USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for grants until April 23, 2021, to fund Montana projects that could stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) generally fund pilot projects, field demonstrations and on-farm conservation research.

Tom Watson, NRCS state conservationist for Montana, said $225,000 is available for the state-component CIG this year. He said applicants can request up to $75,000 for projects lasting one to three years.

Watson said projects should address one or more of the three resource concerns identified for this program: soil health, water quality and quantity, and range health. All projects need to result in technology or methods that can be used to augment agency technical guidance; be designed with an understanding of NRCS practice standards, pertinent assessment tools, and planning criteria. Information about CIG and the application process is available online at

Applications must be submitted electronically through by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23, 2021. In addition, a PDF of the complete application must be emailed to

For more information, contact Jerry Shows at or 406-587-6967.

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