USDA Accepting Applications for Conservation Innovation Grants

Arkansas NRCS Solicits Conservation Innovation Grant Proposals

Mike Sullivan, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state conservationist, announced approximately $300,000 in funding is available through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies within Arkansas.

CIG, a component of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, is used to apply or demonstrate previously proven technology. It does not fund research projects. CIG is an effort to address some of the state’s most pressing natural resource conservation needs. Project proposals should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern.  Project results are expected to improve and create conservation technologies, management systems and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems).

For FY 2019, Arkansas NRCS will consider offering grants in the following areas: nutrient and sediment reduction in impaired watersheds; high tunnels; organic; irrigation; soil health; and adoption of cover crops in rice rotations. Applications should be for single or multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years.

Individual grant awards may not exceed $75,000. Selected applicants may receive CIG grants of up to 50 percent of their total project cost. CIG recipients must provide a non-federal funding match or cost-share amount at least equal to the amount of federal funding requested. For example, if an applicant requests $50,000 in CIG funding, at least $50,000 in non-federal cost-share or matching funds must be committed by the applicant.

The announcement for this CIG funding opportunity can be found at: www.grants.gov. The announcement number is USDA-NRCS-AR-CIG-19-GEN0010102.

Applications must be submitted in grants.gov or emailed to AR-Programs@usda.gov by 5 p.m. May 31, 2019. No applications will be accepted by mail.

NRCS anticipates announcing CIG selections and awarding all grants on or around September 30, 2019. However, NRCS will not distribute any funds, and grantees cannot begin work until the parties execute a CIG agreement.

For more information on CIG, contact Lori Barker, state CIG program manager, at (870) 523-8986 or lori.barker@ar.usda.gov. The request for proposals and related forms are located at www.grants.gov.

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