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July 30-1030-CIG-Caroline Sherony

2019 SWCS International Annual Conference
July 28-31, 2019
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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July 30-1030-CIG-Caroline Sherony

  1. 1. Mission Support Services Operations Associate Chief Area Conservation Innovation Grants July 29, 2019 SWCS Showcase Modernizing Conservation
  2. 2. Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) To stimulate the adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies on farms, ranches and forest lands
  3. 3. CIG: Two Separate Components “CIG Classic” Pilot tests level - to learn about new innovative technologies: First authorized in 2002, first awarded in 2004 • National Competition • State Competition Similar to National Program, handled by States On-Farm Trials Applied trials to increase adoption: On Farm Trials Program • Authorized in 2018 Farm Bill • First NFO, this year, just closed
  4. 4. CIG Classic – Key Aspects • Applied approach is viewed as a step after traditional research, to technology transfer • Leverages funding, 50% match required • Identifies Future Innovative Practice Standards for NRCS • Priorities change annually • Priorities can vary between protecting specific resources (wildlife, water, and soil) or focus on how to protect resources.
  5. 5. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Proposals Received Grants Awarded Number of Proposals Received and Grants Awarded Over Time
  6. 6. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 %Proposalsfunded Year Proposal Funding Rate Over Time
  7. 7. Development of Self-Sustaining Markets for Bird-Friendly Beef to Incentivize Grassland Conservation on Private Lands Across the Great Plains, Audubon Society (17-320) National CIG Classic – Innovation Certification programs Bee Better Farming: A Marketplace Incentive Program for Pollinator Conservation, Xerces Society
  8. 8. To Subscribe--https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDANRCS/subscriber/new • Internet of Agriculture (IoAg) Network and Services Platform, White River Regional Irrigation (17-515) • Forage Forecasting & Nutritional Analytics, Texas A&M (17- 286) • Integrating Precision Irrigation Technologies to Demonstrate a Farmer-Ready Dynamic Variable Rate Irrigation System, Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District (17-317) • Harmonizing Southern Phosphorous Assessment Tools Based on Recent Comparisons and State Priorities, North Carolina State University National CIG Classic – Innovation Technology
  9. 9. To Subscribe--https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDANRCS/subscriber/new • Conservation Outreach and Assistance to Historically Underserved (COAHU), Arkansas Land & Community Development Corporation • Reaching and Teaching the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers, On Pasture • Streamlining Regulatory Compliance and Conservation Planning, The Freshwater Trust (17-287) National CIG Classic – Innovation Outreach
  10. 10. National CIG Classic in 2019 • Due Tomorrow! July 30, 2019 • Anticipate over 100 proposals • $12.5 million available for projects • Projects focused on Conservation Adoption, Pollinators, Urban Agriculture, and Water Quantity
  11. 11. CIG Program Updates: • USDA Restructuring: • Creation of Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) business center to continue customer service improvement • OIG Audit: • Several NRCS programs wen through audits with the Office of Inspector General (OIG). One of these audits was with CIG. • CIG Team: • Improving customer service to proposers and awardees
  12. 12. CIG changes in the 2018 Farm Bill • CIG Classic • Added focus areas – urban agriculture, edge of field and other monitoring practices • New On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials • Soil Health Demonstration Trial • $25 million annually
  13. 13. On-Farm Trials vs. CIG “Classic” CIG Classic Funds the development of promising approaches and technologies (which may or not be successful!). Funding only rarely provided to producers. On-Farm Trials Funds the implementation and evaluation of innovative approaches, systems and practices that we know provide a conservation benefit. Funding must be provided directly to producers to offset the risk of implementing innovative approaches.
  14. 14. On-Farm Trials Funding • Up to $25 million is available • $5 million is the maximum award size • $250,000 is the minimum award size • Projects can be 3-5 years in duration
  15. 15. On-Farm Trials—How It Works 1. Incentive payments to producers to implement innovative approaches, systems and practices. 2. TA funding to entities to help producers with implementation. 3. Evaluation funding to entities to robustly assess natural resource and economic (and to the extent possible, social) outcomes.
  16. 16. Eligible Entities • Private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture • NGOs with experience working with agricultural producers • Non-Federal government agencies (including Universities)
  17. 17. On-Farm Trials – 2019 Competition Application period closed July 15, 2019 2019 Priorities: • Irrigation Management • Precision Agriculture • Management Technologies and Strategies • Soil Health Demo Trial
  18. 18. Soil Health Demo Trial • Supports more widespread adoption of soil health management systems and practices. • NRCS expects to spend up to $10 million of total On-Farm Trials Funding. • Awardees required to use consistent evaluation protocols and methods for assessing soil carbon changes and other soil health outcomes. • Awardees consent to NRCS using data for Congressionally-mandated report.
  19. 19. Additional Key Points • Priority consideration given to projects that substantively involve historically underserved producers. • No On-Farm Trials funding can be used to pay for indirect costs. • Direct administrative expenses (e.g., filling out required reports, organizing partner meetings) are allowable costs. • No specific level of contributions are required, but contributions are considered in project evaluation criteria.
  20. 20. Mission Support Services CIG contact info nrcscig@wdc.usda.gov
  21. 21. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
  22. 22. Conservation Finance 101 • Harnessing private capital and impact investment for natural resource conservation. • Can help fill the gap between available funding and private lands conservation needs.
  23. 23. Pioneering Conservation Finance at NRCS • 34 pilot projects funded 2015-2017 • Projects address a multitude of different conservation finance approaches—environmental markets, new finance schemes, corporate supply chain efforts, etc.
  24. 24. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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2019 SWCS International Annual Conference July 28-31, 2019 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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