Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States (Targeted States Program), 15829-15834 [05-6078]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 29, 2005 / Notices Audit Requirements Applicants awarded partnership agreements are subject to audit. Prohibitions and Requirements With Regard to Lobbying Section 1352 of Pub. L. 101–121, enacted on October 23, 1989, imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification related to lobbying on recipients of Federal contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and loans. It provides exemptions for Indian Tribes and tribal organizations. Current and prospective recipients, and any subcontractors, are prohibited from using Federal funds, other than profits from a Federal contract, for lobbying Congress or any Federal agency in connection with the award of a contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or loan. In addition, for each award action in excess of $100,000 ($150,000 for loans) the law requires recipients and any subcontractors: (1) To certify that they have neither used nor will use any appropriated funds for payment of lobbyists; (2) to disclose the name, address, payment details, and purpose of any agreements with lobbyists whom recipients of their subcontractors will pay with profits or other nonappropriated funds on or after December 22, 1989; and (3) to file quarterly up-dates about the use of lobbyists if material changes occur in their use. The law establishes civil penalties for non-compliance. A copy of the certification and disclosure forms must be submitted with the application and are available at the address and telephone number listed in Section VII. Agency Contact. Applicable OMB Circulars All partnership agreements funded as a result of this notice will be subject to the requirements contained in all applicable OMB circulars. Requirement To Participate in Civil Rights Training Project leaders of all partnership agreements funded as a result of this notice are required to know and abide by Federal civil rights laws. Agency policies or regulations may require that project leaders attend civil rights training to become fully aware of civil rights responsibilities. In their applications, applicants should budget for possible travel costs associated with receiving this training. 3. Reporting Applicants awarded partnership agreements will be required to submit quarterly progress and financial reports (OMB Standard Form 269) throughout VerDate jul<14>2003 17:01 Mar 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 the project period, as well as a final program and financial report not later than 90 days after the end of the project period. VII. Agency Contact For Further Information Contact: Applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to contact: Michelle Fuller, USDA–RMA–RME, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Stop 0808, Washington, DC 20250–0808, phone: (202) 720–6356, fax: (202) 690–3605, email: RMA.Risk–Ed@rma.usda.gov. You may also obtain information regarding this announcement from the RMA Web site at: http://www.rma.usda.gov. VIII. Other Information Related Programs Funding availability for this program may be announced at approximately the same time as funding availability for similar but separate programs—CFDA No. 10.455 (Community Outreach and Assistance Partnerships), CFDA No. 10.456 (Risk Management Research Partnerships), CFDA No. 10.457 (Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education), and CFDA No. 10.458 (Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States). These programs have some similarities, but also key differences. The differences stem from important features of each program’s authorizing legislation and different RMA objectives. Prospective applicants should carefully examine and compare the notices for each program. Signed in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2005. Ross J. Davidson, Jr., Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. [FR Doc. 05–6079 Filed 3–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–08–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States (Targeted States Program) Announcement Type: Notice of Funding Availability for Competitive Cooperative Agreements—Initial. CFDA Number: 10.458. Dates: Applications are due 5 p.m. EDT, May 31, 2005. Executive Summary: The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces the availability of approximately $4.5 million to fund cooperative agreements under the Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States program (the Targeted PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15829 States program). The purpose of this cooperative agreement program is to deliver crop insurance education and information to U.S. agricultural producers in certain States that have been designated as historically underserved with respect to crop insurance. The states, collectively referred to as Targeted States, are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. A maximum of 15 cooperative agreements will be funded, one in each of the 15 Targeted States. The maximum award for varies by State. Recipients of awards must agree to the substantial involvement of RMA in the project. Funding availability for this program may be announced at approximately the same time as funding availability for similar but separate programs—CFDA No. 10.455 (Community Outreach and Assistance Partnerships), CFDA No. 10.456 (Risk Management Research Partnerships) CFDA No. 10.457 (Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education), and CFDA No. 10.459 (Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions). Prospective applicants should carefully examine and compare the notices for each program. Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Legislative Authority The Targeted States program is authorized under section 524(a)(2) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (Act). Background RMA promotes and regulates sound risk management solutions to improve the economic stability of American agriculture. On behalf of FCIC, RMA does this by offering Federal crop insurance products through a network of private-sector partners, overseeing the creation of new risk management products, seeking enhancements in existing products, ensuring the integrity of crop insurance programs, offering outreach programs aimed at equal access and participation of underserved communities, and providing risk management education and information. One of RMA’s strategic goals is to ensure that its customers are well informed as to the risk management solutions available. This educational goal is supported by section 524(a)(2) of the Act. This section authorizes funding for the establishment of crop insurance education and information programs in E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 15830 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 29, 2005 / Notices States that have historically been underserved by Federal crop insurance program. In accordance with the Act, the fifteen States designated as ‘‘underserved’’ are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming (collectively referred to as ‘‘Targeted States’’). Project Goal The goal of the Targeted States program is to ensure that farmers and ranchers in the Targeted States are sufficiently informed so as to take full advantage of existing and emerging crop insurance products. Purpose The purpose of the Targeted States program is to provide farmers and ranchers in Targeted States with education and information to be able to understand: • The kinds of risk addressed by crop insurance; • The features of existing and emerging crop insurance products; • The use of crop insurance in the management of risk; and • How the use of crop insurance can affect other risk management decisions, such as the use of marketing and financial tools. II. Award Information Type of Award: Cooperative Agreements, which require the substantial involvement of RMA. Funding Availability: Approximately $4,500,000 is available in fiscal year 2005 to fund up to 15 cooperative agreements, a maximum of one agreement for each of the Targeted States. The maximum funding amount anticipated for each Targeted State’s agreement is as follows. Applicants should apply for funding for that Targeted State where applicant intends on delivering educational activities. Maine ................................... New Hampshire ................... Vermont ............................... Connecticut .......................... Rhode Island ........................ Massachusetts ...................... New York ............................. New Jersey ........................... Pennsylvania ........................ Maryland .............................. Delaware ............................... West Virginia ....................... Nevada ................................. Utah ...................................... Wyoming .............................. $225,000 173,000 226,000 225,000 157,000 209,000 617,000 272,000 754,000 370,000 261,000 209,000 208,000 301,000 293,000 Total .............................. $4,500,000 VerDate jul<14>2003 17:01 Mar 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 Funding amounts were determined by first allocating an equal amount of $150,000 to each Targeted State. Remaining funds were allocated on a pro rata basis according to each Targeted State’s share of 2000 agricultural cash receipts relative to the total for all Targeted States. Both allocations were totalled for each Targeted State and rounded to the nearest $1,000. In the event that additional funds become available under this program or in the event that no application for a given Targeted State is recommended for funding by the evaluation panel, these additional funds may, at the discretion of the Manager of FCIC, be allocated pro-rata to State award recipients for use in broadening the size or scope of awarded projects within the Targeted State If agreed to by the recipient. In the event that the Manager of FCIC determines that available RMA resources cannot support the administrative and substantial involvement requirements of all agreements recommended for funding, the Manager may elect to fund fewer agreements than the available funding might otherwise allow. It is expected that the awards will be made approximately 60 days after the application deadline. All awards will be made and agreements finalized no later than September 30, 2005. Location and Target Audience: Targeted States serviced by RMA Regional Offices are listed below. Staff from the respective RMA Regional Offices will provide substantial involvement for Targeted States projects conducted within the respective Regions. Billings, MT Regional Office: (WY) Davis, CA Regional Office: (NV and UT) Raleigh, NC Regional Office: (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD, DE, and WV) Applicants must designate in their application narrative the Targeted State where crop insurance educational activities for the project will be delivered. Applicants may apply to deliver education to producers in more than one Targeted State, but a separate application must be submitted for each Targeted State. Maximum Award: Any application that requests Federal funding of more than the amount listed above for a project in a given Targeted State will be rejected. Project Period: Projects will be funded for a period of up to one year from the project starting date. Description of Agreement Award: Recipient Tasks. In conducting activities PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 to achieve the purpose and goal of this program in a designated Targeted State, the award recipient will be responsible for performing the following tasks: • Finalize and provide specific details for the Statement of Work (Form RME–2). The Statement of Work must describe the specific manner in which various subtasks for the project will be completed, the dates by which each task will be completed, the specific locations for all promotional and educational activities, and the partners that will have responsibility for each task and subtask. Task milestones must be listed in a way that ensures that progress can be measured at various stages throughout the life of the project. The Statement of Work must also provide for the substantial involvement of RMA in the project. All cooperative agreements resulting from this announcement will include Statements of Work based on Form RME–2. All applicants must use this format for proposing Statements of Work. • Assemble instructional materials appropriate for crop insurance education and information within the designated Targeted State. This will include: (a) gathering existing instructional materials that meet the local needs of agricultural producers; (b) identifying gaps in existing instructional materials; and (c) developing new materials or modifying existing instructional materials to fill existing gaps. • Develop and conduct a promotional program. This program will include activities using media, newsletters, publications, or other appropriate informational dissemination techniques that are designed to: (a) Raise awareness for crop insurance; (b) inform producers of the availability of crop insurance; and (c) inform producers and agribusiness leaders in the designated Targeted State of training and informational opportunities. • Deliver crop insurance training and informational opportunities to agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals in the designated Targeted State. This will include organizing and delivering educational activities using the instructional materials identified earlier. Activities should be directed primarily to agricultural producers, but may include those agribusiness professionals that have frequent opportunities to advise producers on crop insurance tools and decisions. • Document all educational activities conducted under the cooperative agreement and the results of such activities, including criteria and indicators used to evaluate the success of the program. The recipient will also E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 29, 2005 / Notices be required to provide information to an RMA-selected contractor to evaluate all educational activities and advise RMA as to the effectiveness of activities. RMA Activities. FCIC, working through RMA, will be substantially involved during the performance of the funded project through three of RMA’s ten Regional Offices. Potential types of substantial involvement may include, but are not limited to the following activities. • Assist in the selection of subcontractors and project staff. • Collaborate with the recipient in assembling, reviewing, and approving risk management materials for producers in the designated RMA Region. • Collaborate with the recipient in reviewing and approving a promotional program for raising awareness for risk management and for informing producers of training and informational opportunities in the RMA Region. • Collaborate with the recipient on the delivery of education to producers and agribusiness leaders in the RMA Region. This will include: (a) reviewing and approving in advance all producer and agribusiness leader educational activities; (b) advising the project leader on technical issues related to crop insurance education and information; and (c) assisting the project leader in informing crop insurance professionals about educational activity plans and scheduled meetings. Applications that do not contain substantial involvement by RMA will be rejected. Other Tasks. In addition to the specific, required tasks listed above, the applicant may propose additional tasks that would contribute directly to the purpose of this program. For any proposed additional task, the applicant must identify the objective of the task, the specific subtasks required to meet the objective, specific time lines for performing the subtasks, and the specific responsibilities of partners. The applicant must also identify specific ways in which RMA would have substantial involvement in the proposed project task. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants Eligible applicants include State departments of agriculture, universities, non-profit agricultural organizations, and other public or private organizations with the capacity to lead a local program of crop insurance education for farmers and ranchers within a Targeted State. Individuals are eligible applicants. Although an VerDate jul<14>2003 17:01 Mar 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 applicant may be eligible to compete for an award based on its status as an eligible entity, other factors may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal assistance under this program governed by Federal law and regulations (e.g. debarment and suspension; a determination of non-performance on a prior contract, cooperative agreement, grant or partnership; a determination of a violation of applicable ethical standards). Applications from ineligible or excluded persons will be rejected in their entirety. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching This program has neither a cost sharing nor a matching requirement. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Address To Request Application Package Program application materials for the Targeted States program under this announcement may be downloaded from the RMA website at: http:// www.rma.usda.gov. Applicants may also request application materials from: Michelle Fuller, USDA–RMA–RME, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Stop 0808, (Portals Bldg., Suite 508), Washington, DC 20250–0808, phone: (202) 720–6356, fax: (202) 690–3605, email: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission A complete and valid application package must include an electronic copy (Microsoft Word format preferred) of the narrative portion (Forms RME 1 and RME 2) of the application package on diskette or compact disc and an original and two copies of the completed and signed application must be submitted in one package at the time of initial submission. RMA would appreciate receiving nine additional copies to facilitate the panel review process (twelve applications in all), which must include the following: 1. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424, ‘‘Application for Federal Assistance.’’ 2. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424–A, ‘‘Budget Information—Non-construction Programs.’’ Indirect costs allowed for projects submitted under this announcement will be limited to ten (10) percent of the total direct cost of the partnership or cooperative agreement. Federal funding requested (the total of direct and indirect costs) must not exceed the maximum level for the respective Targeted State, as specified in Section II, Award Information. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15831 Applicants may be asked to provide a copy of their indirect cost rate negotiated with their cognizant agency. 3. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424–B, ‘‘Assurances, Non-constructive Programs.’’ 4. Risk Management Education Project Narrative (Form RME–1). Complete all required parts of Form RME–1: Part I—Title Page. Part II—A written narrative of no more than 10 single-sided pages which will provide reviewers with sufficient information to effectively evaluate the merits of the application according to the evaluation criteria listed in this notice. Although a Statement of Work, which is the second evaluation criterion, is to be completed in detail in RME Form-2, applicants may wish to highlight certain unique features of the Statement of Work in Part II for the benefit of the evaluation panel. If your narrative exceeds the page limit, only the first 10 pages will be reviewed. • 12 point, unreduced font size. • 8.5 by 11 inch paper. • One-inch margins on each page. • Printed on only one side of paper. • Held together only by rubber bands or metal clips; not bound in any other way Part III—A Budget Narrative, describing how the categorical costs listed on SF 424–A are derived. Part IV—(Not required for Targeted States Program). 5. ‘‘Statement of Work,’’ (Form RME– 2), which identifies tasks and subtasks in detail, expected completion dates and deliverables, and RMA’s substantial involvement role for the proposed project. 6. (Optional) An optional appendix containing project participant resumes, letters of partnership support, or other materials that the applicant believes will directly support the information provided in the narrative. Applicants should not seek letters of partnership support from RMA Regional Offices because these offices will automatically provide substantial involvement in all projects that are awarded funding. 7. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form LLL, ‘‘Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.’’ 8. A completed and signed AD–1047, ‘‘Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions.’’ 9. A completed and signed AD–1049, ‘‘Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace.’’ 3. Submission Dates and Times Applications Deadline: 5 p.m. EDT, May 31, 2005. Applicants are E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 15832 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 29, 2005 / Notices responsible for ensuring that RMA receives a complete application package by the closing date and time. Incomplete or late application packages will not receive further consideration. 4. Intergovernmental Review Not applicable. 5. Funding Restrictions Cooperative agreement funds may not be used to: a. Plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or facility including a processing facility; b. Purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment; c. Repair or maintain privately owned vehicles; d. Pay for the preparation of the cooperative agreement application; e. Fund political activities; f. Alcohol, food, beverage, or entertainment; g. Pay costs incurred prior to receiving a cooperative agreement; h. Fund any activities prohibited in 7 CFR parts 3015 and 3019, as applicable. 6. Other Submission Requirements Mailed submissions: Applications submitted through express, overnight mail or another delivery service will be considered as meeting the announced deadline if they are received in the mailroom at the address stated below for express, overnight mail or another delivery service on or before the deadline. Applicants are cautioned that express, overnight mail or other delivery services do not always deliver as agreed. Applicants should take this into account because failure of such delivery services will not extend the deadline. Mailed applications will be considered as meeting the announced deadline if they are received on or before the deadline in the mailroom at the address stated below for mailed applications. Applicants are responsible for mailing applications well in advance, to ensure that applications are received on or before the deadline time and date. Applicants using the U.S. Postal Service should allow for the extra time for delivery due to the additional security measures that mail delivered to government offices in the Washington, DC area requires. Address when using private delivery services or when hand delivering: Attention: Risk Management Education Program, USDA/RMA, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW., Suite 508, Washington, DC 20024. Address when using U.S. Postal Services: Attention: Risk Management Education Program, USDA/RMA, Stop VerDate jul<14>2003 17:01 Mar 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 0808, 1400 Independence Ave, SW., Washington, DC 20250–0808. Electronic submissions: Although the application package may be downloaded electronically, RMA cannot accommodate transmissions of application submissions by facsimile or through other electronic media. Therefore, applications transmitted electronically will not be accepted regardless of the date or time of submission or the time of receipt. Acknowledgement of Applications Receipt of applications will be acknowledged by e-mail, whenever possible. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to provide e-mail addresses in their applications. If an e-mail address is not indicated on an application, receipt will be acknowledged by letter. There will be no notification of incomplete, unqualified or unfunded applications until the awards have been made. When received by RMA, applications will be assigned an identification number. This number will be communicated to applicants in the acknowledgement of receipt of applications. An application’s identification number should be referenced in all correspondence regarding the application. If the applicant does not receive an acknowledgement within 15 days of the submission deadline, the applicant should notify RMA’s point of contact indicated in Section VII, Agency Contact. V. Application Review Information 1. Criteria Applications submitted under the Targeted States program will be evaluated within each Targeted State according to the following criteria: Project Benefits—Maximum 35 Points The applicant must demonstrate that the project benefits to farmers and ranchers warrant the funding requested. Applicants will be scored according to the extent they can: (a) Reasonably estimate the number of producers reached through the various educational activities described in the Statement of Work; (b) justify such estimates with clear specifics; (c) identify the actions producers will likely be able to take as a result of the activities described in the Statement of Work; and (d) identify the specific measures for evaluating results that will be employed in the project. Reviewers’ scoring will be based on the scope and reasonableness of the applicant’s estimates of producers reached through the project, clear descriptions of specific expected project PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 benefits, and well-designed methods for measuring the project’s results and effectiveness. Statement of Work—Maximum 35 Points The applicant must produce a clear and specific Statement of Work for the project. For each of the tasks contained in the Description of Agreement Award (refer to Section II Award Information), the applicant must identify and describe specific subtasks, responsible entities, expected completion dates, RMA substantial involvement, and deliverables that will further the purpose of this program. Applicants will obtain a higher score to the extent that the Statement of Work is specific, measurable, reasonable, has specific deadlines for the completion of subtasks, relates directly to the required activities and the program purpose described in this announcement, and is sensitive to the needs of producers that are small, have limited resources, are minorities, or are beginning in a farming or ranching business. Applicants are required to submit this Statement of Work on Form RME–2. Partnering—Maximum 15 Points The applicant must demonstrate experience and capacity to partner with and gain the support of grower organizations, agribusiness professionals, and agricultural leaders to carry out a local program of education and information in a designated Targeted State. Applicants will receive higher scores to the extent that they can document and demonstrate: (a) That partnership commitments are in place for the express purpose of delivering the program in this announcement; (b) that a broad group of farmers and ranchers will be reached within the Targeted State; and (c) that a substantial effort has been made to partner with organizations that can meet the needs of producers that are small, have limited resources, are minorities, or are beginning farmers and ranchers. Project Management—Maximum 15 Points The applicant must demonstrate an ability to implement sound and effective project management practices. Higher scores will be awarded to applicants that can demonstrate organizational skills, leadership, and experience in delivering services or programs that assist agricultural producers in the respective Targeted State. If the applicant has been a recipient of other Federal or other government grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts, the applicant must also detail that they E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 29, 2005 / Notices have consistently complied with financial and program reporting and auditing requirements. Applicants that will employ, or have access to, personnel who have experience in directing local educational programs that benefit agricultural producers will receive higher rankings. 2. Review and Selection Process Applications will be evaluated using a two-part process. First, each application will be screened by RMA personnel to ensure that it meets the requirements in this announcement. Applications that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or are incomplete will not receive further consideration. Applications that meet announcement requirements will be sorted into the Targeted State in which the applicant proposes to conduct the project and will be presented to a review panel for consideration. Second, the review panel will meet to consider and discuss the merits of each application. The panel will consist of not less than three independent reviewers. Reviewers will be drawn from USDA, other Federal agencies, and others representing public and private organizations, as needed. After considering the merits of all applications within a Targeted State, panel members will score each application according to the criteria and point values listed above. The panel will then rank each application against others within the Targeted State according to the scores received. A lottery will be used to resolve any instances of a tie score that might have a bearing on funding recommendations. If such a lottery is required, the names of all tied applicants will be entered into a drawing. The first tied applicant drawn will have priority over other tied applicants for funding consideration. The review panel will report the results of the evaluation to the Manager of FCIC. The panel’s report will include the recommended applicants to receive cooperative agreements for each Targeted State. Funding will not be provided for an application receiving a score less than 50. An organization, or group of organizations in partnership, may apply for funding under other FCIC or RMA programs, in addition to the program described in this announcement. However, if the Manager of FCIC determines that an application recommended for funding is sufficiently similar to a project that has been funded or has been recommended to be funded under another RMA or FCIC program, then the Manager may elect to not fund that application in whole or in part. The VerDate jul<14>2003 17:01 Mar 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 15833 Manager of FCIC will make the final determination on those applications that will be awarded funding. and related information to any contractor selected by RMA for program evaluation purposes. VI. Award Administration Information Private Crop Insurance Organizations and Potential Conflicts of Interest Private organizations that are involved in the sale of Federal crop insurance, or that have financial ties to such organizations, are eligible to apply for funding under this announcement. However, such entities will not be allowed to receive funding to conduct activities that would otherwise be required under a Standard Reinsurance Agreement or any other agreement in effect between FCIC and the entity. Also, such entities will not be allowed to receive funding to conduct activities that could be perceived by producers as promoting one company’s services or products over another’s. If applying for funding, such organizations are encouraged to be sensitive to potential conflicts of interest and to describe in their application the specific actions they will take to avoid actual and perceived conflicts of interest. 1. Award Notices Following approval by the awarding official of RMA of the applications to be selected for funding, project leaders whose applications have been selected for funding will be notified. Within the limit of funds available for such a purpose, the awarding official of RMA shall enter into cooperative agreements with those applicants. The agreements provide the amount of Federal funds for use in the project period, the terms and conditions of the award, and the time period for the project. The effective date of the agreement shall be on the date the agreement is executed by both parties and it shall remain in effect for up to one year or through September 30, 2006, whichever is later. After a cooperative agreement has been signed, RMA will extend to award recipients, in writing, the authority to draw down funds for the purpose of conducting the activities listed in the agreement. All funds provided to the applicant by FCIC must be expended solely for the purpose for which the funds are obligated in accordance with the approved agreement and budget, the regulations, the terms and conditions of the award, and the applicability of Federal cost principles. No commitment of Federal assistance beyond the project period is made or implied for any award resulting from this notice. Notification of denial of funding will be sent to applicants after final funding decisions have been made. Reasons for denial of funding can include, but are not limited to, incomplete applications, applications with evaluation scores below 50, or applications with evaluation scores that are lower than those of other applications in a Targeted State. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements Requirement To Use Program Logo Applicants awarded cooperative agreements will be required to use a program logo and design provided by RMA for all instructional and promotional materials. Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-Selected Contractor Applicants awarded cooperative agreements will be required to assist RMA in evaluating the effectiveness of its educational programs by providing documentation of educational activities PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Access to Panel Review Information Upon written request from the applicant, scores from the evaluation panel, not including the identity of reviewers, will be sent to the applicant after the review and awards process has been completed. Confidential Aspects of Proposals and Awards The names of applicants, the names of individuals identified in the applications, the content of applications, and the panel evaluations of applications will all be kept confidential, except to those involved in the review process, to the extent permitted by law. In addition, the identities of review panel members will remain confidential throughout the entire review process and will not be released to applicants. At the end of the fiscal year, names of panel members will be made available. However, panelists will not be identified with the review of any particular application. When an application results in a cooperative agreement, that agreement becomes a part of the official record of RMA transactions, available to the public upon specific request. Information that the Secretary of Agriculture determines to be of a confidential, privileged, or proprietary nature will be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law. Therefore, any information that the applicant wishes to be considered confidential, privileged, or proprietary should be clearly marked within an application, including the E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1 15834 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 59 / Tuesday, March 29, 2005 / Notices basis for such designation. The original copy of a proposal that does not result in an award will be retained by RMA for a period of one year. Other copies will be destroyed. Copies of proposals not receiving awards will be released only with the express written consent of the applicant or to the extent required by law. A proposal may be withdrawn at any time prior to award. Audit Requirements Applicants awarded cooperative agreements are subject to audit. Prohibitions and Requirements With Regard to Lobbying Section 1352 of Public Law 101–121, enacted on October 23, 1989, imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification related to lobbying on recipients of Federal contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and loans. It provides exemptions for Indian Tribes and tribal organizations. Current and prospective recipients, and any subcontractors, are prohibited from using Federal funds, other than profits from a Federal contract, for lobbying Congress or any Federal agency in connection with the award of a contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or loan. In addition, for each award action in excess of $100,000 ($150,000 for loans) the law requires recipients and any subcontractors: (1) To certify that they have neither used nor will use any appropriated funds for payment of lobbyists; (2) to disclose the name, address, payment details, and purpose of any agreements with lobbyists whom recipients of their subcontractors will pay with profits or other nonappropriated funds on or after December 22, 1989; and (3) to file quarterly up-dates about the use of lobbyists if material changes occur in their use. The law establishes civil penalties for non-compliance. A copy of the certification and disclosure forms must be submitted with the application and are available at the address and telephone number listed in Section VII. Agency Contact. Applicable OMB Circulars All cooperative agreements funded as a result of this notice will be subject to the requirements contained in all applicable OMB circulars. Requirement To Participate in Civil Rights Training Project leaders of all cooperative agreements funded as a result of this notice are required to know and abide by Federal civil rights laws. Agency policies or regulations may require that project leaders attend civil rights VerDate jul<14>2003 17:01 Mar 28, 2005 Jkt 205001 training to become fully aware of civil rights responsibilities. In their applications, applicants should budget for possible travel costs associated with receiving this training. 3. Reporting Applicants awarded cooperative agreements will be required to submit quarterly progress and financial reports (OMB Standard Form 269) throughout the project period, as well as a final program and financial report not later than 90 days after the end of the project period. VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to contact: Michelle Fuller, USDA–RMA–RME, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Stop 0808, Washington, DC 20250–0808, phone: 202–720–6356, fax: 202–690–3605, email: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov. You may also obtain information regarding this announcement from the RMA Web site at: http://www.rma.usda.gov. VIII. Other Information Related Programs Funding availability for this program may be announced at approximately the same time as funding availability for similar but separate programs—CFDA No. 10.455 (Community Outreach and Assistance Partnerships), CFDA No. 10.456 (Risk Management Research Partnerships), CFDA No. 10.457 (Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education), and CFDA No. 10.459 (Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions program). These programs have some similarities, but also key differences. The differences stem from important features of each program’s authorizing legislation and different RMA objectives. Prospective applicants should carefully examine and compare the notices for each program. Signed in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2005. Ross J. Davidson, Jr., Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. [FR Doc. 05–6078 Filed 3–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–08–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Natural Resources Conservation Service Lower Payette River Ditch Diversion, Replacement; Payette County, ID Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Notice of a finding of no significant impact. ACTION: SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969; the Council on Environmental Quality Guidelines (40 CFR part 1500); and the Natural Resources Conservation Service Guidelines (7 CFR part 650); the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, gives notice that an environmental impact statement is not being prepared for a federally assisted proposed project by the Lower Payette Ditch Company, Payette County, Idaho. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Sims, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 9173 W. Barnes Dr., Suite C, Boise, Idaho, 83709–1574, telephone: 208– 378–5700. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Plan/ Environmental Assessment of this federally assisted proposed action indicates that the proposed action will not cause significant local, regional, or national impacts on the environment. As a result of these findings, Richard Sims, State Conservationist, has determined that the preparation and review of an environmental impact statement is not needed for this project. The objective of the Lower Payette Ditch Company proposed action is to provide efficient water delivery, operator safety and low maintenance, reliability, and adequate fish and recreational boater passage, while not adversely affecting the environment. The proposed project would replace the existing deteriorating diversion structure with an automated inflatable diversion dam. The Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been forwarded to the Environmental Protection Agency. The basic data developed during the plan/ environmental assessment is on file and may be reviewed by contacting Mr. Richard Sims. The FONSI has been sent to various Federal, State, and local agencies and interested parties. A limited number of copies of the FONSI are available to fill single copy requests at the address stated on the previous page. No administrative action on the proposal will be initiated until 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Dated: March 18, 2005. Richard Sims, State Conservationist. [FR Doc. 05–6096 Filed 3–28–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–16–P E:\FR\FM\29MRN1.SGM 29MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 59 (Tuesday, March 29, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15829-15834]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-6078]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation


Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States (Targeted States 
Program)

    Announcement Type: Notice of Funding Availability for Competitive 
Cooperative Agreements--Initial.
    CFDA Number: 10.458.
    Dates: Applications are due 5 p.m. EDT, May 31, 2005.
    Executive Summary: The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), 
operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces the 
availability of approximately $4.5 million to fund cooperative 
agreements under the Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States 
program (the Targeted States program). The purpose of this cooperative 
agreement program is to deliver crop insurance education and 
information to U.S. agricultural producers in certain States that have 
been designated as historically underserved with respect to crop 
insurance. The states, collectively referred to as Targeted States, are 
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New 
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, 
Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. A maximum of 15 cooperative 
agreements will be funded, one in each of the 15 Targeted States. The 
maximum award for varies by State. Recipients of awards must agree to 
the substantial involvement of RMA in the project. Funding availability 
for this program may be announced at approximately the same time as 
funding availability for similar but separate programs--CFDA No. 10.455 
(Community Outreach and Assistance Partnerships), CFDA No. 10.456 (Risk 
Management Research Partnerships) CFDA No. 10.457 (Commodity 
Partnerships for Risk Management Education), and CFDA No. 10.459 
(Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management 
Education Sessions). Prospective applicants should carefully examine 
and compare the notices for each program.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Legislative Authority

    The Targeted States program is authorized under section 524(a)(2) 
of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (Act).

Background

    RMA promotes and regulates sound risk management solutions to 
improve the economic stability of American agriculture. On behalf of 
FCIC, RMA does this by offering Federal crop insurance products through 
a network of private-sector partners, overseeing the creation of new 
risk management products, seeking enhancements in existing products, 
ensuring the integrity of crop insurance programs, offering outreach 
programs aimed at equal access and participation of underserved 
communities, and providing risk management education and information.
    One of RMA's strategic goals is to ensure that its customers are 
well informed as to the risk management solutions available. This 
educational goal is supported by section 524(a)(2) of the Act. This 
section authorizes funding for the establishment of crop insurance 
education and information programs in

[[Page 15830]]

States that have historically been underserved by Federal crop 
insurance program. In accordance with the Act, the fifteen States 
designated as ``underserved'' are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming 
(collectively referred to as ``Targeted States'').

Project Goal

    The goal of the Targeted States program is to ensure that farmers 
and ranchers in the Targeted States are sufficiently informed so as to 
take full advantage of existing and emerging crop insurance products.

Purpose

    The purpose of the Targeted States program is to provide farmers 
and ranchers in Targeted States with education and information to be 
able to understand:
     The kinds of risk addressed by crop insurance;
     The features of existing and emerging crop insurance 
products;
     The use of crop insurance in the management of risk; and
     How the use of crop insurance can affect other risk 
management decisions, such as the use of marketing and financial tools.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreements, which require the 
substantial involvement of RMA.
    Funding Availability: Approximately $4,500,000 is available in 
fiscal year 2005 to fund up to 15 cooperative agreements, a maximum of 
one agreement for each of the Targeted States. The maximum funding 
amount anticipated for each Targeted State's agreement is as follows. 
Applicants should apply for funding for that Targeted State where 
applicant intends on delivering educational activities.

Maine...................................................        $225,000
New Hampshire...........................................         173,000
Vermont.................................................         226,000
Connecticut.............................................         225,000
Rhode Island............................................         157,000
Massachusetts...........................................         209,000
New York................................................         617,000
New Jersey..............................................         272,000
Pennsylvania............................................         754,000
Maryland................................................         370,000
Delaware................................................         261,000
West Virginia...........................................         209,000
Nevada..................................................         208,000
Utah....................................................         301,000
Wyoming.................................................         293,000
                                                         ---------------
    Total...............................................      $4,500,000
 

    Funding amounts were determined by first allocating an equal amount 
of $150,000 to each Targeted State. Remaining funds were allocated on a 
pro rata basis according to each Targeted State's share of 2000 
agricultural cash receipts relative to the total for all Targeted 
States. Both allocations were totalled for each Targeted State and 
rounded to the nearest $1,000.
    In the event that additional funds become available under this 
program or in the event that no application for a given Targeted State 
is recommended for funding by the evaluation panel, these additional 
funds may, at the discretion of the Manager of FCIC, be allocated pro-
rata to State award recipients for use in broadening the size or scope 
of awarded projects within the Targeted State If agreed to by the 
recipient. In the event that the Manager of FCIC determines that 
available RMA resources cannot support the administrative and 
substantial involvement requirements of all agreements recommended for 
funding, the Manager may elect to fund fewer agreements than the 
available funding might otherwise allow. It is expected that the awards 
will be made approximately 60 days after the application deadline. All 
awards will be made and agreements finalized no later than September 
30, 2005.
    Location and Target Audience: Targeted States serviced by RMA 
Regional Offices are listed below. Staff from the respective RMA 
Regional Offices will provide substantial involvement for Targeted 
States projects conducted within the respective Regions.

Billings, MT Regional Office: (WY)
Davis, CA Regional Office: (NV and UT)
Raleigh, NC Regional Office: (ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD, 
DE, and WV)

    Applicants must designate in their application narrative the 
Targeted State where crop insurance educational activities for the 
project will be delivered. Applicants may apply to deliver education to 
producers in more than one Targeted State, but a separate application 
must be submitted for each Targeted State.
    Maximum Award: Any application that requests Federal funding of 
more than the amount listed above for a project in a given Targeted 
State will be rejected.
    Project Period: Projects will be funded for a period of up to one 
year from the project starting date.
    Description of Agreement Award: Recipient Tasks. In conducting 
activities to achieve the purpose and goal of this program in a 
designated Targeted State, the award recipient will be responsible for 
performing the following tasks:
     Finalize and provide specific details for the Statement of 
Work (Form RME-2). The Statement of Work must describe the specific 
manner in which various subtasks for the project will be completed, the 
dates by which each task will be completed, the specific locations for 
all promotional and educational activities, and the partners that will 
have responsibility for each task and subtask. Task milestones must be 
listed in a way that ensures that progress can be measured at various 
stages throughout the life of the project. The Statement of Work must 
also provide for the substantial involvement of RMA in the project. All 
cooperative agreements resulting from this announcement will include 
Statements of Work based on Form RME-2. All applicants must use this 
format for proposing Statements of Work.
     Assemble instructional materials appropriate for crop 
insurance education and information within the designated Targeted 
State. This will include: (a) gathering existing instructional 
materials that meet the local needs of agricultural producers; (b) 
identifying gaps in existing instructional materials; and (c) 
developing new materials or modifying existing instructional materials 
to fill existing gaps.
     Develop and conduct a promotional program. This program 
will include activities using media, newsletters, publications, or 
other appropriate informational dissemination techniques that are 
designed to: (a) Raise awareness for crop insurance; (b) inform 
producers of the availability of crop insurance; and (c) inform 
producers and agribusiness leaders in the designated Targeted State of 
training and informational opportunities.
     Deliver crop insurance training and informational 
opportunities to agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals 
in the designated Targeted State. This will include organizing and 
delivering educational activities using the instructional materials 
identified earlier. Activities should be directed primarily to 
agricultural producers, but may include those agribusiness 
professionals that have frequent opportunities to advise producers on 
crop insurance tools and decisions.
     Document all educational activities conducted under the 
cooperative agreement and the results of such activities, including 
criteria and indicators used to evaluate the success of the program. 
The recipient will also

[[Page 15831]]

be required to provide information to an RMA-selected contractor to 
evaluate all educational activities and advise RMA as to the 
effectiveness of activities.
    RMA Activities. FCIC, working through RMA, will be substantially 
involved during the performance of the funded project through three of 
RMA's ten Regional Offices. Potential types of substantial involvement 
may include, but are not limited to the following activities.
     Assist in the selection of subcontractors and project 
staff.
     Collaborate with the recipient in assembling, reviewing, 
and approving risk management materials for producers in the designated 
RMA Region.
     Collaborate with the recipient in reviewing and approving 
a promotional program for raising awareness for risk management and for 
informing producers of training and informational opportunities in the 
RMA Region.
     Collaborate with the recipient on the delivery of 
education to producers and agribusiness leaders in the RMA Region. This 
will include: (a) reviewing and approving in advance all producer and 
agribusiness leader educational activities; (b) advising the project 
leader on technical issues related to crop insurance education and 
information; and (c) assisting the project leader in informing crop 
insurance professionals about educational activity plans and scheduled 
meetings.
    Applications that do not contain substantial involvement by RMA 
will be rejected.
    Other Tasks. In addition to the specific, required tasks listed 
above, the applicant may propose additional tasks that would contribute 
directly to the purpose of this program. For any proposed additional 
task, the applicant must identify the objective of the task, the 
specific subtasks required to meet the objective, specific time lines 
for performing the subtasks, and the specific responsibilities of 
partners. The applicant must also identify specific ways in which RMA 
would have substantial involvement in the proposed project task.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants include State departments of agriculture, 
universities, non-profit agricultural organizations, and other public 
or private organizations with the capacity to lead a local program of 
crop insurance education for farmers and ranchers within a Targeted 
State. Individuals are eligible applicants. Although an applicant may 
be eligible to compete for an award based on its status as an eligible 
entity, other factors may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal 
assistance under this program governed by Federal law and regulations 
(e.g. debarment and suspension; a determination of non-performance on a 
prior contract, cooperative agreement, grant or partnership; a 
determination of a violation of applicable ethical standards). 
Applications from ineligible or excluded persons will be rejected in 
their entirety.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    This program has neither a cost sharing nor a matching requirement.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

    Program application materials for the Targeted States program under 
this announcement may be downloaded from the RMA website at: http://
www.rma.usda.gov. Applicants may also request application materials 
from: Michelle Fuller, USDA-RMA-RME, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Stop 
0808, (Portals Bldg., Suite 508), Washington, DC 20250-0808, phone: 
(202) 720-6356, fax: (202) 690-3605, e-mail: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    A complete and valid application package must include an electronic 
copy (Microsoft Word format preferred) of the narrative portion (Forms 
RME 1 and RME 2) of the application package on diskette or compact disc 
and an original and two copies of the completed and signed application 
must be submitted in one package at the time of initial submission. RMA 
would appreciate receiving nine additional copies to facilitate the 
panel review process (twelve applications in all), which must include 
the following:
    1. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424, ``Application for 
Federal Assistance.''
    2. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424-A, ``Budget 
Information--Non-construction Programs.'' Indirect costs allowed for 
projects submitted under this announcement will be limited to ten (10) 
percent of the total direct cost of the partnership or cooperative 
agreement. Federal funding requested (the total of direct and indirect 
costs) must not exceed the maximum level for the respective Targeted 
State, as specified in Section II, Award Information. Applicants may be 
asked to provide a copy of their indirect cost rate negotiated with 
their cognizant agency.
    3. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424-B, ``Assurances, 
Non-constructive Programs.''
    4. Risk Management Education Project Narrative (Form RME-1). 
Complete all required parts of Form RME-1:
    Part I--Title Page.
    Part II--A written narrative of no more than 10 single-sided pages 
which will provide reviewers with sufficient information to effectively 
evaluate the merits of the application according to the evaluation 
criteria listed in this notice. Although a Statement of Work, which is 
the second evaluation criterion, is to be completed in detail in RME 
Form-2, applicants may wish to highlight certain unique features of the 
Statement of Work in Part II for the benefit of the evaluation panel. 
If your narrative exceeds the page limit, only the first 10 pages will 
be reviewed.
     12 point, unreduced font size.
     8.5 by 11 inch paper.
     One-inch margins on each page.
     Printed on only one side of paper.
     Held together only by rubber bands or metal clips; not 
bound in any other way
    Part III--A Budget Narrative, describing how the categorical costs 
listed on SF 424-A are derived.
    Part IV--(Not required for Targeted States Program).
    5. ``Statement of Work,'' (Form RME-2), which identifies tasks and 
subtasks in detail, expected completion dates and deliverables, and 
RMA's substantial involvement role for the proposed project.
    6. (Optional) An optional appendix containing project participant 
resumes, letters of partnership support, or other materials that the 
applicant believes will directly support the information provided in 
the narrative. Applicants should not seek letters of partnership 
support from RMA Regional Offices because these offices will 
automatically provide substantial involvement in all projects that are 
awarded funding.
    7. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form LLL, ``Disclosure of 
Lobbying Activities.''
    8. A completed and signed AD-1047, ``Certification Regarding 
Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters--Primary Covered 
Transactions.''
    9. A completed and signed AD-1049, ``Certification Regarding Drug-
Free Workplace.''

3. Submission Dates and Times

    Applications Deadline: 5 p.m. EDT, May 31, 2005. Applicants are

[[Page 15832]]

responsible for ensuring that RMA receives a complete application 
package by the closing date and time. Incomplete or late application 
packages will not receive further consideration.

4. Intergovernmental Review

    Not applicable.

5. Funding Restrictions

    Cooperative agreement funds may not be used to:
    a. Plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or 
facility including a processing facility;
    b. Purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment;
    c. Repair or maintain privately owned vehicles;
    d. Pay for the preparation of the cooperative agreement 
application;
    e. Fund political activities;
    f. Alcohol, food, beverage, or entertainment;
    g. Pay costs incurred prior to receiving a cooperative agreement;
    h. Fund any activities prohibited in 7 CFR parts 3015 and 3019, as 
applicable.

6. Other Submission Requirements

    Mailed submissions: Applications submitted through express, 
overnight mail or another delivery service will be considered as 
meeting the announced deadline if they are received in the mailroom at 
the address stated below for express, overnight mail or another 
delivery service on or before the deadline. Applicants are cautioned 
that express, overnight mail or other delivery services do not always 
deliver as agreed. Applicants should take this into account because 
failure of such delivery services will not extend the deadline. Mailed 
applications will be considered as meeting the announced deadline if 
they are received on or before the deadline in the mailroom at the 
address stated below for mailed applications. Applicants are 
responsible for mailing applications well in advance, to ensure that 
applications are received on or before the deadline time and date. 
Applicants using the U.S. Postal Service should allow for the extra 
time for delivery due to the additional security measures that mail 
delivered to government offices in the Washington, DC area requires.
    Address when using private delivery services or when hand 
delivering:
    Attention: Risk Management Education Program, USDA/RMA, 1250 
Maryland Avenue, SW., Suite 508, Washington, DC 20024.
    Address when using U.S. Postal Services:
    Attention: Risk Management Education Program, USDA/RMA, Stop 0808, 
1400 Independence Ave, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0808.
    Electronic submissions: Although the application package may be 
downloaded electronically, RMA cannot accommodate transmissions of 
application submissions by facsimile or through other electronic media. 
Therefore, applications transmitted electronically will not be accepted 
regardless of the date or time of submission or the time of receipt.
Acknowledgement of Applications
    Receipt of applications will be acknowledged by e-mail, whenever 
possible. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to provide e-mail 
addresses in their applications. If an e-mail address is not indicated 
on an application, receipt will be acknowledged by letter. There will 
be no notification of incomplete, unqualified or unfunded applications 
until the awards have been made. When received by RMA, applications 
will be assigned an identification number. This number will be 
communicated to applicants in the acknowledgement of receipt of 
applications. An application's identification number should be 
referenced in all correspondence regarding the application. If the 
applicant does not receive an acknowledgement within 15 days of the 
submission deadline, the applicant should notify RMA's point of contact 
indicated in Section VII, Agency Contact.

V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

    Applications submitted under the Targeted States program will be 
evaluated within each Targeted State according to the following 
criteria:
Project Benefits--Maximum 35 Points
    The applicant must demonstrate that the project benefits to farmers 
and ranchers warrant the funding requested. Applicants will be scored 
according to the extent they can: (a) Reasonably estimate the number of 
producers reached through the various educational activities described 
in the Statement of Work; (b) justify such estimates with clear 
specifics; (c) identify the actions producers will likely be able to 
take as a result of the activities described in the Statement of Work; 
and (d) identify the specific measures for evaluating results that will 
be employed in the project. Reviewers' scoring will be based on the 
scope and reasonableness of the applicant's estimates of producers 
reached through the project, clear descriptions of specific expected 
project benefits, and well-designed methods for measuring the project's 
results and effectiveness.
Statement of Work--Maximum 35 Points
    The applicant must produce a clear and specific Statement of Work 
for the project. For each of the tasks contained in the Description of 
Agreement Award (refer to Section II Award Information), the applicant 
must identify and describe specific subtasks, responsible entities, 
expected completion dates, RMA substantial involvement, and 
deliverables that will further the purpose of this program. Applicants 
will obtain a higher score to the extent that the Statement of Work is 
specific, measurable, reasonable, has specific deadlines for the 
completion of subtasks, relates directly to the required activities and 
the program purpose described in this announcement, and is sensitive to 
the needs of producers that are small, have limited resources, are 
minorities, or are beginning in a farming or ranching business. 
Applicants are required to submit this Statement of Work on Form RME-2.
Partnering--Maximum 15 Points
    The applicant must demonstrate experience and capacity to partner 
with and gain the support of grower organizations, agribusiness 
professionals, and agricultural leaders to carry out a local program of 
education and information in a designated Targeted State. Applicants 
will receive higher scores to the extent that they can document and 
demonstrate: (a) That partnership commitments are in place for the 
express purpose of delivering the program in this announcement; (b) 
that a broad group of farmers and ranchers will be reached within the 
Targeted State; and (c) that a substantial effort has been made to 
partner with organizations that can meet the needs of producers that 
are small, have limited resources, are minorities, or are beginning 
farmers and ranchers.
Project Management--Maximum 15 Points
    The applicant must demonstrate an ability to implement sound and 
effective project management practices. Higher scores will be awarded 
to applicants that can demonstrate organizational skills, leadership, 
and experience in delivering services or programs that assist 
agricultural producers in the respective Targeted State. If the 
applicant has been a recipient of other Federal or other government 
grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts, the applicant must also 
detail that they

[[Page 15833]]

have consistently complied with financial and program reporting and 
auditing requirements. Applicants that will employ, or have access to, 
personnel who have experience in directing local educational programs 
that benefit agricultural producers will receive higher rankings.

2. Review and Selection Process

    Applications will be evaluated using a two-part process. First, 
each application will be screened by RMA personnel to ensure that it 
meets the requirements in this announcement. Applications that do not 
meet the requirements of this announcement or are incomplete will not 
receive further consideration. Applications that meet announcement 
requirements will be sorted into the Targeted State in which the 
applicant proposes to conduct the project and will be presented to a 
review panel for consideration. Second, the review panel will meet to 
consider and discuss the merits of each application.
    The panel will consist of not less than three independent 
reviewers. Reviewers will be drawn from USDA, other Federal agencies, 
and others representing public and private organizations, as needed. 
After considering the merits of all applications within a Targeted 
State, panel members will score each application according to the 
criteria and point values listed above. The panel will then rank each 
application against others within the Targeted State according to the 
scores received. A lottery will be used to resolve any instances of a 
tie score that might have a bearing on funding recommendations. If such 
a lottery is required, the names of all tied applicants will be entered 
into a drawing. The first tied applicant drawn will have priority over 
other tied applicants for funding consideration.
    The review panel will report the results of the evaluation to the 
Manager of FCIC. The panel's report will include the recommended 
applicants to receive cooperative agreements for each Targeted State. 
Funding will not be provided for an application receiving a score less 
than 50.
    An organization, or group of organizations in partnership, may 
apply for funding under other FCIC or RMA programs, in addition to the 
program described in this announcement. However, if the Manager of FCIC 
determines that an application recommended for funding is sufficiently 
similar to a project that has been funded or has been recommended to be 
funded under another RMA or FCIC program, then the Manager may elect to 
not fund that application in whole or in part. The Manager of FCIC will 
make the final determination on those applications that will be awarded 
funding.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

    Following approval by the awarding official of RMA of the 
applications to be selected for funding, project leaders whose 
applications have been selected for funding will be notified. Within 
the limit of funds available for such a purpose, the awarding official 
of RMA shall enter into cooperative agreements with those applicants. 
The agreements provide the amount of Federal funds for use in the 
project period, the terms and conditions of the award, and the time 
period for the project. The effective date of the agreement shall be on 
the date the agreement is executed by both parties and it shall remain 
in effect for up to one year or through September 30, 2006, whichever 
is later.
    After a cooperative agreement has been signed, RMA will extend to 
award recipients, in writing, the authority to draw down funds for the 
purpose of conducting the activities listed in the agreement. All funds 
provided to the applicant by FCIC must be expended solely for the 
purpose for which the funds are obligated in accordance with the 
approved agreement and budget, the regulations, the terms and 
conditions of the award, and the applicability of Federal cost 
principles. No commitment of Federal assistance beyond the project 
period is made or implied for any award resulting from this notice.
    Notification of denial of funding will be sent to applicants after 
final funding decisions have been made. Reasons for denial of funding 
can include, but are not limited to, incomplete applications, 
applications with evaluation scores below 50, or applications with 
evaluation scores that are lower than those of other applications in a 
Targeted State.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Requirement To Use Program Logo
    Applicants awarded cooperative agreements will be required to use a 
program logo and design provided by RMA for all instructional and 
promotional materials.
Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-Selected 
Contractor
    Applicants awarded cooperative agreements will be required to 
assist RMA in evaluating the effectiveness of its educational programs 
by providing documentation of educational activities and related 
information to any contractor selected by RMA for program evaluation 
purposes.
Private Crop Insurance Organizations and Potential Conflicts of 
Interest
    Private organizations that are involved in the sale of Federal crop 
insurance, or that have financial ties to such organizations, are 
eligible to apply for funding under this announcement. However, such 
entities will not be allowed to receive funding to conduct activities 
that would otherwise be required under a Standard Reinsurance Agreement 
or any other agreement in effect between FCIC and the entity. Also, 
such entities will not be allowed to receive funding to conduct 
activities that could be perceived by producers as promoting one 
company's services or products over another's. If applying for funding, 
such organizations are encouraged to be sensitive to potential 
conflicts of interest and to describe in their application the specific 
actions they will take to avoid actual and perceived conflicts of 
interest.
Access to Panel Review Information
    Upon written request from the applicant, scores from the evaluation 
panel, not including the identity of reviewers, will be sent to the 
applicant after the review and awards process has been completed.
Confidential Aspects of Proposals and Awards
    The names of applicants, the names of individuals identified in the 
applications, the content of applications, and the panel evaluations of 
applications will all be kept confidential, except to those involved in 
the review process, to the extent permitted by law. In addition, the 
identities of review panel members will remain confidential throughout 
the entire review process and will not be released to applicants. At 
the end of the fiscal year, names of panel members will be made 
available. However, panelists will not be identified with the review of 
any particular application.
    When an application results in a cooperative agreement, that 
agreement becomes a part of the official record of RMA transactions, 
available to the public upon specific request. Information that the 
Secretary of Agriculture determines to be of a confidential, 
privileged, or proprietary nature will be held in confidence to the 
extent permitted by law. Therefore, any information that the applicant 
wishes to be considered confidential, privileged, or proprietary should 
be clearly marked within an application, including the

[[Page 15834]]

basis for such designation. The original copy of a proposal that does 
not result in an award will be retained by RMA for a period of one 
year. Other copies will be destroyed. Copies of proposals not receiving 
awards will be released only with the express written consent of the 
applicant or to the extent required by law. A proposal may be withdrawn 
at any time prior to award.
Audit Requirements
    Applicants awarded cooperative agreements are subject to audit.
Prohibitions and Requirements With Regard to Lobbying
    Section 1352 of Public Law 101-121, enacted on October 23, 1989, 
imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification 
related to lobbying on recipients of Federal contracts, grants, 
cooperative agreements, and loans. It provides exemptions for Indian 
Tribes and tribal organizations. Current and prospective recipients, 
and any subcontractors, are prohibited from using Federal funds, other 
than profits from a Federal contract, for lobbying Congress or any 
Federal agency in connection with the award of a contract, grant, 
cooperative agreement, or loan. In addition, for each award action in 
excess of $100,000 ($150,000 for loans) the law requires recipients and 
any subcontractors: (1) To certify that they have neither used nor will 
use any appropriated funds for payment of lobbyists; (2) to disclose 
the name, address, payment details, and purpose of any agreements with 
lobbyists whom recipients of their subcontractors will pay with profits 
or other nonappropriated funds on or after December 22, 1989; and (3) 
to file quarterly up-dates about the use of lobbyists if material 
changes occur in their use. The law establishes civil penalties for 
non-compliance. A copy of the certification and disclosure forms must 
be submitted with the application and are available at the address and 
telephone number listed in Section VII. Agency Contact.
Applicable OMB Circulars
    All cooperative agreements funded as a result of this notice will 
be subject to the requirements contained in all applicable OMB 
circulars.
Requirement To Participate in Civil Rights Training
    Project leaders of all cooperative agreements funded as a result of 
this notice are required to know and abide by Federal civil rights 
laws. Agency policies or regulations may require that project leaders 
attend civil rights training to become fully aware of civil rights 
responsibilities. In their applications, applicants should budget for 
possible travel costs associated with receiving this training.

3. Reporting

    Applicants awarded cooperative agreements will be required to 
submit quarterly progress and financial reports (OMB Standard Form 269) 
throughout the project period, as well as a final program and financial 
report not later than 90 days after the end of the project period.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants and other interested 
parties are encouraged to contact: Michelle Fuller, USDA-RMA-RME, 1400 
Independence Ave. SW., Stop 0808, Washington, DC 20250-0808, phone: 
202-720-6356, fax: 202-690-3605, e-mail: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov. You 
may also obtain information regarding this announcement from the RMA 
Web site at: http://www.rma.usda.gov.

VIII. Other Information

Related Programs

    Funding availability for this program may be announced at 
approximately the same time as funding availability for similar but 
separate programs--CFDA No. 10.455 (Community Outreach and Assistance 
Partnerships), CFDA No. 10.456 (Risk Management Research Partnerships), 
CFDA No. 10.457 (Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education), 
and CFDA No. 10.459 (Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions program). 
These programs have some similarities, but also key differences. The 
differences stem from important features of each program's authorizing 
legislation and different RMA objectives. Prospective applicants should 
carefully examine and compare the notices for each program.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2005.
Ross J. Davidson, Jr.,
Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
[FR Doc. 05-6078 Filed 3-28-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-08-P