CONSERVATION INNOVATION GRANTS

Phillip (Kipp) Cherry- Natural Resource Specialist
USDA – NRCS, Washington DC
202-997-5866

What is CIG?
Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a
competitive grant program to encourage the
development and demonstration of new
technologies and conservation practices that the
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
(NRCS) can use to help America’s landowners in
conserving and improving natural resources on
private working lands.

CIG AND ENVIRONMENTAL
JUSTICE
Up to 10 percent of the total funds available
for CIG in FY 2015 may be set-aside for
proposals from historically underserved
producers, veteran farmers or ranchers, or
community-based organizations comprised
of or representing these entities.

CIG AND ENVIRONMENTAL
JUSTICE

Grant funding can also be awarded for
Projects Benefitting Historically Underserved
Producers, Veteran Farmers or Ranchers, or
Organizations Comprised of or Representing
these Individuals or Entities (i.e. Outreach)

CIG AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE:
CASE STUDIES
The following projects demonstrate new or novel
technology that can easily and inexpensively be
adopted by historically underserved producers and
veteran farmers or ranchers
These projects provide new conservation technology
and outreach benefitting underserved and veteran
producers

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #1:
SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION PUMPING
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

Conservation Innovation Grant funds were awarded
to conduct a three-year national pilot project to
demonstrate the environmental, agricultural,
economic, and socio-cultural effectiveness and
benefits of solar energy systems for pumping
irrigation-quantities of water; and to encourage and
facilitate the adoption of such systems among
Navajo, and other Tribal Conservation Districts.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #1:
SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION PUMPING
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT
The solar PV system demonstrated is an innovative
dual-axis tracking system manufactured by a local
company, Sedona Solar Technology. Installation was
completed in early August 2013.
During the remainder of the growing season, the
system provided sufficient power to run the 15
Horse Power well pump for irrigation during a sixhour window, roughly between 9:30 am and 3:30
pm.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #1:
SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION PUMPING
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

First water pumped with the sun,
North Leupp Family Farms

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #1:
SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION PUMPING
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

North Leupp Family Farms Dual
Axis Tracking PV Array

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #1:
SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION PUMPING
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

Ribbon Cutting at North
Leupp Family Farms,
September 2013

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #1:
SOLAR-POWERED IRRIGATION PUMPING
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

Performance monitoring, evaluation and
outreach will continue in years 2 and 3.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #2:
SUSTAINABLE SOLAR FOR BEGINNING
FARMERS WITH LIMITED RESOURCES
Sustainable Solar for Beginning Farmers with
Limited Resources is designing and building
affordable solar-powered refrigeration container
systems.
This project utilizes technology created by NASA
but SSBF has re-engineered the concept using
affordable components and it now has potential
applications for agricultural operations.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #2:
SUSTAINABLE SOLAR FOR BEGINNING
FARMERS WITH LIMITED RESOURCES
These units are designed for disadvantaged farmers who
lack effective refrigeration systems on site because of
the exorbitant start-up costs of solar powered energy
systems.
Solar panel installation on storage containers will
provide not only essential lighting for predawn hour’s
access but also sufficient power for a drip irrigation
monitoring system. For smaller farm operations lacking
access to on site refrigeration, sunlight can wilt produce
and degrade cardboard boxes used for produce storage.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #2:
SUSTAINABLE SOLAR FOR BEGINNING
FARMERS WITH LIMITED RESOURCES

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #2:
SUSTAINABLE SOLAR FOR BEGINNING
FARMERS WITH LIMITED RESOURCES

Project Location in Kona Hawaii

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #3:
OUTREACH TO UNDERSERVED LANDOWNERS FOR
LONGLEAF PINE RESTORATION AND
MANAGEMENT

Current efforts by USDA to improve outreach to
historically underserved producers will be
complemented by this NRCS Conservation Innovation
Grant (CIG) project.
Community-based outreach techniques will be used
to engage underserved landowners in Longleaf Pine
restoration and management, including use of
controlled burning.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #3:
OUTREACH TO UNDERSERVED LANDOWNERS FOR
LONGLEAF PINE RESTORATION AND
MANAGEMENT

Project methods include development of 18
Woodland Advocates with intensive training on
longleaf production and management, including
controlled burning.
Two educational videos will be produced as
motivational and educational tools for use in
workshops, and made available online for absentee
landowners.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #3:
OUTREACH TO UNDERSERVED LANDOWNERS FOR
LONGLEAF PINE RESTORATION AND
MANAGEMENT

One hundred twenty landowners will be supported in
applying for EQIP, forest management plans, or other
tangible steps to improve their forest management.
In addition, a landowner targeting approach focused
on Longleaf restoration related activities and
opportunities will be piloted. MS, AL, GA

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #4:

SUPPORT FOR SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED AND
LIMITED RESOURCE LANDOWNERS IN THE
SOUTHEAST
• Demonstrating Sustainable Forestry
Technologies
• Outreach
• Landowner Support Systems
• Capital
• Market Access to Conserve Land

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #4:

SUPPORT FOR SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED AND
LIMITED RESOURCE LANDOWNERS IN THE
SOUTHEAST
Problem: Lack of clear title to inherited forest land
limits
access to conservation assistance by historically
underserved owners
Solution: This CIG has supported work to resolve
ownership and title issues and to bring the land
under active and
sustainable forest management, achieving secure
family ownership and involvement in the land in
the future.

CIG –EJ CASE STUDY #4:

SUPPORT FOR SOCIALLY DISADVANTAGED AND
LIMITED RESOURCE LANDOWNERS IN THE
SOUTHEAST

See grantee’s annual report:
http
://www.usendowment.org/images/USE-2014_Annual_Report-Web.pdf

For more
information
See the CIG
page:

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financia
cig

CIG Project Search Tool

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/ciglanding/national/programs/financial/cig
/cigsearch/

CONTACT INFO AND
QUESTIONS
NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants
Phil (Kipp) Cherry-National Technology Transfer
Phone: 202-997-5866
E-Mail: phil.cherry@wdc.usda.gov

Questions?
We can review related sections of the APF if we have time.

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