Every year, there are dozens of conservation projects that farmers and ranchers would love to undertake but can't accomplish for one simple reason: there's not enough money.
For 2014, State Conservationist Eric B. Banks says there will be $200,000 to help solve that problem, thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Innovation Grants in Kansas. Applications must be received by NRCS before the close of business on May 16, 2014.
"Conservation Innovation Grants are an excellent investment in new conservation technologies and approaches that farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners can use to achieve their production and conservation goals," said Banks.
State and local governments, federally recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental and educational organizations, private businesses, and individuals are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to applications that relate to nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health, air quality, climate change, wildlife, economics, sociology, environmental markets, food safety, historically underserved groups, or assessments of past CIG projects.
Grants help address resource concerns
In the 10 years that NRCS has administered the program, grants have helped develop water quality trading markets; assisted in innovative ways to increase fertilizer, water, and energy efficiencies; as well as addressing other resource concerns.
The grant program enables the NRCS to work with public and private partners to accelerate technology development and adopt promising approaches to address natural resource concerns. Funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the grants are awarded through a competitive process. At least 50 percent of the total cost of grant projects must come from non-federal matching funds, including cash and in-kind contributions provided by the grant recipient.