Federal grants are available through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to help farmers and ranchers develop tools, technologies and strategies for conservation on working lands.
The NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants program is intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches in each of six project categories: energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation, plant health, soil quality, wildlife habitat and water quality or quantity. Funding for the grants comes from the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Up to $250,000 is available in Oregon for eligible landowners, local and state governments, tribes and non-governmental organizations. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 6.
Ronald Alvarado, NRCS Oregon state conservationist, said the Conservation Innovation Grants, or CIGs, are critical for developing science, technology and innovative tools to address natural resource concerns.
“CIG helps bridge the gap between initial product development and taking that product or approach to market,” Alvarado said. “The overall goal is to incorporate new innovations into NRCS technical manuals and make them available to the agricultural community.”
Applicants can request up to $75,000, with at least a 50 percent non-federal match that can be cash or in-kind work. Projects must be within Oregon and may be area-based or statewide in scope.
Since 2009, Oregon CIG has awarded $2.3 million in competitive grants. More information about the program is available online at www.nrcs.usda.gov.
For questions about the application process, contact CIG Program Manager Loren Unruh at 503-414-3235 or email email@example.com.