Grants of up to $50,000 to New Mexico non-Federal entities and individuals for conservation projects that promote agriculture. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to develop and adopt innovative conservation approaches and technologies related to agricultural production. 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 NRCS 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 has been 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.

For FY 2021, NRCS will only accept proposals that address one or more of the State priorities listed below.

  1. Increased reliance on natural biodiversity to control pests
  2. Soil health management systems (SHMS)- collection of NRCS conservation practices that focus on maintaining or enhancing soil health by addressing all four soil health planning principles: minimize disturbance, maximize soil cover, maximize biodiversity, and maximize the presence of living roots. 
  3. Water conservation
  4. Fish and wildlife habitat

For additional information about 2021 CIG priorities, see page 7 of the Notice of Funding in Supporting Documents, below.

Timeline:
– Questions regarding this notice of funding opportunity (NFO) may be submitted until March 26, 2021. Responses to questions posed will be posted on Grants.gov approximately two weeks before the application due date.
– Applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 20, 2021.
– The agency anticipates making selections by May 21, 2021 and expects to execute awards by July 31, 2021.

This NFO requires applicants to share at least 50% of total project costs. Special considerations exist for some historically underserved applications

While a Grants.gov account is not required to download an NFO and related documents, it is required to submit an application. If your organization has never submitted an application via Grants.gov, please be aware that there are several steps you must take to register your organization before you can submit an application. Completing those steps takes a significant amount of time. Although creating a Grants.gov account online can take only minutes, DUNS and SAM registrations may take several weeks. Therefore, organizations should begin the process early to ensure they have sufficient time to complete registration and meet required application submission deadlines.