NRCS provides funding opportunities for agriculturalists and others through various programs. Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals.


2011 Featured Projects

The purpose of this GHG CIG project is to 1) implement a first-of-its-kind greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction demonstration initiative with rice producers in California and Arkansas, two of the country’s leading rice-producing states and 2) analyze the demonstration's replication potential.

This project found real solutions for ranchers, and laid a foundation for direct public payments to rangeland owners from measurable improvements in resource management to rangeland owners. CIG partners identified realistic management practices and created carbon offset protocols that encourage carbon sequestration and emissions reduction on rangelands, while producing real co-benefits, such as increased water retention and forage productivity. As a result of the work in this CIG, ranchers can implement the practices included in the protocols to enhance the quality of their rangeland ecosystem.

Bovine Innovative Greenhouse Gas Solution

The purpose of the Bovine Innovative Greenhouse Gas Solutions (BIGGS) Project is to enable beef and dairy producers to create and sell voluntary carbon offsets. In order to accomplish this, the project team is attempting to adapt three Alberta Offset System Quantification Protocols into the American Carbon Registry.

Avoided Grassland Conversion Carbon Project

The project developed tools to verify offsets derived from avoided grassland conversion projects in the Northern Great Plains resulting in an American Carbon Registry Approved methodology. Additionally, the project partners assisted producers through the validation and verification process to develop registered carbon credits.

Farm Smart Management System

Farm Smart™ is an innovative, integrated online management system that empowers continuous environmental, social and economic improvement for dairy producers. Its science- and practice-based resources and tools help producers reduce their environmental footprint while identifying new sources of cost savings and revenue. It also delivers benefits throughout the grass-to-glass value chain to dairy processors, retail distributors and consumers.