AMHERST, Mass. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced up to $290,000 of funding available in Massachusetts for eligible individuals, local and state governments, non-governmental organizations and tribes through Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). These grants are intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection.
At least 10 percent of the total funds available for CIG in FY 2023 is set aside for proposals from Historically Underserved producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or community-based organizations comprised of or representing these entities.
The deadline to submit an application for CIG is 11:59 pm EDT on May 19, 2023. To apply, visit Grants.gov for the funding opportunity number USDA-NRCS-MA-CIG-23-NOFO0001259
“Conservation Innovation Grants are critical for developing science, technology and innovative tools to address natural resource concerns on Massachusetts’s private working lands,” said Dan Wright, Massachusetts State Conservationist for NRCS. “CIG will benefit agricultural producers by providing more options for environmental enhancement and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.”
Projects must be within Massachusetts and in conjunction with agricultural production. They may be area-based or statewide in scope. Applicants submitting proposals may request up to $290,000 of matching federal funds. CIG recipients must provide a non-federal funding match at least equal to the amount of federal funding requested. The non-federal match can be cash, in-kind or a combination of both.
The proposal must involve Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible producers and should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern in one of the following categories: silvopasture, urban agriculture, water quality.
These grants do not fund research projects. The program is designed to aid the adoption of measures that have been sufficiently studied to indicate a high likelihood of success. The overall goal is to incorporate new innovations into NRCS technical manuals and make them available to the agricultural community.
The Conservation Innovation Grants at the state level build on our national program and enable NRCS to better address natural resource concerns at the local level. To learn more about Conservation Innovations Grants visit the CIG webpage.
–USDA NRCS Massachusetts