federal agencies, for projects carried out in California.

All CIG projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers that meet EQIP’s eligibility requirements. (For details, see p. 9 of the NOFO listed in Supporting Documents below.)

The CIG program provides special consideration to projects substantially involving or benefitting historically underserved (HU) producers or groups of producers.

Neither foreign entities nor foreign individuals are eligible to apply for this opportunity.

US Federal agencies are not eligible to apply to this opportunity or impart their work to non-federal portion of the budget.

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 a list of Funding Restrictions, see p. 20 of the NOFO listed in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Proposal Conference
A webinar for CIG applicants will be made available May 12, 2023. Information on how to participate in the webinar will be posted to the California CIG website.

Pre-Application Information
Applicants must submit their applications via by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on June 19, 2023.

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

Applications must be submitted electronically through

A account is required to submit an application. Organizations must complete all steps required to register. Although creating a account online can take only minutes, 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. Individuals are not subject to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) or SAM requirement.

This NFO requires applicants to share at least 50 percent of total project costs.

An applicant organization may submit more than one application for different projects or proposing different approaches.

View this opportunity on

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 3 to 5 awards.

Estimated Size of Grant
The estimated funding floor for this opportunity is $25,000 and the estimated funding ceiling is $150,000.

Term of Contract
Projects may be between one and three years in duration.

Applicants should plan their projects based on an estimated project start date of October 1, 2023.

Contact Information
For technical issues with, contact Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726 or

For questions regarding this opportunity, please contact the following individual with the NFO number in the subject line:
Name: Dan Curtis
Grants Management Specialist
FPAC Business Center
Email: with a copy to FPAC.BC.GAD@USDA.GOV

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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