The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept applications until June 17 for the Conservation Innovation Grants state component. Missouri should have $300,000 available this year for CIG, according to J.R. Flores, NRCS state conservationist. Individual grants can be for up to $50,000, and can be used to fund up to 50% of the total project cost.
The money is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Ten percent of Missouri's CIG allotment will be set aside for applications from beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, or community based organizations comprised of or representing those groups.
CIG funds projects targeting innovative, on-the-ground conservation, including target projects and field demonstrations that can last from one to three years. CIG is not a research program, but rather a tool to stimulate the adoption of conservation approaches or technologies.
Missouri will offer the following funding categories: Ecosystems Markets; Preservation and Enhancement of Wildlife Habitat; Energy; Productivity and Environmental Health of Pastureland; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture; Soil Quality; Priority Landscapes; Nutrient Management; Quality and Atmospheric Resource, Program Outreach and Conservation Technology Transfer to Targeted Groups; Sustainable and Organic Agriculture; Specialty Crops; and Pollinator Habitat.
Applications should be sent to: USDA-NRCS, Conservation Innovation Grants Program, 601 Business Loop 70 West, Suite 250, Columbia, MO 65203-2546.
Phone (573) 876-0908 or (573) 876-0901