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Vermont Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)

Grant Amount : $10,000

About

Grants to Vermont non-federal entities and individuals for the development and application of innovative environmental conservation strategies related to agricultural production. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to enable both private and public entities to adopt and transfer promising technologies that address pressing concerns in natural resources conservation.

The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) to agricultural producers, into government technical manuals and guides, or to the private sector. CIG generally funds pilot projects, field demonstrations, and on-farm conservation research. On-farm conservation research is defined as an investigation conducted to answer a specific applied conservation question using a statistically valid design while employing farm-scale equipment on farms, ranches or private forest lands. 

CIG funds the development and field testing, on-farm research and demonstration, evaluation, or implementation of:

  • Approaches to incentivizing conservation adoption, including market-based and conservation finance approaches; and
  • Conservation technologies, practices, and systems.

Projects or activities under CIG must comply with all applicable federal, tribal, state, and local laws and regulations throughout the duration of the project; and

  • Use a technology or approach that was studied sufficiently to indicate a high probability for success;
  • Demonstrate, evaluate, and verify the effectiveness, utility, affordability, and usability of natural resource conservation technologies and approaches in the field;
  • Adapt and transfer conservation technologies, management, practices, systems, approaches, and incentive systems to improve performance and encourage adoption;
  • Introduce proven conservation technologies and approaches to a geographic area or agricultural sector where that technology or approach is not currently in use.

Technologies and approaches that are eligible for funding in a project’s geographic area using an EQIP contract for an established conservation practice standard are ineligible for CIG funding, except where the use of those technologies and approaches demonstrates clear innovation. 

CIG Priorities for FY 2022:

  1. Water Quality Priority: The objective of this priority is to implement new technologies, methods or market-based approaches to maintain, restore, or enhance water quality resources associated with agricultural and/or forest land uses while sustaining productivity.
  2. Soil Health Priority: The objective of this priority is to implement new technologies, methods or market-based approaches to maintain, restore, or enhance soil resources associated with agricultural and/or forest land uses while sustaining productivity.
  3. Urban Agriculture and Climate Smart Agriculture: The objective of this priority is to identify and implement new technologies, methods or market-based approaches for urban agriculture and climate smart agriculture while sustaining environmentally sound conservation practices.
  4. Forestry and Wildlife Habitat: The objective of this priority is to implement new technologies, methods or market-based approaches for environmentally sound wildlife habitat and/or livestock management while sustaining agricultural and/or forest productivity.

About the Grantor

Vermont Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)
United States Department of Agriculture
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