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Vermont Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Grants to Vermont Non-Federal Entities and
Individuals for Innovative Conservation Technology

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) - Vermont

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/29/21 11:59 PM EST


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Grants to Vermont non-federal entities and individuals for the development and application of innovative environmental conservation strategies related to agricultural production. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to enable both private and public entities to adopt and transfer promising technologies that address pressing concerns in natural resources conservation.

The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. 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. 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. 

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; and

  • 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;
  • 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. 

CIG Priorities for FY 2021:

1. Water Quality Priority: The objective of this priority is to implement new technologies, methods or market-based approaches to maintain, restore, or enhance water quality resources associated with agricultural and/or forest land uses while sustaining productivity.

2. Soil Health Priority: The objective of this priority is to implement new technologies, methods or market-based approaches to maintain, restore, or enhance soil resources associated with agricultural and/or forest land uses while sustaining productivity.

3. Forestry and Wildlife Habitat: The objective of this priority is to implement new technologies, methods or market-based approaches for environmentally sound wildlife habitat and/or livestock management while sustaining agricultural and/or forest productivity.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181282

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Expected Number of Awards: 5

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $175,000
- Award Floor: $10,000

Term of Contract:

Projects may be between 1 and 3 years in duration. Applicants should plan their projects based on an estimated project start date of September 30, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All U.S.-based non-Federal entities (NFE) and individuals, with the exception of Federal agencies, are eligible to apply for projects carried out in Vermont. The following entity types are eligible:
a. City or township governments
b. County governments
c. For profit organizations other than small businesses
d. Independent school districts
e. Individuals
f. Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
g. Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
h. Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher
i. Nonprofits that do not have a 501 (c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education)
j. Private institutions of higher education
k. Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education
l. Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
m. Small businesses
n. Special district governments
o. State governments

Pre-proposal Conference:

A webinar for CIG applicants is scheduled for May 3, 2021 at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time via Microsoft Teams by utilizing this link:

For those wishing to join by phone only, call in to 1-202-650-0123 with this passcode; 690 660 179#. This webinar and alternate teleconference line are also posted to the Vermont NRCS CIG Website. Applicants should also visit the VT CIG website to learn more about the CIG program.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must submit applications via Applications must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Time (ET) on June 29, 2021.

Non-federal entities must obtain a DUNS and register in SAM prior to registering in
For SAM:

This NFO requires applicants to share at least 50% of total project costs. Applications that do not include the required level of cost-sharing will be ineligible for award.

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For a list of relevant application documents, see the Package tab (click Preview) at the link above.

Contact Information:

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

For questions regarding this opportunity, please contact one of the following individuals with the NFO number in the subject line:
Administrative Contact (Primary Contact)
Name: Shynika Loften
Grants Management Specialist
FPAC Business Center
Mailing Address: 355 E. Street SW, Suite 11-147B, Washington, DC
Phone Number: (202) 572-5851
Email: with a copy to FPAC.BC.GAD@USDA.GOV

Sandra Primard
Agronomist - Vermont NRCS
Phone: 802-951-6796 x240

Joe Buford
State Resource Conservationist - Vermont NRCS
Phone: 802-951-6796 X-244

For assistance with the registration process, contact Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726 or

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
356 Mountain View Drive, Suite 105
Colchester, VT 05446

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont

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