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USDA Announces $15 Million for Conservation Innovation Grants

Indianapolis, IN, April 29, 2020 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $15 million investment to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through June 29, 2020, for national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving solutions that boost production on farms and private forests and improve natural resources.

This year’s priorities are water reuse, water quality, air quality, energy and wildlife habitat.

“Through Conservation Innovation Grants, we’re able to co-invest with partners on the next generation of agricultural conservation solutions,” said Jerry Raynor, State Conservationist in Indiana. “Conservation Innovation Grants have helped spur new tools and technologies to conserve natural resources, build resilience in producers’ operations and improve their bottom lines. This year will be the first time we are offering water reuse as a priority, and we’re excited to see how these projects play a role in USDA’s broader strategy for water reuse on agricultural land.”

CIG is a competitive grant program that supports development, testing and research of conservation technologies, practices, systems and approaches on private lands. Grantees must match the CIG investment at least one to one.

The CIG program supports early pilot projects or demonstrations of promising conservation approaches and is distinct from the $25 million announced on March 12 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, which is a separate CIG component created by the 2018 Farm Bill.

All U.S.-based non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply. Complete funding announcement information can be accessed through the Conservation Innovation Grants webpage (

CIG applications must be submitted through ( by 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 29, 2020. A webinar for potential applicants is scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT on May 13, 2020. Information on how to participate in the webinar is posted at:

For more information on CIG, visit or contact your local District Conservationist, Deborah Knepp at 574-936-2024 Ext. 4.

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