This just in from the USDA.
For Immediate Release
Proposals for Grants Requested to Help Farmers and Ranchers Improve Environmental Quality and Energy Efficiency
Applications must be received by December 28, 2010.
Gainesville, FL., December 1, 2010—The USDA is seeking proposals for grants to improve water quality, air quality and promote energy conservation. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making available $25 million nationwide through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program to address natural resource concerns.
Now in its eighth year, the CIG program offers funding dedicated to the adoption of technologies to address a broad range of agricultural issues. For example, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is working with several partners on the Florida Ranchlands Environmental Services Project (FRESP) to design and field-test a program that would pay ranchers in the Northern Everglades for providing environmental services of water retention and phosphorus load reduction.
Successful applicants will demonstrate that their projects use innovative, on-the-ground conservation approaches and technologies. Funds will be awarded through a nationwide competitive grants process with applications being accepted from all 50 States, the Caribbean Area (the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and the Pacific Islands Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). Applications will be accepted from all eligible individuals, non-federal governments and non-governmental organizations, including federally recognized tribes and private businesses.
This year, a two-phase competitive process will be implemented. In phase one, all applicants will be required to submit a pre-proposal; in phase two, only those applicants selected during the pre-proposal phase will be asked to submit a full application package. All proposed CIG projects must involve producers who are eligible for NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which offers financial and technical assistance to help producers implement conservation practices on agricultural land.
The federal contribution for a single project cannot exceed $1 million. At least 50 percent of the total cost of the project must come from non-federal matching funds (cash and in-kind contributions) provided by the grantee. Grants are available for single or multi-year projects, not to exceed 3 years. Proposed projects must comply with the description of innovative conservation projects or activities established in the Announcement for Program Funding (APF).
Pre-proposal applications must be received at the NRCS National Headquarters by close of business December 28, 2010. To view the complete APF, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/cig/index.html. To apply electronically, visit: www.grants.gov/. Additional information on NRCS and our programs is available on our website at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app .