Special to the Journal
ATHENS, GA, — State Conservationist, James E. Tillman, Sr., for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Georgia today announced the proposals funded for the 2013 National Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Georgia awardees include: Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District for “Mobilizing Access to Low-Cost Irrigation Scheduling Technology and Tools in the Lower Flint River Basin of Georgia;” National Network of Forest Practitioners (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia) for “Peer‐Based Outreach to Underserved Landowners in the Black Belt for Longleaf Restoration and Prescribed Fire;” and the University of Georgia, for “Improving Nutrient Management by Beginning Farmers by Predicting Nitrogen Release from Cover Crops.”
“Conservation Innovation Grants activate creativity and problem-solving to benefit conservation-minded farmers and ranchers,” said Tillman. “These grants are critical for developing and demonstrating new ideas for conservation on America’s private lands and strengthening rural communities. We’re glad these three groups could help us in USDA’s effort to continue to enhance technology within agriculture.”
CIG invests in innovative, on-the-ground conservation technologies and approaches, with the eventual goal of wide-scale NRCS adoption to address water quality and quantity, air quality, energy conservation, and environmental markets, among other natural resource issues.
NRCS administers CIG as part of the Agency’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Grants are awarded to state and local governments, federally-recognized Indian tribes, non-governmental organizations and individuals.
The three selected proposals have been awarded more than $1.2 million in CIG. The grant recipients will provide at least 50/50 non-federal matching funds.