Funding Opportunity Title: Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions (Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program), 13395-13403 [E9-6822]

Download as PDF 13395 Notices Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 58 Friday, March 27, 2009 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Federal Crop Insurance Corporation mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Funding Opportunity Title: Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions (Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program) Announcement Type: Announcement of availability of funds and request for application for competitive cooperative partnership agreements. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number (CFDA): 10.459. DATES: Hard copy applications are due 5 p.m. EST, May 11, 2009. Electronic applications submitted through Grants.gov are due at 11:59 p.m. EST, May 11, 2009. SUMMARY: The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces the availability of approximately $900,000 (subject to availability of funds) for Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions (the Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program). The purpose of this cooperative partnership agreement program is to deliver training and information in the management of production, marketing, and financial risk to U.S. agricultural producers. The program gives priority to educating producers of crops currently not insured under Federal crop insurance, specialty crops, and underserved commodities, including livestock and forage. A maximum of 90 cooperative partnership agreements will be funded, with no more than nine in each of the ten designated RMA Regions. The maximum award for any cooperative partnership agreement will be $10,000. Awardees must demonstrate nonfinancial benefits from a cooperative partnership agreement and must agree to the substantial involvement of RMA in the project. Funding availability for VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 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), and CFDA No. 10.458 (Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States). Prospective applicants should carefully examine and compare the notices for each program. The collections of information in this announcement have been approved by OMB under control number 0563–0067, and is currently at OMB for renewal. This announcement consists of eight sections: Section I—Funding Opportunity Description A. Legislative Authority B. Background C. Definition of Priority Commodities D. Project Goal E. Purpose Section II—Award Information A. Type of Award B. Funding Availability C. Location and Target Audience D. Maximum Award E. Project Period F. Description of Agreement—Awardee Tasks G. RMA Activities H. Other Tasks Section III—Eligibility Information A. Eligible Applicants B. Cost Sharing or Matching C. Other—Non-Financial Benefits Section IV—Application and Submission Information A. Contact To Request Application Package B. Content and Form of Application Submission C. Funding Restrictions D. Limitation on Use of Project Funds for Salaries and Benefits E. Indirect Cost Rates F. Other Submission Requirements G. Electronic Submissions H. Acknowledgement of Applications Section V—Application Review Information A. Criteria B. Selection and Review Process Section VI—Award Administration Information A. Award Notices B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 1. Requirement To Use Program Logo 2. Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-selected Representative 3. Private Crop Insurance Organizations and Potential Conflicts of Interest 4. Access to Panel Review Information 5. Confidential Aspects of Applications and Awards 6. Audit Requirements 7. Prohibitions and Requirements Regarding Lobbying PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8. Applicable OMB Circulars 9. Requirement To Assure Compliance With Federal Civil Rights Laws 10. Requirement To Participate in a Post Award Teleconference 11. Requirement To Submit Educational Materials to the National AgRisk Education Library 12. Requirement To Submit Proposed Results to the National AgRisk Education Library 13. Requirement To Submit a Project Plan of Operation in the Event of a Human Pandemic Outbreak C. Reporting Requirements Section VII—Agency Contact Section VIII—Additional Information A. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) B. Required Registration with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) for Submission of Proposals C. Related Programs Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description A. Legislative Authority The Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program is authorized under section 522(d)(3)(F) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (Act) (7 U.S.C. 1522(d)(3)(F)). B. 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 522(d)(3)(F) of the Act, which authorizes FCIC funding for risk management training and informational efforts for agricultural producers through the formation of partnerships with public and private organizations. With respect to such partnerships, priority is to be given to reaching producers of Priority Commodities, as defined below. E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 13396 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices C. Definition of Priority Commodities For purposes of this program, Priority Commodities are defined as: • Agricultural Commodities Covered by (7 U.S.C. 7333). Commodities in this group are commercial crops that are not covered by catastrophic risk protection crop insurance, are used for food or fiber (except livestock), and specifically include, but are not limited to, floricultural, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, turf grass sod, aquaculture (including ornamental fish), and industrial crops. • Specialty Crops. Commodities in this group may or may not be covered under a Federal crop insurance plan and include, but are not limited to, fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, syrups, honey, roots, herbs, and highly specialized varieties of traditional crops. • Underserved Commodities. This group includes: (a) Commodities, including livestock and forage, that are covered by a Federal crop insurance plan but for which participation in an area is below the national average; and (b) commodities, including livestock and forage, with inadequate crop insurance coverage. A project is considered as giving priority to Priority Commodities if 75 percent of the educational activities of the project are directed to producers of any of the three classes of commodities listed above or any combination of the three classes. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES D. Project Goal The goal of this program is to ensure that ‘‘* * * producers will be better able to use financial management, crop insurance, marketing contracts, and other existing and emerging risk management tools.’’ E. Purpose The purpose of the Commodity Partnership Small Session Program is to provide U.S. farmers and ranchers with training and informational opportunities to be able to understand: • The kinds of risks addressed by existing and emerging risk management tools; • The features and appropriate use of existing and emerging risk management tools; and • How to make sound risk management decisions. In addition, for 2009, the FCIC Board of Directors and the FCIC Manager are seeking projects that also include the Special Emphasis Topics listed below which highlight the educational priorities with each of the ten RMA Regional Offices: • Billings, Montana Regional Office (MT, ND, SD, and WY)—Pasture, VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 Rangeland, Forage, Livestock Gross Margin, Specialty Crops, and Underserved Commodities • Davis, CA Regional Office (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and UT)—Actual Revenue History program for cherries in California, Hawaii Tropical Tree and Fruit Pilot Insurance programs (coffee, papaya and banana), AGR–Lite in Hawaii, Drought mitigation and lack of irrigation water, other applicable pilot state/county crop insurance pilot programs, and commodities uninsured by the crop insurance program • Jackson, MS Regional Office (AR, KY, LA, MS, and TN)—Nursery insurance tools (all states), AGR–Lite Insurance tools (TN) and Nursery Price Endorsement Crop Insurance (all states) • Oklahoma City, OK Regional Office (NM, OK, and TX)—Native American issues and, Limited English Proficiency. • Raleigh, NC Regional Office (CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, and WV). • Connecticut—LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Delaware—LGM Dairy Cattle, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Maine—LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Maryland—LGM Dairy Cattle, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Massachusetts—LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • New Hampshire—LGM Dairy Cattle and Nursery Insurance Tools. • New Jersey—LGM Dairy Cattle, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • New York—Apiculture Vegetation Index, LGM Dairy Cattle, Pasture Rangeland Forage Vegetation Index, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • North Carolina—Apiculture Vegetation Index, Pasture Rangeland Forage Vegetation Index, LRP for Feeder Cattle, Fed Cattle, Lamb, and Swine, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Pennsylvania—Apiculture Rainfall Index and Vegetation Index, LGM Dairy Cattle, Pasture Rangeland Forage Rainfall Index and Vegetation Index, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Rhode Island—LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Virginia—Apiculture Vegetation Index, Pasture Rangeland Forage Vegetation Index, LRP for Feeder Cattle, Fed Cattle, Lamb, and Swine, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Vermont—LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools • West Virginia—LGM Dairy Cattle, and Nursery Insurance Tools. • Spokane, WA Regional Office (AK, ID, OR, and WA)—Yield and revenue crop insurance products (Actual Production History for Cherries, Crop Revenue Coverage, Income Protection, and Revenue Assurance) for small grains producers in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington; Potato and Sugar Beet insurance tools in Pacific Northwest growers. • Springfield, IL Regional Office (IL, IN, MI, and OH)—Processing Pumpkin Pilot Program, AGR–Lite, and ARH Cherries Pilot Program. • St. Paul, MN Regional Office (IA, MN, and WI)—AGR–Lite, understanding how Revenue Policies function and their relationship to marketing decisions. • Topeka, KS Regional Office (CO, KS, MO, and NE)—Pasture, Rangeland and Forage in states and counties with the program. • Valdosta, GA Regional Office (AL, FL, GA, SC, and Puerto Rico)—Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage/Apiculture. II. Award Information A. Type of Award Cooperative Partnership Agreements, which require the substantial involvement of RMA. B. Funding Availability Approximately $900,000 (subject to availability of funds) is available in fiscal year 2009 to fund up to 90 cooperative partnership agreements. The maximum award for any agreement will be $10,000. It is anticipated that a maximum of nine agreements will be funded in each of the ten designated RMA Regions. In the event that all funds available for this program are not obligated after the maximum number of agreements are awarded or if additional funds become available, these funds may, at the discretion of the Manager of FCIC, be used to award additional applications that score highly by the technical review panel or allocated pro-rata to awardees for use in broadening the size or scope of awarded projects, if agreed to by the awardee. 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 E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices that the awards will be made approximately 120 days after the application deadline. All awards will be made and agreements finalized no later than September 30, 2009. C. Location and Target Audience RMA Regional Offices and the States serviced within each Region are listed below. Staff from the respective RMA Regional Offices will provide substantial involvement for projects conducted within the Region. Billings, MT Regional Office: (MT, ND, SD, and WY). Davis, CA Regional Office: (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and UT). Jackson, MS Regional Office: (AR, KY, LA, MS, and TN). Oklahoma City, OK Regional Office: (NM, OK, and TX). Raleigh, NC Regional Office: (CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, and WV). Spokane, WA Regional Office: (AK, ID, OR, and WA). Springfield, IL Regional Office: (IL, IN, MI, and OH). St. Paul, MN Regional Office: (IA, MN, and WI). Topeka, KS Regional Office: (CO, KS, MO, and NE). Valdosta, GA Regional Office: (AL, FL, GA, SC, and Puerto Rico). Applicants must clearly designate the RMA Region where educational activities will be conducted in their application narrative in block 12 of the SF–424 form. Applications without this designation will be rejected. Priority will be given to producers of Priority Commodities. Applicants proposing to conduct educational activities in more than one RMA Region must submit a separate application for each RMA Region. Single applications proposing to conduct educational activities in more than one RMA Region will be rejected. D. Maximum Award Any application that requests Federal funding of more than $10,000 for a project will be rejected. RMA also reserves the right to fund successful applications at an amount less than requested if it is judged that the application can be implemented at a lower funding level. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES E. Project Period Projects will be funded for a period of up to one year from the project starting date. F. Description of Agreement Award Awardee Tasks In conducting activities to achieve the purpose and goal of this program in a designated RMA Region, the awardee VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 will be responsible for performing the following tasks: • 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 risk management; (b) inform producers of the availability of risk management tools; and (c) inform producers and agribusiness leaders in the designated RMA Region of training and informational opportunities. • Deliver risk management training and informational opportunities to agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals in the designated RMA Region. This will include organizing and delivering educational activities using the instructional materials that have been assembled to meet the local needs of agricultural producers. Activities should be directed primarily to agricultural producers, but may include those agribusiness professionals that have frequent opportunities to advise producers on risk management tools and decisions. • Document all educational activities conducted under the cooperative partnership agreement and the results of such activities, including criteria and indicators used to evaluate the success of the program. The awardee will also be required to provide information to an RMA-selected contractor to evaluate all educational activities and advise RMA as to the effectiveness of activities. G. RMA Activities FCIC, working through RMA, will be substantially involved during the performance of the funded project through RMA’s ten Regional Offices. Potential types of substantial involvement may include, but are not limited to the following activities. • Collaborate with the awardee in assembling, reviewing, and approving risk management materials for producers in the designated RMA Region. • Collaborate with the awardee 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 awardee 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 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13397 informing crop insurance professionals about educational activity plans and scheduled meetings. • Conduct an evaluation of the performance of the awardee in meeting the deliverables of the project. • Assist in the selection of subcontractors and project staff. Applications that do not contain substantial involvement by RMA will be rejected. H. 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 A. 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 risk management education for farmers and ranchers in an RMA Region. Individuals are not 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 cooperative partnership; a determination of a violation of applicable ethical standards; a determination of being considered ‘‘high risk’’). Applications from ineligible or excluded persons will be rejected in their entirety. B. Cost Sharing or Matching Although RMA prefers cost sharing by the applicant, this program has neither a cost sharing nor a matching requirement. C. Other—Non-Financial Benefits To be eligible, applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they will receive a non-financial benefit as a result of a cooperative partnership agreement. Non-financial benefits must E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 13398 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices accrue to the applicant and must include more than the ability to provide employment income to the applicant or for the applicant’s employees or the community. The applicant must demonstrate that performance under the cooperative partnership agreement will further the specific mission of the applicant (such as providing research or activities necessary for graduate or other students to complete their educational program). Applications that do not demonstrate a non-financial benefit will be rejected. IV. Application and Submission Information A. Contact To Request Application Package Program application materials for the Commodity Partnerships Program under this announcement may be downloaded from http://www.rma.usda.gov/ aboutrma/agreements. Applicants may also request application materials from: Lydia M. Astorga, USDA–RMA–RME, phone: (202) 260–4728, fax: (202) 690– 3605, e-mail: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES B. Content and Form of Application Submission A complete and valid application must be submitted in one package at the time of initial submission, which must include the following: 1. An original and two copies of the completed and signed application. 2. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424, ‘‘Application for Federal Assistance.’’ 3. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424–A, ‘‘Budget Information—Non-construction Programs.’’ Federal funding requested (the total of direct and indirect costs) must not exceed $10,000.00. 4. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424–B, ‘‘Assurances, Non-constructive Programs.’’ 5. An electronic copy (Microsoft Word format preferred) on a compact disk (CD) of the completed: a. ‘‘Written Narrative’’—no more than 5 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 third evaluation criterion, is to be completed in detail in RMA 2 Form, applicants may wish to highlight certain unique features of the Statement of Work for the benefit of the evaluation panel. If your narrative exceeds the page limit, only the first 5 pages will be reviewed. • No smaller than 12 point font size. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 • Use an easily readable font face (e.g., Arial, Geneva, Helvetica, Times Roman). • 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 or stapled in any other way. b. ‘‘Budget Narrative,’’ describing how the categorical costs listed on SF 424– A are derived. The budget narrative should provide enough detail for reviewers to easily understand how costs were determined and how they relate to the goals and objectives of the project. c. ‘‘Statement of Non-financial Benefits.’’ (Refer to Section III, Eligibility Information, C. Other—Nonfinancial Benefits, above). d.‘‘Statement of Work,’’ RME 2 Form, which identifies tasks and subtasks in detail, expected completion dates and deliverables, and RMA’s substantial involvement role for the proposed project. 6. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form LLL, ‘‘Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.’’ 7. A completed and signed AD–1047, ‘‘Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions.’’ 8. A completed and signed AD–1049, ‘‘Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace.’’ Applications that do not include items 1–8 above will be considered incomplete, will not receive further consideration, and will be rejected. D. Limitation on Use of Project Funds for Salaries and Benefits C. Funding Restrictions 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 using the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) should allow for the extra time for delivery due to the additional security measures that mail delivered to government offices in the Washington, Cooperative partnership 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 partnership agreement application; e. Fund political activities; f. Purchase alcohol, food, beverage or entertainment; g. Lend money to support farming or agricultural business operation or expansion; h. Pay costs incurred prior to receiving a partnership agreement; or i. Fund any activities prohibited in 7 CFR Parts 3015 and 3019, as applicable. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Total costs for salary and benefits allowed for projects under this announcement will be limited to not more than 70 percent reimbursement of the funds awarded under the cooperative partnership agreement as indicated in Section III. Eligibility Information, C. Other—Non-financial Benefits. One goal of the Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program is to maximize the use of the limited funding available for risk management education for producers of Priority Commodities. In order to accomplish this goal, RMA needs to ensure that the maximum amount of funds practicable is used for directly providing the educational opportunities. Limiting the amount of funding for salaries and benefits will allow the limited amount of funding to reach the maximum number of farmers and ranchers. E. Indirect Cost Rates a. Indirect costs allowed for projects submitted under this announcement will be limited to ten (10) percent of the total direct cost of the cooperative partnership agreement. Therefore, when preparing budgets, applicants should limit their requests for recovery of indirect costs to the lesser of their institution’s official negotiated indirect cost rate or 10 percent of the total direct costs. b. RMA reserves the right to negotiate final budgets with successful applicants. c. Applicants may be required to provide a copy of their indirect cost rate negotiated with their cognizant agency. F. Other Submission Requirements E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES DC area requires. USPS mail sent to Washington, DC headquarters is sanitized offsite, which may result in delays, loss, and physical damage to enclosures. Address when using private delivery services or when hand delivering: Attention: Risk Management Education Program, USDA/RMA/RME, Room 6709, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. Address when using U.S. Postal Services: Attention: Risk Management Education Program, USDA/RMA/RME/ Stop 0808, Room 6709, South Building, 1400 Independence Ave, SW., Washington, DC 20250–0808. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that RMA receives a complete application package by the closing date and time. Regardless of the delivery method you choose, please do so sufficiently in advance of the due date to ensure your application package is received on or before the deadline. Emailed and faxed applications will not be accepted. Application packages received after the deadline will not receive further consideration and will be rejected. G. Electronic Submissions Applications transmitted electronically via Grants.gov will be accepted prior to the application date or time deadline. The application package can be accessed via Grants.gov, go to http://www.grants.gov, click on ‘‘Find Grant Opportunities,’’ click on ‘‘Search Grant Opportunities,’’ and enter the CFDA number (beginning of the RFA) to search by CFDA number. From the search results, select the item that correlates to the title of this RFA. If you do not have electronic access to the RFA or have trouble downloading material and you would like a hardcopy, you may contact Lydia M. Astorga, USDA– RMA–RME, phone: (202) 260–4728, fax: (202) 690–3605, e-mail: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov. If assistance is needed to access the application package via Grants.gov (e.g., downloading or navigating PureEdge forms, using PureEdge with a Macintosh computer using Adobe), refer to resources available on the Grants.gov Web site first (http://www.grants.gov/). Grants.gov assistance is also available as follows: • Grants.gov Customer Support Toll Free: 1–800–518–4726. Business Hours: M–F 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. E-mail: support@grants.gov. Applicants who submit their applications via the Grants.gov Web site are not required to submit any hard copy documents to RMA. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 When using Grants.gov to apply, RMA strongly recommends that you submit the online application at least two weeks prior to the application due date in case there are problems with the Grants.gov Web site and you want to submit your application via a mail delivery service. Electronic applications submitted through Grants.gov are due at 11:59 p.m. ET on the application deadline date. H. Acknowledgement of Applications Receipt of timely 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, timely receipt will be acknowledged by letter. There will be no notification of incomplete, unqualified or unfunded applications until after 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 A. Criteria Applications submitted under the Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program will be evaluated within each RMA Region according to the following criteria: Project Impacts—Maximum 20 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) Identify the specific actions producers will likely be able to take as a result of the educational activities described in the Statement of Work; (b) identify the specific measures for evaluating results that will be employed in the project; (c) reasonably estimate the total number of producers reached through the various methods and educational activities described in the Statement of Work; and (d) justify such estimates with clear specifics. Reviewers’ scoring will be based on the scope and reasonableness of the applicant’s clear descriptions of specific PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13399 expected actions producers will accomplish, and well-designed methods for measuring the project’s results and effectiveness. Applicants using direct contact methods with producers will be scored higher. Statement of Work—Maximum 20 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 be scored higher 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, which is to provide producers with training and informational opportunities so that the producers will be better able to use financial management, crop insurance, marketing contracts, and other existing and emerging risk management tools. Applicants are required to submit this Statement of Work on Form RME–2 Form. All narratives should give estimates of how many producers will be reached through this project. Estimates for non-producers can also be made but they should be separate from the estimate of producers. 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 RMA Region. The project manager must demonstrate that he/she has the capability to accomplish the project goal and purpose stated in this announcement by (a) having a previous working relationship with the farm community in the designated RMA Region of the application, including being able to recruit approximately the number of producers to be reached in the application and/or (b) having established the capacity to partner with and gain the support of grower organizations, agribusiness professionals, and agribusiness leaders locally to aid in carrying out a program of education and information, including E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 13400 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices being able to recruit approximately the number of producers to be reached in this application. Applicants are encouraged to designate an alternate Project Leader in the event the Project Leader is unable to finish the project. Applicants that will employ, or have access to, personnel who have experience in directing local educational programs that benefit agricultural producers in the respective RMA Region will receive higher rankings. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Budget Appropriateness and Efficiency—Maximum 15 Points Applicants must provide a detailed budget summary that clearly explains and justifies costs associated with the project. Applicants will receive higher scores to the extent that they can demonstrate a fair and reasonable use of funds appropriate for the project and a budget that contains the estimated cost of reaching each individual producer. The applicant must provide information factors such as: • The allowability and necessity for individual cost categories; • The reasonableness of amounts estimated for necessary costs; • The basis used for allocating indirect or overhead costs; • The appropriateness of allocating particular overhead costs to the proposed project as direct costs; and • The percent of time devoted to the project for all key project personnel identified in the application. Salaries of project personnel should be requested in proportion to the percent of time that they would devote to the project and cannot exceed 70 percent of the total project budget. Applicants must list all current public or private support to which personnel identified in the application have committed portions of their time, whether or not salary support for persons involved is included in the budget. An application that duplicates or overlaps substantially with an application already reviewed and funded (or to be funded) by another organization or agency will not be funded under this program. The projects proposed for funding should be included in the pending section. Only items or services that are necessary for the successful completion of the project will be funded as permitted under the Act. Priority Commodity—Maximum 10 Points The applicant can submit projects that are not related to Priority Commodities. However, priority will be given to projects relating to Priority Commodities and the degree in which VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 such projects relate to the Priority Commodities. Projects that relate solely to Priority Commodities will be eligible for the most points. Past Performance—Maximum 10 Points If the applicant has been an awardee of other Federal or other government grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts in the past three years, the applicant must provide information relating to their past performance in reporting on outputs and outcomes under past or current Federal assistance agreements or contracts. The applicant must also detail that they have consistently complied with financial and program reporting and auditing requirements. RMA will review past performance reports during the review panel process. RMA reserves the right to add up to 10 points or subtract up to 10 points from applications due to past performance. RMA has established 10 evaluation standards from which your past performance scores is based upon. The 10 evaluation standards are demonstrated by: (1) Submitting all required documents (educational and promotional) to the RO for review prior to dissemination, (2) developing a training plan or accurate set of instructional materials, (3) delivering the materials to his/her intended audience as specified in the statement of work, (4) being able to draw at least 50 percent of the audience estimated in the application, (5) developing a promotional plan or accurate set of promotional materials and properly promoting the program to his/her intended audience, (6) using the RMA logo when deemed appropriate, (7) participating in quarterly conference calls when asked, (8) notifying RO employees of when crop insurance and risk management education workshops and seminars are being held in their region in timely manner, (9) submitting complete quarterly reports by established deadlines, and (10) achieving the goals and objectives stated upfront in the statement of work. Applicants with very good past performance will receive a score from 6–10 points. Very good past performance is designated by an agreement holder that meets the 10 standards stated above from 70 percent to 100 percent of the time. Applicants with acceptable past performance will receive a score from 1–5 points when the 10 standards are met 40 percent to 69 percent of the time. Applicants with unacceptable past performance will receive a score of zero to minus 10 points when an applicant meets the 10 standards less than 39 percent of the time. Applicants without relevant past PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 performance information will receive a neutral score of the mean number of points of all applicants with past performance. These past performance points will be applied only to applications that the review panel scored above the minimum score. Applications receiving less than the minimum score required to be eligible for potential funding will not receive past performance points. Projected Audience Description— Maximum 5 Points The applicant must clearly identify and describe the targeted audience for the project. Applicants will receive higher scores to the extent that they can reasonably and clearly describe their target audience and why the audience would choose to participate in the project. The applicant must describe why the proposed audience wants the information the project will deliver and how they will benefit from it. B. 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 that are incomplete will not receive further consideration during the next process. Applications that meet announcement requirements will be sorted into the RMA Region 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 an RMA Region, 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 RMA Region 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 E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices the recommended applicants to receive cooperative partnership agreements for each RMA Region. Funding will not be provided for an application receiving a score less than 45. Funding will not be provided for an application that is highly similar to a higher-scoring application in the same RMA Region. Highly similar is one that proposes to reach the same producers likely to be reached by another applicant that scored higher by the panel and the same general educational material is proposed to be delivered. 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 not to 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. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES VI. Award Administration Information A. 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 partnership agreements with those selected 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, 2010, whichever is later. After a partnership agreement has been signed, RMA will extend to awardees, 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. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 Notification of denial of funding will be sent to applicants after final funding decisions have been made and the awardees announced publicly. Reasons for denial of funding can include, but are not limited to, incomplete applications, applications with evaluation scores that are lower that other applications in an RMA Region, or applications that are highly similar to a higher-scoring application in the same RMA Region. Highly similar is an application that proposes to reach the same producers likely to be reached by another applicant that scored higher by the panel and the same general educational material is proposed to be delivered. B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 1. Requirement To Use Program Logo Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements will be required to use a program logo and design provided by RMA for all instructional and promotional materials, when deemed appropriate. 2. Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-Selected Representative Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements may be required to assist RMA in evaluating the effectiveness of its educational programs by providing documentation of educational activities and related information to any representative selected by RMA for program evaluation purposes. 3. 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. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13401 4. 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. 5. Confidential Aspects of Applications 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 partnership 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 basis for such designation. The original copy of an application 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 applications not receiving awards will be released only with the express written consent of the applicant or to the extent required by law. An application may be withdrawn at any time prior to award. 6. Audit Requirements Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements are subject to audit. 7. 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 awardees of Federal contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and loans. It provides exemptions for Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations. Current and prospective awardees, and any subcontractors, are E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 13402 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices 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 awardees 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 awardees of their subcontractors will pay with profits or other non-appropriated 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, are available at the address, and telephone number listed in Section VII. Agency Contact. 8. 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. 9. Requirement To Assure Compliance With Federal Civil Rights Laws Awardees of all cooperative partnership agreements funded as a result of this notice are required to know and abide by Federal civil rights laws and to assure USDA and RMA that the awardee is in compliance with and will continue to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), 7 CFR part 15, and USDA regulations promulgated thereunder, 7 CFR 1901.202. RMA requires awardees to submit an Assurance Agreement (Civil Rights), assuring RMA of this compliance prior to the beginning of the project period. 11. Requirement To Submit Educational Materials to the National AgRisk Education Library RMA requires that project leaders upload digital copies of all risk management educational materials developed because of the project to the National AgRisk Education Library (http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/) for posting, if electronically reporting. RMA will be clearly identified as having provided funding for the materials. Projects leaders not reporting electronically will not be required to post educational materials onto the National AgRisk Education Library, but are highly encouraged to do so. 12. Requirement To Submit Proposed Results to the National AgRisk Education Library RMA requires that project leaders submit results of the project to the National AgRisk Education Library (http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/) for posting if electronically reporting. Projects leaders not reporting electronically will not be required to post results onto the National AgRisk Education Library, but are highly encouraged to do so. 13. Requirement To Submit a Project Plan of Operation in the Event of a Human Pandemic Outbreak RMA requires that project leaders submit a project plan of operation in case of a human pandemic event. The plan should address the concept of continuing operations as they relate to the project. This should include the roles, responsibilities, and contact information for the project team and individuals serving as back-ups in case of a pandemic outbreak. C. Reporting Requirements mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 10. Requirement To Participate in a Post Award Teleconference RMA requires that project leaders participate in a post award teleconference, if conducted to become fully aware of agreement requirements and for delineating the roles of RMA personnel and the procedures that will be followed in administering the agreement and will afford an opportunity for the orderly transition of agreement duties and obligations if different personnel are to assume postaward responsibility. Awardees will be required to submit quarterly progress reports, quarterly financial reports (OMB Standard Form 269), and quarterly Activity Logs (Form RMA–300) 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. Awardees will be required to submit prior to the award: • A completed and signed Assurance Agreement (Civil Rights). • A completed and signed FaithBased Survey on EEO. VII. Agency Contact VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to contact: Lydia M. Astorga, USDA–RMA–RME, phone: 202–260–4728, fax: 202–690–3605, e- PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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/ aboutrma/agreements. VIII. Other Information A. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) A DUNS number is a unique ninedigit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over 70 million businesses worldwide. The Office of Management and Budget published a notice of final policy issuance in the Federal Register June 27, 2003 (68 FR 38402) that requires a DUNS number in every application (i.e., hard copy and electronic) for a grant or cooperative agreement on or after October 1, 2003. Therefore, potential applicants should verify that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one. For information about how to obtain a DUNS number, go to http:// www.grants.gov. Please note that the registration may take up to 14 business days to complete. B. Required Registration With the Central Contract Registry (CCR) for Submission of Proposals The Central Contract Registry (CCR) is a database that serves as the primary Government repository for contractor information required for the conduct of business with the Government. This database will also be used as a central location for maintaining organizational information for organizations seeking and receiving grants from the Government. Such organizations must register in the CCR prior to the submission of applications. A DUNS number is needed for CCR registration. For information about how to register in the CCR, visit ‘‘Get Started’’ at the Web site, http://www.grants.gov. Allow a minimum of 5 business days to complete the CCR registration. C. 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), 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. E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / Notices Signed in Washington, DC on March 23, 2009. William J. Murphy, Acting Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. [FR Doc. E9–6822 Filed 3–26–09; 8:45 am] The collections of information in this announcement have been approved by OMB under control number 0563–0067, and is currently at OMB for renewal. BILLING CODE 3410–08–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Federal Crop Insurance Corporation mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Funding Opportunity Title: Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States (Targeted States Program) Announcement Type: Announcement of availability of funds and request for application for competitive cooperative agreements. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number (CFDA): 10.458. DATES: Hard copy applications are due 5 p.m. EST, May 11, 2009. Electronic applications submitted through Grants.gov are due 11:59 p.m. EST, May 11, 2009. SUMMARY: The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces the availability of approximately $4.5 million (subject to availability of funds) 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, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. A maximum of 16 cooperative agreements will be funded, one in each of the 16 Targeted States. Awardees 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. 10.457 (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. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:13 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 217001 This Announcement Consists of Eight Sections: Section I—Funding Opportunity Description A. Legislative Authority B. Background C. Project Goal D. Purpose Section II—Award Information A. Type of Award B. Funding Availability C. Location and Target Audience D. Maximum Award E. Project Period F. Description of Agreement Award— Awardee Tasks G. RMA Activities H. Other Tasks Section III—Eligibility Information A. Eligible Applicants B. Cost Sharing or Matching Section IV—Application and Submission Information A. Contact To Request Application Package B. Content and Form of Application Submission C. Funding Restrictions D. Limitation on Use of Project Funds for Salaries and Benefits E. Indirect Cost Rates F. Other Submission Requirements G. Electronic Submissions H. Acknowledgement of Applications Section V—Application Review Process A. Criteria B. Selection and Review Process Section VI—Award Administration Information A. Award Notices B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 1. Requirement To Use Program Logo 2. Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-selected Representative 3. Private Crop Insurance Organizations and Potential Conflict of Interest 4. Access to Panel Review Information 5. Confidential Aspects of Applications and Awards 6. Audit Requirements 7. Prohibitions and Requirements Regarding Lobbying 8. Applicable OMB Circulars 9. Requirement To Assure Compliance with Federal Civil Rights Laws 10. Requirement To Participate in a Post Award Conference 11. Requirement To Submit Educational Materials to the National AgRisk Education Library 12. Requirement To Submit Proposed Results to the National AgRisk Education Library 13. Requirement To Submit a Project Plan of Operation in the Event of a Human Pandemic Outbreak C. Reporting Requirements Section VII—Agency Contact Section VIII—Additional Information A. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13403 B. Required Registration With the Central Contract Registry (CCR) for Submission of Proposals C. Related Programs Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description A. Legislative Authority The Targeted States Program is authorized under section 524(a)(2) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (Act). B. 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 of 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 States that have historically been underserved by the Federal crop insurance program. In accordance with the Act, the sixteen States designated as ‘‘underserved’’ are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, 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’’). Hawaii was added this fiscal year when Congress authorized the 2008 Farm Bill. C. 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. In carrying out the programs established under the Food, Conservation, And Energy Act of 2008, the Secretary of Agriculture has placed special emphasis on risk management strategies, education, and outreach specifically targeted at— (A) Beginning farmers or ranchers; (B) legal immigrant farmers or ranchers who are attempting to become established producers in the United States; E:\FR\FM\27MRN1.SGM 27MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 58 (Friday, March 27, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13395-13403]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-6822]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 58 / Friday, March 27, 2009 / 
Notices

[[Page 13395]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation


Funding Opportunity Title: Commodity Partnerships for Small 
Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions (Commodity Partnerships 
Small Sessions Program)

    Announcement Type: Announcement of availability of funds and 
request for application for competitive cooperative partnership 
agreements.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number (CFDA): 10.459.

DATES: Hard copy applications are due 5 p.m. EST, May 11, 2009. 
Electronic applications submitted through Grants.gov are due at 11:59 
p.m. EST, May 11, 2009.
SUMMARY: The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating 
through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces the availability of 
approximately $900,000 (subject to availability of funds) for Commodity 
Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions 
(the Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program). The purpose of 
this cooperative partnership agreement program is to deliver training 
and information in the management of production, marketing, and 
financial risk to U.S. agricultural producers. The program gives 
priority to educating producers of crops currently not insured under 
Federal crop insurance, specialty crops, and underserved commodities, 
including livestock and forage. A maximum of 90 cooperative partnership 
agreements will be funded, with no more than nine in each of the ten 
designated RMA Regions. The maximum award for any cooperative 
partnership agreement will be $10,000. Awardees must demonstrate non-
financial benefits from a cooperative partnership agreement and 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), and 
CFDA No. 10.458 (Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States). 
Prospective applicants should carefully examine and compare the notices 
for each program.
    The collections of information in this announcement have been 
approved by OMB under control number 0563-0067, and is currently at OMB 
for renewal.
    This announcement consists of eight sections:

Section I--Funding Opportunity Description
    A. Legislative Authority
    B. Background
    C. Definition of Priority Commodities
    D. Project Goal
    E. Purpose
Section II--Award Information
    A. Type of Award
    B. Funding Availability
    C. Location and Target Audience
    D. Maximum Award
    E. Project Period
    F. Description of Agreement--Awardee Tasks
    G. RMA Activities
    H. Other Tasks
Section III--Eligibility Information
    A. Eligible Applicants
    B. Cost Sharing or Matching
    C. Other--Non-Financial Benefits
Section IV--Application and Submission Information
    A. Contact To Request Application Package
    B. Content and Form of Application Submission
    C. Funding Restrictions
    D. Limitation on Use of Project Funds for Salaries and Benefits
    E. Indirect Cost Rates
    F. Other Submission Requirements
    G. Electronic Submissions
    H. Acknowledgement of Applications
Section V--Application Review Information
    A. Criteria
    B. Selection and Review Process
Section VI--Award Administration Information
    A. Award Notices
    B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    1. Requirement To Use Program Logo
    2. Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-selected 
Representative
    3. Private Crop Insurance Organizations and Potential Conflicts 
of Interest
    4. Access to Panel Review Information
    5. Confidential Aspects of Applications and Awards
    6. Audit Requirements
    7. Prohibitions and Requirements Regarding Lobbying
    8. Applicable OMB Circulars
    9. Requirement To Assure Compliance With Federal Civil Rights 
Laws
    10. Requirement To Participate in a Post Award Teleconference
    11. Requirement To Submit Educational Materials to the National 
AgRisk Education Library
    12. Requirement To Submit Proposed Results to the National 
AgRisk Education Library
    13. Requirement To Submit a Project Plan of Operation in the 
Event of a Human Pandemic Outbreak
    C. Reporting Requirements
Section VII--Agency Contact
Section VIII--Additional Information
    A. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
    B. Required Registration with the Central Contract Registry 
(CCR) for Submission of Proposals
    C. Related Programs

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

A. Legislative Authority

    The Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program is authorized 
under section 522(d)(3)(F) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (Act) (7 
U.S.C. 1522(d)(3)(F)).

B. 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 522(d)(3)(F) of the Act, which 
authorizes FCIC funding for risk management training and informational 
efforts for agricultural producers through the formation of 
partnerships with public and private organizations. With respect to 
such partnerships, priority is to be given to reaching producers of 
Priority Commodities, as defined below.

[[Page 13396]]

C. Definition of Priority Commodities

    For purposes of this program, Priority Commodities are defined as:
     Agricultural Commodities Covered by (7 U.S.C. 7333). 
Commodities in this group are commercial crops that are not covered by 
catastrophic risk protection crop insurance, are used for food or fiber 
(except livestock), and specifically include, but are not limited to, 
floricultural, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, turf grass sod, 
aquaculture (including ornamental fish), and industrial crops.
     Specialty Crops. Commodities in this group may or may not 
be covered under a Federal crop insurance plan and include, but are not 
limited to, fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, syrups, honey, roots, herbs, 
and highly specialized varieties of traditional crops.
     Underserved Commodities. This group includes: (a) 
Commodities, including livestock and forage, that are covered by a 
Federal crop insurance plan but for which participation in an area is 
below the national average; and (b) commodities, including livestock 
and forage, with inadequate crop insurance coverage.
    A project is considered as giving priority to Priority Commodities 
if 75 percent of the educational activities of the project are directed 
to producers of any of the three classes of commodities listed above or 
any combination of the three classes.

D. Project Goal

    The goal of this program is to ensure that ``* * * producers will 
be better able to use financial management, crop insurance, marketing 
contracts, and other existing and emerging risk management tools.''

E. Purpose

    The purpose of the Commodity Partnership Small Session Program is 
to provide U.S. farmers and ranchers with training and informational 
opportunities to be able to understand:
     The kinds of risks addressed by existing and emerging risk 
management tools;
     The features and appropriate use of existing and emerging 
risk management tools; and
     How to make sound risk management decisions.
    In addition, for 2009, the FCIC Board of Directors and the FCIC 
Manager are seeking projects that also include the Special Emphasis 
Topics listed below which highlight the educational priorities with 
each of the ten RMA Regional Offices:
     Billings, Montana Regional Office (MT, ND, SD, and WY)--
Pasture, Rangeland, Forage, Livestock Gross Margin, Specialty Crops, 
and Underserved Commodities
     Davis, CA Regional Office (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and UT)--Actual 
Revenue History program for cherries in California, Hawaii Tropical 
Tree and Fruit Pilot Insurance programs (coffee, papaya and banana), 
AGR-Lite in Hawaii, Drought mitigation and lack of irrigation water, 
other applicable pilot state/county crop insurance pilot programs, and 
commodities uninsured by the crop insurance program
     Jackson, MS Regional Office (AR, KY, LA, MS, and TN)--
Nursery insurance tools (all states), AGR-Lite Insurance tools (TN) and 
Nursery Price Endorsement Crop Insurance (all states)
     Oklahoma City, OK Regional Office (NM, OK, and TX)--Native 
American issues and, Limited English Proficiency.
     Raleigh, NC Regional Office (CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, 
NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, and WV).
     Connecticut--LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and 
Nursery Insurance Tools.
     Delaware--LGM Dairy Cattle, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery 
Insurance Tools.
     Maine--LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery 
Insurance Tools.
     Maryland--LGM Dairy Cattle, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery 
Insurance Tools.
     Massachusetts--LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and 
Nursery Insurance Tools.
     New Hampshire--LGM Dairy Cattle and Nursery Insurance 
Tools.
     New Jersey--LGM Dairy Cattle, Southern Potatoes, and 
Nursery Insurance Tools.
     New York--Apiculture Vegetation Index, LGM Dairy Cattle, 
Pasture Rangeland Forage Vegetation Index, Northern Potatoes, and 
Nursery Insurance Tools.
     North Carolina--Apiculture Vegetation Index, Pasture 
Rangeland Forage Vegetation Index, LRP for Feeder Cattle, Fed Cattle, 
Lamb, and Swine, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools.
     Pennsylvania--Apiculture Rainfall Index and Vegetation 
Index, LGM Dairy Cattle, Pasture Rangeland Forage Rainfall Index and 
Vegetation Index, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools.
     Rhode Island--LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and 
Nursery Insurance Tools.
     Virginia--Apiculture Vegetation Index, Pasture Rangeland 
Forage Vegetation Index, LRP for Feeder Cattle, Fed Cattle, Lamb, and 
Swine, Southern Potatoes, and Nursery Insurance Tools.
     Vermont--LGM Dairy Cattle, Northern Potatoes, and Nursery 
Insurance Tools
     West Virginia--LGM Dairy Cattle, and Nursery Insurance 
Tools.
     Spokane, WA Regional Office (AK, ID, OR, and WA)--Yield 
and revenue crop insurance products (Actual Production History for 
Cherries, Crop Revenue Coverage, Income Protection, and Revenue 
Assurance) for small grains producers in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington; 
Potato and Sugar Beet insurance tools in Pacific Northwest growers.
     Springfield, IL Regional Office (IL, IN, MI, and OH)--
Processing Pumpkin Pilot Program, AGR-Lite, and ARH Cherries Pilot 
Program.
     St. Paul, MN Regional Office (IA, MN, and WI)--AGR-Lite, 
understanding how Revenue Policies function and their relationship to 
marketing decisions.
     Topeka, KS Regional Office (CO, KS, MO, and NE)--Pasture, 
Rangeland and Forage in states and counties with the program.
     Valdosta, GA Regional Office (AL, FL, GA, SC, and Puerto 
Rico)--Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage/Apiculture.

II. Award Information

A. Type of Award

    Cooperative Partnership Agreements, which require the substantial 
involvement of RMA.

B. Funding Availability

    Approximately $900,000 (subject to availability of funds) is 
available in fiscal year 2009 to fund up to 90 cooperative partnership 
agreements. The maximum award for any agreement will be $10,000. It is 
anticipated that a maximum of nine agreements will be funded in each of 
the ten designated RMA Regions.
    In the event that all funds available for this program are not 
obligated after the maximum number of agreements are awarded or if 
additional funds become available, these funds may, at the discretion 
of the Manager of FCIC, be used to award additional applications that 
score highly by the technical review panel or allocated pro-rata to 
awardees for use in broadening the size or scope of awarded projects, 
if agreed to by the awardee. 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

[[Page 13397]]

that the awards will be made approximately 120 days after the 
application deadline. All awards will be made and agreements finalized 
no later than September 30, 2009.

C. Location and Target Audience

    RMA Regional Offices and the States serviced within each Region are 
listed below. Staff from the respective RMA Regional Offices will 
provide substantial involvement for projects conducted within the 
Region.
    Billings, MT Regional Office: (MT, ND, SD, and WY).
    Davis, CA Regional Office: (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and UT).
    Jackson, MS Regional Office: (AR, KY, LA, MS, and TN).
    Oklahoma City, OK Regional Office: (NM, OK, and TX).
    Raleigh, NC Regional Office: (CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, 
PA, RI, VA, VT, and WV).
    Spokane, WA Regional Office: (AK, ID, OR, and WA).
    Springfield, IL Regional Office: (IL, IN, MI, and OH).
    St. Paul, MN Regional Office: (IA, MN, and WI).
    Topeka, KS Regional Office: (CO, KS, MO, and NE).
    Valdosta, GA Regional Office: (AL, FL, GA, SC, and Puerto Rico).
    Applicants must clearly designate the RMA Region where educational 
activities will be conducted in their application narrative in block 12 
of the SF-424 form. Applications without this designation will be 
rejected. Priority will be given to producers of Priority Commodities. 
Applicants proposing to conduct educational activities in more than one 
RMA Region must submit a separate application for each RMA Region. 
Single applications proposing to conduct educational activities in more 
than one RMA Region will be rejected.

D. Maximum Award

    Any application that requests Federal funding of more than $10,000 
for a project will be rejected. RMA also reserves the right to fund 
successful applications at an amount less than requested if it is 
judged that the application can be implemented at a lower funding 
level.

E. Project Period

    Projects will be funded for a period of up to one year from the 
project starting date.

F. Description of Agreement Award

Awardee Tasks
    In conducting activities to achieve the purpose and goal of this 
program in a designated RMA Region, the awardee will be responsible for 
performing the following tasks:
     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 risk management; (b) inform 
producers of the availability of risk management tools; and (c) inform 
producers and agribusiness leaders in the designated RMA Region of 
training and informational opportunities.
     Deliver risk management training and informational 
opportunities to agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals 
in the designated RMA Region. This will include organizing and 
delivering educational activities using the instructional materials 
that have been assembled to meet the local needs of agricultural 
producers. Activities should be directed primarily to agricultural 
producers, but may include those agribusiness professionals that have 
frequent opportunities to advise producers on risk management tools and 
decisions.
     Document all educational activities conducted under the 
cooperative partnership agreement and the results of such activities, 
including criteria and indicators used to evaluate the success of the 
program. The awardee will also be required to provide information to an 
RMA-selected contractor to evaluate all educational activities and 
advise RMA as to the effectiveness of activities.

G. RMA Activities

    FCIC, working through RMA, will be substantially involved during 
the performance of the funded project through RMA's ten Regional 
Offices. Potential types of substantial involvement may include, but 
are not limited to the following activities.
     Collaborate with the awardee in assembling, reviewing, and 
approving risk management materials for producers in the designated RMA 
Region.
     Collaborate with the awardee 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 awardee 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.
     Conduct an evaluation of the performance of the awardee in 
meeting the deliverables of the project.
     Assist in the selection of subcontractors and project 
staff.
    Applications that do not contain substantial involvement by RMA 
will be rejected.

H. 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

A. 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 
risk management education for farmers and ranchers in an RMA Region. 
Individuals are not 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 cooperative 
partnership; a determination of a violation of applicable ethical 
standards; a determination of being considered ``high risk''). 
Applications from ineligible or excluded persons will be rejected in 
their entirety.

B. Cost Sharing or Matching

    Although RMA prefers cost sharing by the applicant, this program 
has neither a cost sharing nor a matching requirement.

C. Other--Non-Financial Benefits

    To be eligible, applicants must also be able to demonstrate that 
they will receive a non-financial benefit as a result of a cooperative 
partnership agreement. Non-financial benefits must

[[Page 13398]]

accrue to the applicant and must include more than the ability to 
provide employment income to the applicant or for the applicant's 
employees or the community. The applicant must demonstrate that 
performance under the cooperative partnership agreement will further 
the specific mission of the applicant (such as providing research or 
activities necessary for graduate or other students to complete their 
educational program). Applications that do not demonstrate a non-
financial benefit will be rejected.

IV. Application and Submission Information

A. Contact To Request Application Package

    Program application materials for the Commodity Partnerships 
Program under this announcement may be downloaded from http://www.rma.usda.gov/aboutrma/agreements. Applicants may also request 
application materials from: Lydia M. Astorga, USDA-RMA-RME, phone: 
(202) 260-4728, fax: (202) 690-3605, e-mail: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov.

B. Content and Form of Application Submission

    A complete and valid application must be submitted in one package 
at the time of initial submission, which must include the following:
    1. An original and two copies of the completed and signed 
application.
    2. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424, ``Application for 
Federal Assistance.''
    3. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424-A, ``Budget 
Information--Non-construction Programs.'' Federal funding requested 
(the total of direct and indirect costs) must not exceed $10,000.00.
    4. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form 424-B, ``Assurances, 
Non-constructive Programs.''
    5. An electronic copy (Microsoft Word format preferred) on a 
compact disk (CD) of the completed:
    a. ``Written Narrative''--no more than 5 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 third evaluation criterion, is to be completed in detail in RMA 2 
Form, applicants may wish to highlight certain unique features of the 
Statement of Work for the benefit of the evaluation panel. If your 
narrative exceeds the page limit, only the first 5 pages will be 
reviewed.
     No smaller than 12 point font size.
     Use an easily readable font face (e.g., Arial, Geneva, 
Helvetica, Times Roman).
     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 or stapled in any other way.
    b. ``Budget Narrative,'' describing how the categorical costs 
listed on SF 424-A are derived. The budget narrative should provide 
enough detail for reviewers to easily understand how costs were 
determined and how they relate to the goals and objectives of the 
project.
    c. ``Statement of Non-financial Benefits.'' (Refer to Section III, 
Eligibility Information, C. Other--Non-financial Benefits, above).
    d.``Statement of Work,'' RME 2 Form, which identifies tasks and 
subtasks in detail, expected completion dates and deliverables, and 
RMA's substantial involvement role for the proposed project.
    6. A completed and signed OMB Standard Form LLL, ``Disclosure of 
Lobbying Activities.''
    7. A completed and signed AD-1047, ``Certification Regarding 
Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters--Primary Covered 
Transactions.''
    8. A completed and signed AD-1049, ``Certification Regarding Drug-
Free Workplace.''
    Applications that do not include items 1-8 above will be considered 
incomplete, will not receive further consideration, and will be 
rejected.

C. Funding Restrictions

    Cooperative partnership 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 partnership agreement 
application;
    e. Fund political activities;
    f. Purchase alcohol, food, beverage or entertainment;
    g. Lend money to support farming or agricultural business operation 
or expansion;
    h. Pay costs incurred prior to receiving a partnership agreement; 
or
    i. Fund any activities prohibited in 7 CFR Parts 3015 and 3019, as 
applicable.

D. Limitation on Use of Project Funds for Salaries and Benefits

    Total costs for salary and benefits allowed for projects under this 
announcement will be limited to not more than 70 percent reimbursement 
of the funds awarded under the cooperative partnership agreement as 
indicated in Section III. Eligibility Information, C. Other--Non-
financial Benefits. One goal of the Commodity Partnerships Small 
Sessions Program is to maximize the use of the limited funding 
available for risk management education for producers of Priority 
Commodities. In order to accomplish this goal, RMA needs to ensure that 
the maximum amount of funds practicable is used for directly providing 
the educational opportunities. Limiting the amount of funding for 
salaries and benefits will allow the limited amount of funding to reach 
the maximum number of farmers and ranchers.

E. Indirect Cost Rates

    a. Indirect costs allowed for projects submitted under this 
announcement will be limited to ten (10) percent of the total direct 
cost of the cooperative partnership agreement. Therefore, when 
preparing budgets, applicants should limit their requests for recovery 
of indirect costs to the lesser of their institution's official 
negotiated indirect cost rate or 10 percent of the total direct costs.
    b. RMA reserves the right to negotiate final budgets with 
successful applicants.
    c. Applicants may be required to provide a copy of their indirect 
cost rate negotiated with their cognizant agency.

F. 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 using the U.S. 
Postal Service (USPS) should allow for the extra time for delivery due 
to the additional security measures that mail delivered to government 
offices in the Washington,

[[Page 13399]]

DC area requires. USPS mail sent to Washington, DC headquarters is 
sanitized offsite, which may result in delays, loss, and physical 
damage to enclosures.
    Address when using private delivery services or when hand 
delivering: Attention: Risk Management Education Program, USDA/RMA/RME, 
Room 6709, South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, 
DC 20250.
    Address when using U.S. Postal Services: Attention: Risk Management 
Education Program, USDA/RMA/RME/Stop 0808, Room 6709, South Building, 
1400 Independence Ave, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0808.
    Applicants are responsible for ensuring that RMA receives a 
complete application package by the closing date and time. Regardless 
of the delivery method you choose, please do so sufficiently in advance 
of the due date to ensure your application package is received on or 
before the deadline. E-mailed and faxed applications will not be 
accepted. Application packages received after the deadline will not 
receive further consideration and will be rejected.

G. Electronic Submissions

    Applications transmitted electronically via Grants.gov will be 
accepted prior to the application date or time deadline. The 
application package can be accessed via Grants.gov, go to http://www.grants.gov, click on ``Find Grant Opportunities,'' click on 
``Search Grant Opportunities,'' and enter the CFDA number (beginning of 
the RFA) to search by CFDA number. From the search results, select the 
item that correlates to the title of this RFA. If you do not have 
electronic access to the RFA or have trouble downloading material and 
you would like a hardcopy, you may contact Lydia M. Astorga, USDA-RMA-
RME, phone: (202) 260-4728, fax: (202) 690-3605, e-mail: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov.
    If assistance is needed to access the application package via 
Grants.gov (e.g., downloading or navigating PureEdge forms, using 
PureEdge with a Macintosh computer using Adobe), refer to resources 
available on the Grants.gov Web site first (http://www.grants.gov/). 
Grants.gov assistance is also available as follows:
     Grants.gov Customer Support
    Toll Free: 1-800-518-4726.
    Business Hours: M-F 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
    E-mail: support@grants.gov.
    Applicants who submit their applications via the Grants.gov Web 
site are not required to submit any hard copy documents to RMA.
    When using Grants.gov to apply, RMA strongly recommends that you 
submit the online application at least two weeks prior to the 
application due date in case there are problems with the Grants.gov Web 
site and you want to submit your application via a mail delivery 
service.
    Electronic applications submitted through Grants.gov are due at 
11:59 p.m. ET on the application deadline date.

H. Acknowledgement of Applications

    Receipt of timely 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, timely receipt will be acknowledged by 
letter. There will be no notification of incomplete, unqualified or 
unfunded applications until after 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

A. Criteria

    Applications submitted under the Commodity Partnerships Small 
Sessions Program will be evaluated within each RMA Region according to 
the following criteria:
Project Impacts--Maximum 20 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) Identify the specific actions 
producers will likely be able to take as a result of the educational 
activities described in the Statement of Work; (b) identify the 
specific measures for evaluating results that will be employed in the 
project; (c) reasonably estimate the total number of producers reached 
through the various methods and educational activities described in the 
Statement of Work; and (d) justify such estimates with clear specifics. 
Reviewers' scoring will be based on the scope and reasonableness of the 
applicant's clear descriptions of specific expected actions producers 
will accomplish, and well-designed methods for measuring the project's 
results and effectiveness. Applicants using direct contact methods with 
producers will be scored higher.
Statement of Work--Maximum 20 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 be scored higher 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, which is to provide 
producers with training and informational opportunities so that the 
producers will be better able to use financial management, crop 
insurance, marketing contracts, and other existing and emerging risk 
management tools. Applicants are required to submit this Statement of 
Work on Form RME-2 Form. All narratives should give estimates of how 
many producers will be reached through this project. Estimates for non-
producers can also be made but they should be separate from the 
estimate of producers.
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 RMA Region. The project 
manager must demonstrate that he/she has the capability to accomplish 
the project goal and purpose stated in this announcement by (a) having 
a previous working relationship with the farm community in the 
designated RMA Region of the application, including being able to 
recruit approximately the number of producers to be reached in the 
application and/or (b) having established the capacity to partner with 
and gain the support of grower organizations, agribusiness 
professionals, and agribusiness leaders locally to aid in carrying out 
a program of education and information, including

[[Page 13400]]

being able to recruit approximately the number of producers to be 
reached in this application. Applicants are encouraged to designate an 
alternate Project Leader in the event the Project Leader is unable to 
finish the project. Applicants that will employ, or have access to, 
personnel who have experience in directing local educational programs 
that benefit agricultural producers in the respective RMA Region will 
receive higher rankings.
Budget Appropriateness and Efficiency--Maximum 15 Points
    Applicants must provide a detailed budget summary that clearly 
explains and justifies costs associated with the project. Applicants 
will receive higher scores to the extent that they can demonstrate a 
fair and reasonable use of funds appropriate for the project and a 
budget that contains the estimated cost of reaching each individual 
producer. The applicant must provide information factors such as:
     The allowability and necessity for individual cost 
categories;
     The reasonableness of amounts estimated for necessary 
costs;
     The basis used for allocating indirect or overhead costs;
     The appropriateness of allocating particular overhead 
costs to the proposed project as direct costs; and
     The percent of time devoted to the project for all key 
project personnel identified in the application. Salaries of project 
personnel should be requested in proportion to the percent of time that 
they would devote to the project and cannot exceed 70 percent of the 
total project budget. Applicants must list all current public or 
private support to which personnel identified in the application have 
committed portions of their time, whether or not salary support for 
persons involved is included in the budget. An application that 
duplicates or overlaps substantially with an application already 
reviewed and funded (or to be funded) by another organization or agency 
will not be funded under this program. The projects proposed for 
funding should be included in the pending section. Only items or 
services that are necessary for the successful completion of the 
project will be funded as permitted under the Act.
Priority Commodity--Maximum 10 Points
    The applicant can submit projects that are not related to Priority 
Commodities. However, priority will be given to projects relating to 
Priority Commodities and the degree in which such projects relate to 
the Priority Commodities. Projects that relate solely to Priority 
Commodities will be eligible for the most points.
Past Performance--Maximum 10 Points
    If the applicant has been an awardee of other Federal or other 
government grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts in the past 
three years, the applicant must provide information relating to their 
past performance in reporting on outputs and outcomes under past or 
current Federal assistance agreements or contracts. The applicant must 
also detail that they have consistently complied with financial and 
program reporting and auditing requirements. RMA will review past 
performance reports during the review panel process. RMA reserves the 
right to add up to 10 points or subtract up to 10 points from 
applications due to past performance. RMA has established 10 evaluation 
standards from which your past performance scores is based upon. The 10 
evaluation standards are demonstrated by: (1) Submitting all required 
documents (educational and promotional) to the RO for review prior to 
dissemination, (2) developing a training plan or accurate set of 
instructional materials, (3) delivering the materials to his/her 
intended audience as specified in the statement of work, (4) being able 
to draw at least 50 percent of the audience estimated in the 
application, (5) developing a promotional plan or accurate set of 
promotional materials and properly promoting the program to his/her 
intended audience, (6) using the RMA logo when deemed appropriate, (7) 
participating in quarterly conference calls when asked, (8) notifying 
RO employees of when crop insurance and risk management education 
workshops and seminars are being held in their region in timely manner, 
(9) submitting complete quarterly reports by established deadlines, and 
(10) achieving the goals and objectives stated upfront in the statement 
of work. Applicants with very good past performance will receive a 
score from 6-10 points. Very good past performance is designated by an 
agreement holder that meets the 10 standards stated above from 70 
percent to 100 percent of the time. Applicants with acceptable past 
performance will receive a score from 1-5 points when the 10 standards 
are met 40 percent to 69 percent of the time. Applicants with 
unacceptable past performance will receive a score of zero to minus 10 
points when an applicant meets the 10 standards less than 39 percent of 
the time. Applicants without relevant past performance information will 
receive a neutral score of the mean number of points of all applicants 
with past performance. These past performance points will be applied 
only to applications that the review panel scored above the minimum 
score. Applications receiving less than the minimum score required to 
be eligible for potential funding will not receive past performance 
points.
Projected Audience Description--Maximum 5 Points
    The applicant must clearly identify and describe the targeted 
audience for the project. Applicants will receive higher scores to the 
extent that they can reasonably and clearly describe their target 
audience and why the audience would choose to participate in the 
project. The applicant must describe why the proposed audience wants 
the information the project will deliver and how they will benefit from 
it.

B. 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 that are incomplete will 
not receive further consideration during the next process. Applications 
that meet announcement requirements will be sorted into the RMA Region 
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 an RMA Region, 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 RMA 
Region 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

[[Page 13401]]

the recommended applicants to receive cooperative partnership 
agreements for each RMA Region. Funding will not be provided for an 
application receiving a score less than 45. Funding will not be 
provided for an application that is highly similar to a higher-scoring 
application in the same RMA Region. Highly similar is one that proposes 
to reach the same producers likely to be reached by another applicant 
that scored higher by the panel and the same general educational 
material is proposed to be delivered.
    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 
not to 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

A. 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 partnership agreements with those 
selected 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, 2010, whichever is later.
    After a partnership agreement has been signed, RMA will extend to 
awardees, 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 and the awardees announced 
publicly. Reasons for denial of funding can include, but are not 
limited to, incomplete applications, applications with evaluation 
scores that are lower that other applications in an RMA Region, or 
applications that are highly similar to a higher-scoring application in 
the same RMA Region. Highly similar is an application that proposes to 
reach the same producers likely to be reached by another applicant that 
scored higher by the panel and the same general educational material is 
proposed to be delivered.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

1. Requirement To Use Program Logo
    Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements will be 
required to use a program logo and design provided by RMA for all 
instructional and promotional materials, when deemed appropriate.
2. Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-Selected 
Representative
    Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements may be 
required to assist RMA in evaluating the effectiveness of its 
educational programs by providing documentation of educational 
activities and related information to any representative selected by 
RMA for program evaluation purposes.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Confidential Aspects of Applications 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 partnership 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 basis for such 
designation. The original copy of an application 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 applications not receiving awards 
will be released only with the express written consent of the applicant 
or to the extent required by law. An application may be withdrawn at 
any time prior to award.
6. Audit Requirements
    Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements are subject 
to audit.
7. 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 awardees of Federal contracts, grants, 
cooperative agreements, and loans. It provides exemptions for Indian 
Tribes and Tribal organizations. Current and prospective awardees, and 
any subcontractors, are

[[Page 13402]]

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 awardees 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 awardees of 
their subcontractors will pay with profits or other non-appropriated 
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, are available at the address, and telephone number listed 
in Section VII. Agency Contact.
8. 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.
9. Requirement To Assure Compliance With Federal Civil Rights Laws
    Awardees of all cooperative partnership agreements funded as a 
result of this notice are required to know and abide by Federal civil 
rights laws and to assure USDA and RMA that the awardee is in 
compliance with and will continue to comply with Title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), 7 CFR part 15, and USDA 
regulations promulgated thereunder, 7 CFR 1901.202. RMA requires 
awardees to submit an Assurance Agreement (Civil Rights), assuring RMA 
of this compliance prior to the beginning of the project period.
10. Requirement To Participate in a Post Award Teleconference
    RMA requires that project leaders participate in a post award 
teleconference, if conducted to become fully aware of agreement 
requirements and for delineating the roles of RMA personnel and the 
procedures that will be followed in administering the agreement and 
will afford an opportunity for the orderly transition of agreement 
duties and obligations if different personnel are to assume post-award 
responsibility.
11. Requirement To Submit Educational Materials to the National AgRisk 
Education Library
    RMA requires that project leaders upload digital copies of all risk 
management educational materials developed because of the project to 
the National AgRisk Education Library (http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/) for 
posting, if electronically reporting. RMA will be clearly identified as 
having provided funding for the materials. Projects leaders not 
reporting electronically will not be required to post educational 
materials onto the National AgRisk Education Library, but are highly 
encouraged to do so.
12. Requirement To Submit Proposed Results to the National AgRisk 
Education Library
    RMA requires that project leaders submit results of the project to 
the National AgRisk Education Library (http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/) for 
posting if electronically reporting. Projects leaders not reporting 
electronically will not be required to post results onto the National 
AgRisk Education Library, but are highly encouraged to do so.
13. Requirement To Submit a Project Plan of Operation in the Event of a 
Human Pandemic Outbreak
    RMA requires that project leaders submit a project plan of 
operation in case of a human pandemic event. The plan should address 
the concept of continuing operations as they relate to the project. 
This should include the roles, responsibilities, and contact 
information for the project team and individuals serving as back-ups in 
case of a pandemic outbreak.

C. Reporting Requirements

    Awardees will be required to submit quarterly progress reports, 
quarterly financial reports (OMB Standard Form 269), and quarterly 
Activity Logs (Form RMA-300) 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.
    Awardees will be required to submit prior to the award:
     A completed and signed Assurance Agreement (Civil Rights).
     A completed and signed Faith-Based Survey on EEO.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants and other interested 
parties are encouraged to contact: Lydia M. Astorga, USDA-RMA-RME, 
phone: 202-260-4728, 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/aboutrma/agreements.

VIII. Other Information

A. Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

    A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the 
universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over 70 million 
businesses worldwide. The Office of Management and Budget published a 
notice of final policy issuance in the Federal Register June 27, 2003 
(68 FR 38402) that requires a DUNS number in every application (i.e., 
hard copy and electronic) for a grant or cooperative agreement on or 
after October 1, 2003. Therefore, potential applicants should verify 
that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one. 
For information about how to obtain a DUNS number, go to http://www.grants.gov. Please note that the registration may take up to 14 
business days to complete.

B. Required Registration With the Central Contract Registry (CCR) for 
Submission of Proposals

    The Central Contract Registry (CCR) is a database that serves as 
the primary Government repository for contractor information required 
for the conduct of business with the Government. This database will 
also be used as a central location for maintaining organizational 
information for organizations seeking and receiving grants from the 
Government. Such organizations must register in the CCR prior to the 
submission of applications. A DUNS number is needed for CCR 
registration. For information about how to register in the CCR, visit 
``Get Started'' at the Web site, http://www.grants.gov. Allow a minimum 
of 5 business days to complete the CCR registration.

C. 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), 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.


[[Page 13403]]


    Signed in Washington, DC on March 23, 2009.
William J. Murphy,
Acting Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
[FR Doc. E9-6822 Filed 3-26-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-08-P