SOMERSET, N.J. — State Conservationist Carrie Lindig has announced that USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting pre-proposals for the 2017 state component of the Conservation Innovation Grants program. Projects that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in New Jersey will be considered for funding for a maximum award of $75,000. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2017 will be up to $202,050.
For FY 2017, NRCS-NJ will consider pre-proposals that demonstrate the use of innovative technologies and/or approaches to address at least one of seven topics:
- Historically underserved producer or veteran farmers or ranchers.
- Data analytics for natural resources conservation.
- Pay-for-success models to stimulate conservation adoption.
- Precision conservation approaches.
- Projects that demonstrate the cost effectiveness of leveraged public and private impact investments in working lands conservation.
- Water management technologies and approaches to maximize agricultural production efficiency and minimize off-site impacts.
- Projects that develop, demonstrate and/or quantify the impacts of innovative conservation systems (and their component practices or approaches) in an agricultural setting that improve/protect ground and/or surface water quality, reduce soil erosion and/or address wildlife habitat concerns.
Additional topics, not listed in the grant announcement, may be considered at the State Conservationist’s discretion, but must be identified as such in pre-proposal documents.
Conservation Innovation Grant Program uses Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, American Indian Tribes or individuals. All agricultural producers who receive a direct or indirect payment through participation in a CIG project must meet the EQIP eligibility requirements.
As in the past, the state CIG is conducted as a two-phase competitive grants process that will include (1) a pre-proposal process and (2) a full proposal process. The full proposal process will only be open to applicants whose pre-proposal applications are selected by NRCS-NJ.
Pre-proposals must be received by NRCS before 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. NRCS will announce selected pre-proposals by March 10. Selected applicants will then be required to submit a full proposal package to NRCS by 4:30 p.m. on April 28. The proposed projects must be located entirely within New Jersey and between one to three years in duration. Eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals may apply.
The grant package “Conservation Innovation Grant 2017 Announcement for Program Funding” is available on Grants.gov. The grant application package materials identify the objectives for CIG projects, the eligibility criteria for projects and associated instructions and forms needed to apply for CIG. Click on the “Apply for Grants” and use the search dialogue box on the left side of the page. Enter Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.912 or Funding Opportunity #: USDA-NRCS-NJ-CIG-17-01 to search for the 2017 grant program information. Information is also posted on the NJ NRCS website www.nj.nrcs.usda.gov.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (e.g., Braille, large print, audio tape) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
Questions should be directed to Gail Bartok, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs at Gail.Bartok@nj.usda.gov. A brief description of past New Jersey CIG awards can be found online at http://go.usa.gov/x9Typ.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service offers conservation programs to help agricultural producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations and achieve other environmental benefits.
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— USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service