Inviting Applications for Rural Cooperative Development Grants, 24380-24387 [2014-09869]

Download as PDF 24380 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices The proposed action would also include maintenance of approximately 43 miles of road and creation of approximately 8 miles of temporary roads. Responsible Official, McKenzie River District Ranger Nature of Decision To Be Made Given the purpose and need, the scope of the decision to be made by the responsible official will be as follows: • Do the proposed actions comply with all applicable laws governing Forest Service actions? • Do the proposed actions comply with the applicable Standards and Guidelines found in the Willamette Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP)? Æ If not, will the action amend the LRMP? • Does the Environmental Impact Statement have sufficient site-specific environmental analysis to make an informed decision? • Do the proposed actions meet the purpose and need for action? With these assurances the responsible official must decide: • Whether or not to select the proposed action or one of any other potential alternatives that may be developed, and what, if any, additional actions should be required. • Do any of the reasonably selectable alternatives, based on the criteria stated above, best meet the outstanding contractural obligations of the Forest Service on timber sales sold under the original Goose decision? And if so, is this an effective way to meet the intent of the project while meeting these obligations? • Are there alternative ways to meet the purpose of the project other than the proposed action we offer, which you would like the Forest Service to consider and analyze? • Is there any information about the project area, which you believe is important in the context of the proposed activities that you would like the Forest Service to consider? • What specifically are the potential effects of this proposal that you are particularly concerned about? For example, rather than simply stating that you would like a change in a proposed activity or that you would not like an activity to take place, it is most helpful to understand why you desire this. What are your underlying concerns with an activity or action; what are the effects from the activity that concern you? It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency’s preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer’s concerns and contentions. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however. Dated: April 18, 2014. Terry Baker, District Ranger. [FR Doc. 2014–09700 Filed 4–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–11–M mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Scoping Process This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. District open-house public meetings will be held for your convenience at the McKenzie River district office (57600 McKenzie Hwy, McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413) on April 24, 2014 and May 1, 2014 from 1 p.m.– 7 p.m. Goose open-house meetings will be held on May 2, 2014 at McKenzie Bridge, OR and May 9, 2014 at Leaburg, OR from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at locations to be determined (please contact our office at 541–822–3381 for updated information). All of these meetings provide an opportunity to gain more information regarding this proposed project and also provide an opportunity for you to submit any scoping comments you may have. We are interested in your comments on the following questions: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Inviting Applications for Rural Cooperative Development Grants Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: USDA announces the availability of grants through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Program for Fiscal Year 2014. Pursuant to The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (H.R. 3547) approximately $5.8 million is available. We are requesting proposals from applicants interested in improving the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development. Eligible applicants include a non-profit corporation or an institution of higher education. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Applications are limited to one per applicant for a maximum of $200,000, and matching funds are required. The grant period is limited to a one-year timeframe. DATES: Complete applications must be submitted on paper or electronically according to the following deadlines: Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than June 30, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no later than midnight eastern time June 24, 2014 to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/ organization_registration.jsp for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline. If you do not meet the deadline for submitting an electronic application, you may hand carry or submit a paper application by the deadline as discussed above. Late applications will not be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. ADDRESSES: You should contact a USDA Rural Development State Office (State Office) if you have questions. You are encouraged to contact your State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your project and ask any questions about the application process. Program guidance as well as application and matching funds templates may be obtained at http:// www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_rcdg.html. If you want to submit an electronic application, follow the instructions for the RCDG funding announcement located at http://www.grants.gov. If you want to submit a paper application, send it to the State Office located in the State where you are headquartered. If you are headquartered in Washington, DC please contact the Office of the Deputy Administrator, Cooperative Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, at (202) 720–7558 for guidance on where to submit your application. Contact information for State Offices can be found at http://www.rurdev.usda. gov/StateOfficeAddresses.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of the Deputy Administrator, Cooperative Programs, Rural BusinessCooperative Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mail Stop E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices Mail Stop-3250, Room 4016-South, Washington, DC 20250–3250, (202) 720– 7558. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Overview Federal Agency: Rural BusinessCooperative Service. Funding Opportunity Title: Rural Cooperative Development Grants. Announcement Type: Initial funding request. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.771. Date: Application Deadline. Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than June 30, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no later than midnight eastern time June 24, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/ organization_registration.jsp for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline. I. Funding Opportunity Description The RCDG program is authorized under section 310B(e) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1932(e)) as amended by The Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113– 79). You should become familiar with the regulations for this program published at 7 CFR part 4284, subparts A and F, which are incorporated by reference in this Notice. The primary objective of the RCDG program is to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The maximum award amount per grant is $200,000. Grants are available for non-profit corporations or higher education institutions only. Grant funds may be used to pay for up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing and operating centers for rural cooperative development. Grant funds may be used to pay for 95 percent of the cost of establishing and operating centers for rural cooperative development, when the applicant is a 1994 Institution as defined by 7 U.S.C. 301. The 1994 Institutions are commonly known as Tribal Land Grant Institutions. Centers may have the expertise on staff or they VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 can contract out for the expertise, to assist individuals or entities in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural businesses, especially cooperative or mutuallyowned businesses. Rural Development is encouraging applications for projects that will support rural areas where according to the American Community Survey data by census tracts show at least 20 percent of the population is living in poverty. This emphasis will support Rural Development’s goal of providing 20 percent of its funding by 2016 to these areas of need. Definitions The terms you need to understand are defined and published at 7 CFR 4284.3 and 7 CFR 4284.504. In addition, the terms ‘‘rural’’ and ‘‘rural area,’’ defined at section 343(a)(13) of the CONACT (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)), are incorporated by reference, and will be used for this program instead of those terms currently published at 7 CFR 4284.3. The term ‘‘you’’ referenced throughout this Notice should be understood to mean ‘‘you’’ the applicant. Finally, there has been some confusion on the Agency’s meaning of the terms ‘‘conflict of interest,’’ and ‘‘mutually-owned business,’’ because they are not defined in the CONACT or in the regulations used for the program. Therefore, the terms are clarified and should be understood as follows. Conflict of interest— A situation in which a person or entity has competing personal, professional, or financial interests that make it difficult for the person or business to act impartially. Regarding use of both grant and matching funds, Federal procurement standards prohibit transactions that involve a real or apparent conflict of interest for owners, employees, officers, agents, or their immediate family members having a financial or other interest in the outcome of the project; or that restrict open and free competition for unrestrained trade. Specifically, project funds may not be used for services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a real or apparent conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, owner(s) and their immediate family members. An example of conflict of interest occurs when the grantee’s employees, board of directors, or the immediate family of either, have the appearance of a professional or personal financial interest in the recipients receiving the benefits or services of the grant. Mutually-owned business—An organization owned and governed by members who either are its consumers, producers, employees, or suppliers. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24381 II. Award Information Type of Award: Competitive Grant. Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2014. Total Funding: Approximately $5.8 million. Maximum Award: $200,000. Anticipated Award Date: September 30, 2014. III. Eligibility Information A. Eligible Applicants You must be a nonprofit corporation or an institution of higher education to apply for this program. Public bodies and individuals cannot apply for this program. See 7 CFR 4284.507. An applicant must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the System for Awards Management (SAM, formally managed by the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)) prior to submitting an application. See 2 CFR 25.200(b). An applicant must provide their DUNS number in the application. In addition, an applicant must maintain its registration in SAM during the time its application is active. Finally, an applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR 170.200(b), as long as it is not exempted from reporting. Exemptions are identified at 2 CFR 170.110(b). B. Cost Sharing or Matching Your matching funds requirement is 25 percent of the total project cost (5 percent for 1994 Institutions). See 7 CFR 4284.508. When you calculate your matching funds requirement, please round up or down to whole dollars as appropriate. An example of how to calculate your matching funds is as follows: 1. Take the amount of grant funds you are requesting and divide it by .75. This will give you your total project cost. Example: $200,000 (grant amount)/.75 (percentage for use of grant funds) = $266,667 (total project cost) 2. Subtract the amount of grant funds you are requesting from your total project cost. This will give you your matching funds requirement. Example: $266,667 (total project cost) ¥$200,000 (grant amount) = $66,667 (matching funds requirement) 3. A quick way to double check that you have the correct amount of matching funds is to take your total project cost and multiply it by .25. Example: $266,667 (total project cost) × .25 (maximum percentage of matching funds requirement) = $66,667 (matching funds requirement) E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 24382 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices You must verify that all matching funds are available during the grant period and provide this documentation with your application. If you are awarded a grant, additional verification documentation may be required to confirm the availability of matching funds. Other rules for matching funds that you must follow are listed below. • They must be spent on eligible expenses during the grant period. • They must be from eligible sources. • They must be spent in advance or as a pro-rata portion of grant funds being spent. • They must be provided by either the applicant or a third party in the form of cash or an in-kind contribution. • They cannot include board/ advisory council members’ time. • They cannot include other Federal grants unless provided by authorizing legislation. • They cannot include cash or inkind contributions donated outside the grant period. • They cannot include over-valued, in-kind contributions. • They cannot include any project costs that are ineligible under the RCDG program. • They cannot include any project costs that are unallowable under the applicable grant cost principles, including 2 CFR part 220 (educational institutions) and 2 CFR part 230 (nonprofits) and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (for-profits) or successor regulation. • They can include loan funds from a Federal source. • They can include travel and incidentals for board/advisory council members if you have established written policies explaining how these costs are normally reimbursed, including rates. You must include an explanation of this policy in your application or the contributions will not be considered as eligible matching funds. • You must be able to document and verify the number of hours worked and the value associated with any in-kind contribution being used to meet a matching funds requirement. • In-kind contributions provided by individuals, businesses, or cooperatives which are being assisted by you cannot be provided for the direct benefit of their own projects as USDA Rural Development considers this to be a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. C. Other Eligibility Requirements Your application will not be considered for funding if it does not propose the establishment or VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 continuation of a cooperative development center concept. You must use project funds, including grant and matching funds for eligible purposes only (see 7 CFR 4284.508). In addition, project funds may be used for programs providing for the coordination of services and sharing of information among the centers (see 7 U.S.C 1932(e)(4)(C)(vi)). All project activities must be for the benefit of a rural area. Only one application can be submitted per applicant. If two applications are submitted (regardless of the applicant name) that include the same Executive Director and/or advisory boards or committees of an existing center, both applications will be determined not eligible for FY 2014 funding. Project funds, including grant and matching funds, cannot be used for ineligible grant purposes (see 7 CFR 4284.10). Also, you shall not use project funds for the following: 1. To purchase, rent, or install laboratory equipment or processing machinery; 2. To pay for the operating costs of any entity receiving assistance from the Center; 3. To pay costs of the project where a conflict of interest exists; 4. To fund any activities prohibited by 7 CFR part 3015 or 3019; or 5. To fund any activities considered unallowable by the applicable grant cost principles, including 2 CFR part 220 (educational institutions) and 2 CFR part 230 (nonprofits) and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (for-profits) or successor regulations. In addition, your application will not be considered for funding if it does any of the following: • Focuses assistance on only one cooperative or mutually-owned business; • Requests more than the maximum grant amount; or • Proposes ineligible costs that equal more than 10 percent of total project costs. The ineligible costs will not be removed at this stage to proceed with application processing. For purposes of this determination, the grant amount requested plus the matching funds amount constitutes the total project costs. We will consider your application for funding if it includes ineligible costs of 10 percent or less of total project costs, as long as the remaining costs are determined eligible otherwise. However, if your application is successful, those ineligible costs must be removed and replaced with eligible costs, before the Agency will make the grant award, or the amount of the grant award will be reduced accordingly. If we cannot PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 determine the percentage of ineligible costs, your application will not be considered for funding. D. Grant Period Your application must include a oneyear grant period or it will not be considered for funding. The grant period should begin no earlier than October 1, 2014, and no later than January 1, 2015. Prior approval is needed from the Agency if you are awarded a grant and desire the grant period to begin earlier or later than previously discussed. Projects must be completed within a one-year timeframe. The Agency may approve requests to extend the grant period for up to an additional 12 months at its discretion. Further guidance on grant period extensions will be provided in the award document. If you have an existing RCDG award, you must discuss the status of your existing RCDG award at application time under the Eligibility Discussion. You must be performing satisfactorily to be considered eligible for a new award. Satisfactory performance includes being up-to-date on all financial and performance reports and being current on all tasks as approved in the work plan. The Agency will use its discretion to make this determination. In addition, if you have an existing award from the Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants (SSDPG) program, you must discuss the status of your existing SSDPG award at application time under Eligibility Discussion and be performing satisfactorily to be considered for a new RCDG award. E. Completeness Your application will not be considered for funding if it does not provide sufficient information to determine eligibility and scoring. In particular, you must include all of the forms and proposal elements as discussed in the regulation and as clarified further in this Notice. For more information on what is required for an application, see 7 CFR 4284.510. IV. Application and Submission Information A. Address To Request Application Package For further information, you should contact your State Office identified in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice. Program materials may also be obtained at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_ rcdg.html. B. Form of Submission • You may submit your application in paper form or electronically. If you E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices submit in paper form, any forms requiring signatures must include an original signature. To submit an application electronically, you must use the Grants.gov Web site at http:// www.grants.gov. You may not submit an application electronically in any way other than through Grants.gov. • When you enter the Grants.gov Web site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation. • To use Grants.gov, you must have a DUNS number, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705–5711 or electronically at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Please note that obtaining the DUNS number is required prior to submitting an application. You must also maintain registration in SAM (formerly the CCR database). (See 2 CFR part 25.) You may register for SAM at https:// www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. You must submit all of your application documents electronically through Grants.gov. • After electronically submitting an application through Grants.gov, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. • You may be required to provide original signatures on forms at a later date. • You can locate the Grants.gov downloadable application package for this program by using a keyword, the program name, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number, or the Funding Opportunity Number. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES C. Application Contents Your application must contain all of the required forms and proposal elements described in 7 CFR 4284.510 and as otherwise clarified in this Notice. Specifically, your application must include: (1) The required forms as described in 7 CFR 4284.510(b) and (2) the required proposal elements as described in 7 CFR 4284.510(c). Further clarification of application requirements is as follows: 1. Clarifications on Forms a. Your DUNS number should be identified in the ‘‘Organizational DUNS’’ field on Standard Form (SF) 424, ‘‘Application for Federal Assistance.’’ Since there are no specific fields for a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code and expiration date, you may identify them anywhere you want to on Form SF 424. In addition, you should provide the DUNS number and the CAGE code and expiration date under the applicant eligibility VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 discussion in your proposal narrative. If you do not include the CAGE code and expiration date and the DUNS number in your application, it will not be considered for funding. b. You can voluntarily fill out and submit the ‘‘Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants,’’ as part of your application if you are a nonprofit organization. 2. Clarifications on Proposal Elements a. You must include the title of the project as well as any other relevant identifying information on the Title Page. b. You must include page numbers on the Table of Contents for each component of the application to facilitate review. c. Your Executive Summary must include the items in 7 CFR 4284.510(c)(3), and also discuss the percentage of work that will be performed among organizational staff, consultants, or other contractors. It should not exceed two pages. d. Your Eligibility Discussion must not exceed two pages and cover how you meet the eligibility requirements for applicant, matching funds, other eligibility requirements and grant period. If you have an existing RCDG or SSDPG award or both, you must discuss the current status of those award(s) under grant period eligibility. e. Your Proposal Narrative must not exceed 40 pages and should describe the essential aspects of the project. (i) You are only required to have one title page for the proposal. (ii) If you list the evaluation criteria on the Table of Contents and specifically and individually address each criterion in narrative form, then it is not necessary for you to include an Information Sheet. Otherwise, the Information Sheet is required under 7 CFR 4284.510(c) (ii). (iii) You should include the following under Goals of the Project: (A) A statement that substantiates that the Center will effectively serve rural areas in the United States; (B) A statement that the primary objective of the Center will be to improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development; (C) A description of the contributions that the proposed activities are likely to make to the improvement of the economic conditions of the rural areas for which the Center will provide services. Expected economic impacts should be tied to tasks included in the work plan and budget; and (D) A statement that the Center, in carrying out its activities, will seek, where appropriate, the advice, PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24383 participation, expertise, and assistance of representatives of business, industry, educational institutions, the Federal government, and State and local governments. (iv) The Agency has established annual performance evaluation measures to evaluate the RCDG program. You must provide estimates on the following performance evaluation measures. • Number of groups who are not legal entities assisted. • Number of businesses that are not cooperatives assisted. • Number of cooperatives assisted. • Number of businesses incorporated that are not cooperatives. • Number of cooperatives incorporated. • Total number of jobs created as a result of assistance. • Total number of jobs saved as a result of assistance. • Number of jobs created for the Center as a result of RCDG funding. • Number of jobs saved for the Center as a result of RCDG funding. It is permissible to have a zero in a performance element. When you calculate jobs created, estimates should be based upon actual jobs to be created by your organization as a result of the RCDG funding or actual jobs to be created by cooperative businesses or other businesses as a result of assistance from your organization. When you calculate jobs saved, estimates should be based only on actual jobs that have been lost if your organization did not receive RCDG funding or actual jobs that would have been lost without assistance from your organization. (v) You can also suggest additional performance elements for example where job creation or jobs saved may not be a relevant indicator (e.g. housing). These additional criteria should be specific, measurable performance elements that could be included in an award document. (vi) You must describe in the application how you will undertake to do each of the following. We would prefer if you described these undertakings within proposal evaluation criteria to reduce duplication in your application. The specific proposal evaluation criterion where you should address each undertaking is noted below. (A) Take all practicable steps to develop continuing sources of financial support for the Center, particularly from sources in the private sector (should be presented under proposal evaluation criterion number 10, utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.10); E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 24384 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices (B) Make arrangements for the Center’s activities to be monitored and evaluated (should be addressed under proposal evaluation criterion number 8 utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.8); and (C) Provide an accounting for the money received by the grantee in accordance with 7 CFR part 4284, subpart F. This should be addressed under proposal evaluation criterion number 1, utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.1. (vii) You should present the Work Plan and Budget proposal element under proposal evaluation criterion number 8, utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.8 of this Notice to reduce duplication in your application. (viii) You should present the Delivery of Cooperative development assistance proposal element under proposal evaluation criterion number 2, utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.2 of this Notice. (ix) You should present the Qualifications of Personnel proposal element under proposal evaluation criterion number 9, utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.9 of this Notice. (x) You should present the Local Support and Future Support proposal elements under proposal evaluation criterion number 10, utilizing the requirements of Section V.B.10 of this Notice. (xi) Your application will not be considered for funding if you do not address all of the proposal evaluation criteria. See Section V.B. of this Notice for a description of the proposal evaluation criteria. (xii) Only appendices A–C will be considered when evaluating your application. You must not include resumes of staff or consultants in the application. f. You must certify that there are no current outstanding Federal judgments against your property and that you will not use grant funds to pay for any judgment obtained by the United States. To satisfy the Certification requirement, you should include this statement in your application: ‘‘[INSERT NAME OF APPLICANT] certifies that the United States has not obtained an unsatisfied judgment against its property and will not use grant funds to pay any judgments obtained by the United States.’’ A separate signature is not required. g. You must certify that matching funds will be available at the same time grant funds are anticipated to be spent and that expenditures of matching funds are pro-rated or spent in advance of VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 grant funding, such that for every dollar of the total project cost, not less than the required amount of matching funds will be expended. Please note that this Certification is a separate requirement from the Verification of Matching Funds requirement. To satisfy the Certification requirement, you should include this statement in your application: ‘‘[INSERT NAME OF APPLICANT] certifies that matching funds will be available at the same time grant funds are anticipated to be spent and that expenditures of matching funds shall be pro-rated or spent in advance of grant funding, such that for every dollar of the total project cost, at least 25 cents (5 cents for 1994 Institutions) of matching funds will be expended.’’ A separate signature is not required. h. You must provide documentation in your application to verify all of your proposed matching funds. The documentation must be included in Appendix A of your application and will not count towards the 40-page limitation. Template letters are available for each type of matching funds contribution at http:// www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_rcdg.html. (i) If matching funds are to be provided in cash, you must meet the following requirements. • You: The application must include a statement verifying (1) the amount of the cash and (2) the source of the cash. You may also provide a bank statement dated 30 days or less from the application deadline date to verify your cash match. • Third-party: The application must include a signed letter from the third party verifying (1) how much cash will be donated and (2) that it will be available corresponding to the proposed grant period or donated on a specific date within the grant period. (ii) If matching funds are to be provided by an in-kind donation, you must meet the following requirements. • You: The application must include a signed letter from you or your authorized representative verifying (1) the nature of the goods and/or services to be donated and how they will be used, (2) when the goods and/or services will be donated (i.e., corresponding to the proposed grant period or to specific dates within the grant period), and (3) the value of the goods and/or services. Please note that most applicant contributions for the RCDG program are considered applicant cash match in accordance with this Notice. If you are unsure, please contact your State Office because identifying your matching funds improperly can affect your scoring. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Third-Party: The application must include a signed letter from the third party verifying (1) the nature of the goods and/or services to be donated and how they will be used, (2) when the goods and/or services will be donated (i.e., corresponding to the proposed grant period or to specific dates within the grant period), and (3) the value of the goods and/or services. To ensure that you are identifying and verifying your matching funds appropriately, please note the following: • If you are paying for goods and/or services as part of the matching funds requirement, the expenditure is considered a cash match, and you must verify it as such. Universities must verify the goods and services they are providing to the project as a cash match and the verification must be approved by the appropriate approval official (i.e., sponsored programs office or equivalent). • If you have already received cash from a third-party (i.e., Foundation) before the start of your proposed grant period, you must verify this as your own cash match and not as a third-party cash match. If you are receiving cash from a third-party during the grant period, than you must be verifying the cash as a third-party cash match. • Board resolutions for a cash match must be approved at the time of application. • You can only consider goods or services for which no expenditure is made as an in-kind contribution. • If a non-profit or another organization contributes the services of affiliated volunteers, they must follow the third-party, in-kind donation verification requirement for each individual volunteer. • Expected program income may not be used to fulfill your matching funds requirement at the time you submit your application. However, if you have a contract to provide services in place at the time you submit your application, you can verify the amount of the contract as a cash match. • The valuation process you use for in-kind contributions does not need to be included in your application, but you must be able to demonstrate how the valuation was derived if you are awarded a grant. The grant award may be withdrawn or the amount of the grant reduced if you cannot demonstrate how the valuation was derived. • Your negotiated indirect cost rate agreement does not need to be included in your application, but you will be required to provide it if a grant is awarded. • Approval for indirect costs that are requested in an application without an E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices approved indirect cost rate agreement is at the discretion of the Agency. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES D. Submission Dates and Times Application Deadline Date: June 30, 2014. Explanation of Deadlines: Complete applications must be submitted on paper or electronically according to the following deadlines: Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than June 30, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no later than midnight eastern time June 24, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/ organization_registration.jsp for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline. If you do not meet the deadline for submitting an electronic application, you may hand carry or submit a paper application by the deadline as discussed above. Late applications will not be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. E. Intergovernmental Review of Applications Executive Order (EO) 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,’’ applies to this program. This EO requires that Federal agencies provide opportunities for consultation on proposed assistance with State and local governments. Many States have established a Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to facilitate this consultation. For a list of States that maintain a SPOC, please see the White House Web site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/ grants_spoc. If your State has a SPOC, you may submit a copy of the application directly for review. Any comments obtained through the SPOC must be provided to your State Office for consideration as part of your application. If your State has not established a SPOC, or if you do not want to submit a copy of the application, our State Offices will submit your application to the SPOC or other appropriate agency or agencies. F. Environmental Review Applications for financial assistance are subject to an environmental review. However, if your application is for VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 technical assistance or planning purposes, it is generally excluded from the environmental review process (See 7 CFR 1940.310(e)(1)). We will ensure that any required environmental review is completed prior to approval of an application or obligation of funds. V. Application Review Information A. Application and Scoring Process The State Offices will review applications to determine if they are eligible for assistance based on requirements in 7 CFR Part 4284, subparts A and F, this Notice, and other applicable Federal regulations. If determined eligible, your application will be scored by a panel of USDA employees in accordance with the point allocation specified in this Notice. A recommendation will be submitted to the Administrator to fund applications in highest ranking order. Applications that cannot be fully funded may be offered partial funding at the Agency’s discretion. B. Scoring Criteria Scoring criteria will follow criteria published at 7 CFR 4284.513 as supplemented below including any amendments made by the Section 6013 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110–234), which is incorporated by reference in this Notice. The regulatory and statutory criteria are clarified and supplemented below. You should also include information as described in Section IV.C.2.e. (vi) (A)– (C) if you chose to address these items under the scoring criteria. Evaluators will base scores only on the information provided or cross-referenced by page number in each individual evaluation criterion. The maximum amount of points available is 100. Newly established or proposed Centers that do not yet have a track record on which to evaluate the following criteria should refer to the expertise and track records of staff or consultants expected to perform tasks related to the respective criteria. Proposed or newly established Centers must be organized well-enough at time of application to address its capabilities for meeting these criteria. 1. Administrative capabilities (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated track record in carrying out activities in support of development assistance to cooperatively and mutually owned businesses. At a minimum, you must discuss the following administrative capabilities: a. Financial systems and audit controls; PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24385 b. Personnel and program administration performance measures; c. Clear written rules of governance; and d. Experience administering Federal grant funding no later than the last 5 years, including but not limited to past RCDGs. Please list the name of the Federal grant program(s) and the amount(s) of funding received. You will score higher on this criterion if you can demonstrate that the Center has independent governance. For applicants that are universities or parent organizations, you should demonstrate that there is a separate board of directors for the Center. 2. Technical assistance and other services (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated expertise no later than the last 5 years in providing technical assistance and accomplishing effective outcomes in rural areas to promote and assist the development of cooperatively and mutually owned businesses. You must discuss at least: a. Your potential for delivering effective technical assistance; b. The types of assistance provided; c. The expected effects of that assistance; d. The sustainability of organizations receiving the assistance; and e. The transferability of your cooperative development strategies and focus to other areas of the U.S. A chart or table showing the outcomes of your demonstrated expertise based upon the performance elements listed in Section IV.C.2.e. (iv) or as identified in your award document on previous RCDG awards. At a minimum, please provide information for FY 2010—FY 2012 awards. We prefer that you provide one chart or table separating out award years. The intention here is for you to provide actual performance numbers based upon award years even though your grant period for the award was for the next calendar or fiscal year. Please provide a narrative explanation if you have not received a RCDG award. You will score higher on this criterion if you provide more than 3 years of outcomes and can demonstrate that the organizations you assisted within the last 5 years are sustainable. Additional outcome information should be provided on RCDG grants awarded before FY 2010. Please describe specific project(s) when addressing a-e of this paragraph. 3. Economic development (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated ability to facilitate: a. Establishment of cooperatives or mutually owned businesses; E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 24386 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices b. New cooperative approaches (i.e., organizing cooperatives among underserved individuals or communities; an innovative market approach; a type of cooperative currently not in your service area; a new cooperative structure; novel ways to raise member equity or community capitalization; conversion of an existing business to cooperative ownership); and c. Retention of businesses, generation of employment opportunities or other factors, as applicable, that will otherwise improve the economic conditions of rural areas. You will score higher on this criterion if you provide economic statistics showing the impacts of your past development projects no later than 5 years old and identify your role in the economic development outcomes. 4. Past performance in establishing legal business entities (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated past performance in establishing legal cooperative business entities and other legal business entities during FY 2011–FY 2013. Provide the name of the organization(s) established, the date of formation and your role in assisting with the incorporation(s) under this criterion. In addition, documentation verifying the establishment of legal business entities must be included in Appendix C of your application and will not count against the 40-page limit for the narrative. The documentation must include proof that organizational documents were filed with the Secretary of State’s Office (i.e. Certificate of Incorporation or information from the State’s official Web site naming the entity established and the date of establishment); or if the business entity is not required to register with the Secretary of State, a certification from the business entity that a legal business entity has been established and when. Please note that you are not required to submit articles of incorporation to receive points under this criterion. You will score higher on this criterion if you have established legal cooperative businesses. 5. Networking and regional focus (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated commitment to: a. Networking with other cooperative development centers, and other organizations involved in rural economic development efforts, and b. Developing multi-organization and multi-state approaches to addressing the economic development and cooperative needs of rural areas. You will score higher on this criterion if you can demonstrate the outcomes of VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 your multi-organizational and multistate approaches. Please describe the project(s), partners and the outcome(s) that resulted from the approach. 6. Commitment (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your commitment to providing technical assistance and other services to under-served and economically distressed areas in rural areas of the United States. You will score higher on this criterion if you define and describe the underserved and economically distressed areas within your service area, provide statistics, and identify projects within or affecting these areas, as appropriate. 7. Matching Funds (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your commitment for the 25 percent (5 percent for 1994 Institutions) matching funds requirement. A chart or table should be provided to describe all matching funds being committed to the project. However, formal documentation to verify all of the matching funds must be included in Appendix A of your application. You will be scored on how you identify your matching funds. a. If you met the 25 percent (5 percent for 1994 Institutions) matching requirement, points will be assigned as follows: • In-kind only—1 point, • Mix of in-kind and cash—3–4 points (maximum points will be awarded if the ratio of cash to in-kind is 30 percent and above of matching funds), or • Cash only—5 points. b. If you exceeded the 25 percent (5 percent for 1994 Institutions) matching requirement, points will be assigned as follows: • In-kind only—2 points, • Mix of in-kind and cash—6–7 points (maximum points will be awarded if the ratio of cash to in-kind is 30 percent and above of matching funds), or • Cash only—10 points. 8. Work Plan/Budget (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your work plan for detailed actions and an accompanying timetable for implementing the proposal. The budget must present a breakdown of the estimated costs associated with cooperative and business development activities as well as the operation of the Center and allocate these costs to each of the tasks to be undertaken. Matching funds as well as grant funds must be accounted for in the budget. You must discuss at a minimum: a. Specific tasks (whether it be by type of service or specific project) to be PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 completed using grant and matching funds; b. How customers will be identified; c. Key personnel; and d. The evaluation methods to be used to determine the success of specific tasks and overall objectives of Center operations. Please provide qualitative methods of evaluation. For example, evaluation methods should go beyond quantitative measurements of completing surveys or number of evaluations. You will score higher on this criterion if you present a clear, logical, realistic, and efficient work plan and budget. 9. Qualifications of those Performing the Tasks (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your application to determine if the personnel expected to perform key tasks have a track record of: a. Positive solutions for complex cooperative development and/or marketing problems; or b. A successful record of conducting accurate feasibility studies, business plans, marketing analysis, or other activities relevant to your success as determined by the tasks identified in the your work plan; and c. Whether the personnel expected to perform the tasks are full/part-time employees of your organization or are contract personnel. You will score higher on this criterion if you demonstrate commitment and availability of qualified personnel expected to perform the tasks. 10. Local and Future Support (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your application for local and future support. Support should be discussed directly within the response to this criterion. a. Discussion on local support should include previous and/or expected local support and plans for coordinating with other developmental organizations in the proposed service area or with state and local government institutions. You will score higher if you demonstrate strong support from potential beneficiaries and formal evidence of intent to coordinate with other developmental organizations. You may also submit a maximum of 10 letters of support or intent to coordinate with the application to verify your discussion. These letters should be included in Appendix B of your application and will not count against the 40-page limit for the narrative. b. Discussion on future support will include your vision for funding operations in future years. You should document: (i) New and existing funding sources that support your goals; E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 83 / Wednesday, April 30, 2014 / Notices • Form RD 400–4, ‘‘Assurance Agreement.’’ • SF LLL, ‘‘Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,’’ if applicable. • SF–PPR ’’Performance Progress Report.’’ VII. Agency Contacts If you have questions about this Notice, please contact the State Office as identified in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice. VI. Award Administration Information VIII. Nondiscrimination Statement A. Award Notices If your application is successful, you will receive notification regarding funding from the State Office where your application is submitted or headquarter if you submitted your application via Grants.gov. You must comply with all applicable statutes, regulations, and notice requirements before the grant award will be approved. If your application is not successful, you will receive notification, including mediation and appeal rights by mail. See 7 CFR part 11 for USDA National Appeals Division procedures. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES (ii) Alternative funding sources that reduce reliance on Federal, State, and local grants; and (iii) The use of in-house personnel for providing services versus contracting out for that expertise. Please discuss your strategy for building in-house technical assistance capacity. You will score higher if you can demonstrate that your future support will result in long-term sustainability of the Center. Non-Discrimination Policy USDA prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identify, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) Administrative and National Policy Requirements Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this program can be found in 7 CFR part 4284, subparts A and F, parts 3015, 3019, 3052, and any successor regulations, and 2 CFR parts 215 and 417. All recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation (see 2 CFR part 170). You will be required to have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109– 282) reporting requirements (see 2 CFR 170.200(b), unless you are exempt under 2 CFR 170.110(b)). The following additional requirements apply to grantees selected for this program: • Agency-approved Grant Agreement. • Letter of Conditions. • Form RD 1940–1, ‘‘Request for Obligation of Funds.’’ • Form RD 1942–46, ‘‘Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions.’’ • Form AD–1047, ‘‘Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters-Primary Covered Transactions.’’ • Form AD–1048, ‘‘Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary ExclusionLower Tier Covered Transactions.’’ • Form AD–1049, ‘‘Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (Grants).’’ VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:41 Apr 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 To File a Program Complaint If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at http:// www.ascr.usda.gov/complain_filing_ cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632–9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250– 9410, by fax (202) 690–7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov. Persons With Disabilities Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and who wish to file either an EEO or program complaint, please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339 or (800) 845– 6136 (in Spanish). Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), please contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24387 Dated: April 24, 2014. Ashli Palmer, Acting Administrator, Rural Business Cooperative Service. [FR Doc. 2014–09869 Filed 4–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XY–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Inviting Applications for Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Rural BusinessCooperative Service announces the availability of $3,000,000, in competitive grant funds for the FY 2014 Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants (SSDPG) program as authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014. We are requesting proposals from applicants who will provide technical assistance to small, sociallydisadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers. The maximum award per grant is $200,000. The grant period is limited to a one-year timeframe. DATES: Completed applications for grants must be submitted on paper or electronically according to the following deadlines: Paper copies must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent overnight no later than June 30, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline date. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no later than midnight eastern time June 24, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/ organization_registration.jsp for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline. You are strongly encouraged to file your application early and allow sufficient time to manage any technical issues that may arise. Late applications will not be eligible for FY 2014 grant funding. ADDRESSES: You should contact the USDA Rural Development State Office (State Office) located in the State where SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30APN1.SGM 30APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 83 (Wednesday, April 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24380-24387]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-09869]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Business-Cooperative Service


Inviting Applications for Rural Cooperative Development Grants

AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: USDA announces the availability of grants through the Rural 
Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) Program for Fiscal Year 2014. 
Pursuant to The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (H.R. 3547) 
approximately $5.8 million is available. We are requesting proposals 
from applicants interested in improving the economic condition of rural 
areas through cooperative development. Eligible applicants include a 
non-profit corporation or an institution of higher education. 
Applications are limited to one per applicant for a maximum of 
$200,000, and matching funds are required. The grant period is limited 
to a one-year timeframe.

DATES: Complete applications must be submitted on paper or 
electronically according to the following deadlines:
    Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent 
overnight no later than June 30, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant 
funding. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field 
offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline 
date. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2014 grant funding.
    Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no 
later than midnight eastern time June 24, 2014 to be eligible for FY 
2014 grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/organization_registration.jsp for instructions 
on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to 
ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline.
    If you do not meet the deadline for submitting an electronic 
application, you may hand carry or submit a paper application by the 
deadline as discussed above. Late applications will not be eligible for 
FY 2014 grant funding.

ADDRESSES: You should contact a USDA Rural Development State Office 
(State Office) if you have questions. You are encouraged to contact 
your State Office well in advance of the application deadline to 
discuss your project and ask any questions about the application 
process. Program guidance as well as application and matching funds 
templates may be obtained at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_rcdg.html. 
If you want to submit an electronic application, follow the 
instructions for the RCDG funding announcement located at http://www.grants.gov. If you want to submit a paper application, send it to 
the State Office located in the State where you are headquartered. If 
you are headquartered in Washington, DC please contact the Office of 
the Deputy Administrator, Cooperative Programs, Rural Business-
Cooperative Service, at (202) 720-7558 for guidance on where to submit 
your application. Contact information for State Offices can be found at 
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/StateOfficeAddresses.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of the Deputy Administrator, 
Cooperative Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, United States 
Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mail Stop

[[Page 24381]]

Mail Stop-3250, Room 4016-South, Washington, DC 20250-3250, (202) 720-
7558.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
    Funding Opportunity Title: Rural Cooperative Development Grants.
    Announcement Type: Initial funding request.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 10.771.
    Date: Application Deadline.
    Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent 
overnight no later than June 30, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant 
funding. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field 
offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline 
date. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2014 grant funding.
    Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no 
later than midnight eastern time June 24, 2014, to be eligible for FY 
2014 grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/organization_registration.jsp for instructions 
on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to 
ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    The RCDG program is authorized under section 310B(e) of the 
Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1932(e)) 
as amended by The Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79). You should 
become familiar with the regulations for this program published at 7 
CFR part 4284, subparts A and F, which are incorporated by reference in 
this Notice. The primary objective of the RCDG program is to improve 
the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative development. 
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The maximum award amount per 
grant is $200,000. Grants are available for non-profit corporations or 
higher education institutions only. Grant funds may be used to pay for 
up to 75 percent of the cost of establishing and operating centers for 
rural cooperative development. Grant funds may be used to pay for 95 
percent of the cost of establishing and operating centers for rural 
cooperative development, when the applicant is a 1994 Institution as 
defined by 7 U.S.C. 301. The 1994 Institutions are commonly known as 
Tribal Land Grant Institutions. Centers may have the expertise on staff 
or they can contract out for the expertise, to assist individuals or 
entities in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural 
businesses, especially cooperative or mutually-owned businesses. Rural 
Development is encouraging applications for projects that will support 
rural areas where according to the American Community Survey data by 
census tracts show at least 20 percent of the population is living in 
poverty. This emphasis will support Rural Development's goal of 
providing 20 percent of its funding by 2016 to these areas of need.

Definitions

    The terms you need to understand are defined and published at 7 CFR 
4284.3 and 7 CFR 4284.504. In addition, the terms ``rural'' and ``rural 
area,'' defined at section 343(a)(13) of the CONACT (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)), 
are incorporated by reference, and will be used for this program 
instead of those terms currently published at 7 CFR 4284.3. The term 
``you'' referenced throughout this Notice should be understood to mean 
``you'' the applicant. Finally, there has been some confusion on the 
Agency's meaning of the terms ``conflict of interest,'' and ``mutually-
owned business,'' because they are not defined in the CONACT or in the 
regulations used for the program. Therefore, the terms are clarified 
and should be understood as follows.
    Conflict of interest-- A situation in which a person or entity has 
competing personal, professional, or financial interests that make it 
difficult for the person or business to act impartially. Regarding use 
of both grant and matching funds, Federal procurement standards 
prohibit transactions that involve a real or apparent conflict of 
interest for owners, employees, officers, agents, or their immediate 
family members having a financial or other interest in the outcome of 
the project; or that restrict open and free competition for 
unrestrained trade. Specifically, project funds may not be used for 
services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a 
real or apparent conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, 
owner(s) and their immediate family members. An example of conflict of 
interest occurs when the grantee's employees, board of directors, or 
the immediate family of either, have the appearance of a professional 
or personal financial interest in the recipients receiving the benefits 
or services of the grant.
    Mutually-owned business--An organization owned and governed by 
members who either are its consumers, producers, employees, or 
suppliers.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Competitive Grant.
    Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2014.
    Total Funding: Approximately $5.8 million.
    Maximum Award: $200,000.
    Anticipated Award Date: September 30, 2014.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Applicants

    You must be a nonprofit corporation or an institution of higher 
education to apply for this program. Public bodies and individuals 
cannot apply for this program. See 7 CFR 4284.507.
    An applicant must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number and register in the System for Awards 
Management (SAM, formally managed by the Central Contractor Registry 
(CCR)) prior to submitting an application. See 2 CFR 25.200(b). An 
applicant must provide their DUNS number in the application. In 
addition, an applicant must maintain its registration in SAM during the 
time its application is active. Finally, an applicant must have the 
necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting 
requirements in 2 CFR 170.200(b), as long as it is not exempted from 
reporting. Exemptions are identified at 2 CFR 170.110(b).

B. Cost Sharing or Matching

    Your matching funds requirement is 25 percent of the total project 
cost (5 percent for 1994 Institutions). See 7 CFR 4284.508. When you 
calculate your matching funds requirement, please round up or down to 
whole dollars as appropriate. An example of how to calculate your 
matching funds is as follows:
    1. Take the amount of grant funds you are requesting and divide it 
by .75. This will give you your total project cost.

    Example: $200,000 (grant amount)/.75 (percentage for use of 
grant funds) = $266,667 (total project cost)

    2. Subtract the amount of grant funds you are requesting from your 
total project cost. This will give you your matching funds requirement.

    Example: $266,667 (total project cost) -$200,000 (grant amount) 
= $66,667 (matching funds requirement)

    3. A quick way to double check that you have the correct amount of 
matching funds is to take your total project cost and multiply it by 
.25.

    Example: $266,667 (total project cost) x .25 (maximum percentage 
of matching funds requirement) = $66,667 (matching funds 
requirement)


[[Page 24382]]


    You must verify that all matching funds are available during the 
grant period and provide this documentation with your application. If 
you are awarded a grant, additional verification documentation may be 
required to confirm the availability of matching funds.
    Other rules for matching funds that you must follow are listed 
below.
     They must be spent on eligible expenses during the grant 
period.
     They must be from eligible sources.
     They must be spent in advance or as a pro-rata portion of 
grant funds being spent.
     They must be provided by either the applicant or a third 
party in the form of cash or an in-kind contribution.
     They cannot include board/advisory council members' time.
     They cannot include other Federal grants unless provided 
by authorizing legislation.
     They cannot include cash or in-kind contributions donated 
outside the grant period.
     They cannot include over-valued, in-kind contributions.
     They cannot include any project costs that are ineligible 
under the RCDG program.
     They cannot include any project costs that are unallowable 
under the applicable grant cost principles, including 2 CFR part 220 
(educational institutions) and 2 CFR part 230 (nonprofits) and the 
Federal Acquisition Regulation (for-profits) or successor regulation.
     They can include loan funds from a Federal source.
     They can include travel and incidentals for board/advisory 
council members if you have established written policies explaining how 
these costs are normally reimbursed, including rates. You must include 
an explanation of this policy in your application or the contributions 
will not be considered as eligible matching funds.
     You must be able to document and verify the number of 
hours worked and the value associated with any in-kind contribution 
being used to meet a matching funds requirement.
     In-kind contributions provided by individuals, businesses, 
or cooperatives which are being assisted by you cannot be provided for 
the direct benefit of their own projects as USDA Rural Development 
considers this to be a conflict of interest or the appearance of a 
conflict of interest.

C. Other Eligibility Requirements

    Your application will not be considered for funding if it does not 
propose the establishment or continuation of a cooperative development 
center concept. You must use project funds, including grant and 
matching funds for eligible purposes only (see 7 CFR 4284.508). In 
addition, project funds may be used for programs providing for the 
coordination of services and sharing of information among the centers 
(see 7 U.S.C 1932(e)(4)(C)(vi)). All project activities must be for the 
benefit of a rural area. Only one application can be submitted per 
applicant. If two applications are submitted (regardless of the 
applicant name) that include the same Executive Director and/or 
advisory boards or committees of an existing center, both applications 
will be determined not eligible for FY 2014 funding.
    Project funds, including grant and matching funds, cannot be used 
for ineligible grant purposes (see 7 CFR 4284.10). Also, you shall not 
use project funds for the following:
    1. To purchase, rent, or install laboratory equipment or processing 
machinery;
    2. To pay for the operating costs of any entity receiving 
assistance from the Center;
    3. To pay costs of the project where a conflict of interest exists;
    4. To fund any activities prohibited by 7 CFR part 3015 or 3019; or
    5. To fund any activities considered unallowable by the applicable 
grant cost principles, including 2 CFR part 220 (educational 
institutions) and 2 CFR part 230 (nonprofits) and the Federal 
Acquisition Regulation (for-profits) or successor regulations.
    In addition, your application will not be considered for funding if 
it does any of the following:
     Focuses assistance on only one cooperative or mutually-
owned business;
     Requests more than the maximum grant amount; or
     Proposes ineligible costs that equal more than 10 percent 
of total project costs. The ineligible costs will not be removed at 
this stage to proceed with application processing. For purposes of this 
determination, the grant amount requested plus the matching funds 
amount constitutes the total project costs.
    We will consider your application for funding if it includes 
ineligible costs of 10 percent or less of total project costs, as long 
as the remaining costs are determined eligible otherwise. However, if 
your application is successful, those ineligible costs must be removed 
and replaced with eligible costs, before the Agency will make the grant 
award, or the amount of the grant award will be reduced accordingly. If 
we cannot determine the percentage of ineligible costs, your 
application will not be considered for funding.

D. Grant Period

    Your application must include a one-year grant period or it will 
not be considered for funding. The grant period should begin no earlier 
than October 1, 2014, and no later than January 1, 2015. Prior approval 
is needed from the Agency if you are awarded a grant and desire the 
grant period to begin earlier or later than previously discussed. 
Projects must be completed within a one-year timeframe. The Agency may 
approve requests to extend the grant period for up to an additional 12 
months at its discretion. Further guidance on grant period extensions 
will be provided in the award document.
    If you have an existing RCDG award, you must discuss the status of 
your existing RCDG award at application time under the Eligibility 
Discussion. You must be performing satisfactorily to be considered 
eligible for a new award. Satisfactory performance includes being up-
to-date on all financial and performance reports and being current on 
all tasks as approved in the work plan. The Agency will use its 
discretion to make this determination. In addition, if you have an 
existing award from the Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants 
(SSDPG) program, you must discuss the status of your existing SSDPG 
award at application time under Eligibility Discussion and be 
performing satisfactorily to be considered for a new RCDG award.

E. Completeness

    Your application will not be considered for funding if it does not 
provide sufficient information to determine eligibility and scoring. In 
particular, you must include all of the forms and proposal elements as 
discussed in the regulation and as clarified further in this Notice. 
For more information on what is required for an application, see 7 CFR 
4284.510.

IV. Application and Submission Information

A. Address To Request Application Package

    For further information, you should contact your State Office 
identified in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice. Program materials 
may also be obtained at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_rcdg.html.

B. Form of Submission

     You may submit your application in paper form or 
electronically. If you

[[Page 24383]]

submit in paper form, any forms requiring signatures must include an 
original signature. To submit an application electronically, you must 
use the Grants.gov Web site at http://www.grants.gov. You may not 
submit an application electronically in any way other than through 
Grants.gov.
     When you enter the Grants.gov Web site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     To use Grants.gov, you must have a DUNS number, which can 
be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at (866) 705-5711 
or electronically at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Please note that 
obtaining the DUNS number is required prior to submitting an 
application. You must also maintain registration in SAM (formerly the 
CCR database). (See 2 CFR part 25.) You may register for SAM at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. You must submit all of your 
application documents electronically through Grants.gov.
     After electronically submitting an application through 
Grants.gov, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement from 
Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number.
     You may be required to provide original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
     You can locate the Grants.gov downloadable application 
package for this program by using a keyword, the program name, the 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number, or the Funding 
Opportunity Number.

C. Application Contents

    Your application must contain all of the required forms and 
proposal elements described in 7 CFR 4284.510 and as otherwise 
clarified in this Notice. Specifically, your application must include: 
(1) The required forms as described in 7 CFR 4284.510(b) and (2) the 
required proposal elements as described in 7 CFR 4284.510(c). Further 
clarification of application requirements is as follows:
1. Clarifications on Forms
    a. Your DUNS number should be identified in the ``Organizational 
DUNS'' field on Standard Form (SF) 424, ``Application for Federal 
Assistance.'' Since there are no specific fields for a Commercial and 
Government Entity (CAGE) code and expiration date, you may identify 
them anywhere you want to on Form SF 424. In addition, you should 
provide the DUNS number and the CAGE code and expiration date under the 
applicant eligibility discussion in your proposal narrative. If you do 
not include the CAGE code and expiration date and the DUNS number in 
your application, it will not be considered for funding.
    b. You can voluntarily fill out and submit the ``Survey on Ensuring 
Equal Opportunity for Applicants,'' as part of your application if you 
are a nonprofit organization.
2. Clarifications on Proposal Elements
    a. You must include the title of the project as well as any other 
relevant identifying information on the Title Page.
    b. You must include page numbers on the Table of Contents for each 
component of the application to facilitate review.
    c. Your Executive Summary must include the items in 7 CFR 
4284.510(c)(3), and also discuss the percentage of work that will be 
performed among organizational staff, consultants, or other 
contractors. It should not exceed two pages.
    d. Your Eligibility Discussion must not exceed two pages and cover 
how you meet the eligibility requirements for applicant, matching 
funds, other eligibility requirements and grant period. If you have an 
existing RCDG or SSDPG award or both, you must discuss the current 
status of those award(s) under grant period eligibility.
    e. Your Proposal Narrative must not exceed 40 pages and should 
describe the essential aspects of the project.
    (i) You are only required to have one title page for the proposal.
    (ii) If you list the evaluation criteria on the Table of Contents 
and specifically and individually address each criterion in narrative 
form, then it is not necessary for you to include an Information Sheet. 
Otherwise, the Information Sheet is required under 7 CFR 4284.510(c) 
(ii).
    (iii) You should include the following under Goals of the Project:
    (A) A statement that substantiates that the Center will effectively 
serve rural areas in the United States;
    (B) A statement that the primary objective of the Center will be to 
improve the economic condition of rural areas through cooperative 
development;
    (C) A description of the contributions that the proposed activities 
are likely to make to the improvement of the economic conditions of the 
rural areas for which the Center will provide services. Expected 
economic impacts should be tied to tasks included in the work plan and 
budget; and
    (D) A statement that the Center, in carrying out its activities, 
will seek, where appropriate, the advice, participation, expertise, and 
assistance of representatives of business, industry, educational 
institutions, the Federal government, and State and local governments.
    (iv) The Agency has established annual performance evaluation 
measures to evaluate the RCDG program. You must provide estimates on 
the following performance evaluation measures.
     Number of groups who are not legal entities assisted.
     Number of businesses that are not cooperatives assisted.
     Number of cooperatives assisted.
     Number of businesses incorporated that are not 
cooperatives.
     Number of cooperatives incorporated.
     Total number of jobs created as a result of assistance.
     Total number of jobs saved as a result of assistance.
     Number of jobs created for the Center as a result of RCDG 
funding.
     Number of jobs saved for the Center as a result of RCDG 
funding.
    It is permissible to have a zero in a performance element. When you 
calculate jobs created, estimates should be based upon actual jobs to 
be created by your organization as a result of the RCDG funding or 
actual jobs to be created by cooperative businesses or other businesses 
as a result of assistance from your organization. When you calculate 
jobs saved, estimates should be based only on actual jobs that have 
been lost if your organization did not receive RCDG funding or actual 
jobs that would have been lost without assistance from your 
organization.
    (v) You can also suggest additional performance elements for 
example where job creation or jobs saved may not be a relevant 
indicator (e.g. housing). These additional criteria should be specific, 
measurable performance elements that could be included in an award 
document.
    (vi) You must describe in the application how you will undertake to 
do each of the following. We would prefer if you described these 
undertakings within proposal evaluation criteria to reduce duplication 
in your application. The specific proposal evaluation criterion where 
you should address each undertaking is noted below.
    (A) Take all practicable steps to develop continuing sources of 
financial support for the Center, particularly from sources in the 
private sector (should be presented under proposal evaluation criterion 
number 10, utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.10);

[[Page 24384]]

    (B) Make arrangements for the Center's activities to be monitored 
and evaluated (should be addressed under proposal evaluation criterion 
number 8 utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.8); and
    (C) Provide an accounting for the money received by the grantee in 
accordance with 7 CFR part 4284, subpart F. This should be addressed 
under proposal evaluation criterion number 1, utilizing the specific 
requirements of Section V.B.1.
    (vii) You should present the Work Plan and Budget proposal element 
under proposal evaluation criterion number 8, utilizing the specific 
requirements of Section V.B.8 of this Notice to reduce duplication in 
your application.
    (viii) You should present the Delivery of Cooperative development 
assistance proposal element under proposal evaluation criterion number 
2, utilizing the specific requirements of Section V.B.2 of this Notice.
    (ix) You should present the Qualifications of Personnel proposal 
element under proposal evaluation criterion number 9, utilizing the 
specific requirements of Section V.B.9 of this Notice.
    (x) You should present the Local Support and Future Support 
proposal elements under proposal evaluation criterion number 10, 
utilizing the requirements of Section V.B.10 of this Notice.
    (xi) Your application will not be considered for funding if you do 
not address all of the proposal evaluation criteria. See Section V.B. 
of this Notice for a description of the proposal evaluation criteria.
    (xii) Only appendices A-C will be considered when evaluating your 
application. You must not include resumes of staff or consultants in 
the application.
    f. You must certify that there are no current outstanding Federal 
judgments against your property and that you will not use grant funds 
to pay for any judgment obtained by the United States. To satisfy the 
Certification requirement, you should include this statement in your 
application: ``[INSERT NAME OF APPLICANT] certifies that the United 
States has not obtained an unsatisfied judgment against its property 
and will not use grant funds to pay any judgments obtained by the 
United States.'' A separate signature is not required.
    g. You must certify that matching funds will be available at the 
same time grant funds are anticipated to be spent and that expenditures 
of matching funds are pro-rated or spent in advance of grant funding, 
such that for every dollar of the total project cost, not less than the 
required amount of matching funds will be expended. Please note that 
this Certification is a separate requirement from the Verification of 
Matching Funds requirement. To satisfy the Certification requirement, 
you should include this statement in your application: ``[INSERT NAME 
OF APPLICANT] certifies that matching funds will be available at the 
same time grant funds are anticipated to be spent and that expenditures 
of matching funds shall be pro-rated or spent in advance of grant 
funding, such that for every dollar of the total project cost, at least 
25 cents (5 cents for 1994 Institutions) of matching funds will be 
expended.'' A separate signature is not required.
    h. You must provide documentation in your application to verify all 
of your proposed matching funds. The documentation must be included in 
Appendix A of your application and will not count towards the 40-page 
limitation. Template letters are available for each type of matching 
funds contribution at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_rcdg.html.
    (i) If matching funds are to be provided in cash, you must meet the 
following requirements.
     You: The application must include a statement verifying 
(1) the amount of the cash and (2) the source of the cash. You may also 
provide a bank statement dated 30 days or less from the application 
deadline date to verify your cash match.
     Third-party: The application must include a signed letter 
from the third party verifying (1) how much cash will be donated and 
(2) that it will be available corresponding to the proposed grant 
period or donated on a specific date within the grant period.
    (ii) If matching funds are to be provided by an in-kind donation, 
you must meet the following requirements.
     You: The application must include a signed letter from you 
or your authorized representative verifying (1) the nature of the goods 
and/or services to be donated and how they will be used, (2) when the 
goods and/or services will be donated (i.e., corresponding to the 
proposed grant period or to specific dates within the grant period), 
and (3) the value of the goods and/or services. Please note that most 
applicant contributions for the RCDG program are considered applicant 
cash match in accordance with this Notice. If you are unsure, please 
contact your State Office because identifying your matching funds 
improperly can affect your scoring.
     Third-Party: The application must include a signed letter 
from the third party verifying (1) the nature of the goods and/or 
services to be donated and how they will be used, (2) when the goods 
and/or services will be donated (i.e., corresponding to the proposed 
grant period or to specific dates within the grant period), and (3) the 
value of the goods and/or services.
    To ensure that you are identifying and verifying your matching 
funds appropriately, please note the following:
     If you are paying for goods and/or services as part of the 
matching funds requirement, the expenditure is considered a cash match, 
and you must verify it as such. Universities must verify the goods and 
services they are providing to the project as a cash match and the 
verification must be approved by the appropriate approval official 
(i.e., sponsored programs office or equivalent).
     If you have already received cash from a third-party 
(i.e., Foundation) before the start of your proposed grant period, you 
must verify this as your own cash match and not as a third-party cash 
match. If you are receiving cash from a third-party during the grant 
period, than you must be verifying the cash as a third-party cash 
match.
     Board resolutions for a cash match must be approved at the 
time of application.
     You can only consider goods or services for which no 
expenditure is made as an in-kind contribution.
     If a non-profit or another organization contributes the 
services of affiliated volunteers, they must follow the third-party, 
in-kind donation verification requirement for each individual 
volunteer.
     Expected program income may not be used to fulfill your 
matching funds requirement at the time you submit your application. 
However, if you have a contract to provide services in place at the 
time you submit your application, you can verify the amount of the 
contract as a cash match.
     The valuation process you use for in-kind contributions 
does not need to be included in your application, but you must be able 
to demonstrate how the valuation was derived if you are awarded a 
grant. The grant award may be withdrawn or the amount of the grant 
reduced if you cannot demonstrate how the valuation was derived.
     Your negotiated indirect cost rate agreement does not need 
to be included in your application, but you will be required to provide 
it if a grant is awarded.
     Approval for indirect costs that are requested in an 
application without an

[[Page 24385]]

approved indirect cost rate agreement is at the discretion of the 
Agency.

D. Submission Dates and Times

    Application Deadline Date: June 30, 2014.
    Explanation of Deadlines: Complete applications must be submitted 
on paper or electronically according to the following deadlines:
    Paper applications must be postmarked and mailed, shipped, or sent 
overnight no later than June 30, 2014, to be eligible for FY 2014 grant 
funding. You may also hand carry your application to one of our field 
offices, but it must be received by close of business on the deadline 
date. Late applications are not eligible for FY 2014 grant funding.
    Electronic copies must be received by http://www.grants.gov no 
later than midnight eastern time June 24, 2014, to be eligible for FY 
2014 grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov Web site at http://grants.gov/applicants/organization_registration.jsp for instructions 
on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to 
ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline.
    If you do not meet the deadline for submitting an electronic 
application, you may hand carry or submit a paper application by the 
deadline as discussed above. Late applications will not be eligible for 
FY 2014 grant funding.

E. Intergovernmental Review of Applications

    Executive Order (EO) 12372, ``Intergovernmental Review of Federal 
Programs,'' applies to this program. This EO requires that Federal 
agencies provide opportunities for consultation on proposed assistance 
with State and local governments. Many States have established a Single 
Point of Contact (SPOC) to facilitate this consultation. For a list of 
States that maintain a SPOC, please see the White House Web site: 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc. If your State has a SPOC, 
you may submit a copy of the application directly for review. Any 
comments obtained through the SPOC must be provided to your State 
Office for consideration as part of your application. If your State has 
not established a SPOC, or if you do not want to submit a copy of the 
application, our State Offices will submit your application to the SPOC 
or other appropriate agency or agencies.

F. Environmental Review

    Applications for financial assistance are subject to an 
environmental review. However, if your application is for technical 
assistance or planning purposes, it is generally excluded from the 
environmental review process (See 7 CFR 1940.310(e)(1)). We will ensure 
that any required environmental review is completed prior to approval 
of an application or obligation of funds.

V. Application Review Information

A. Application and Scoring Process

    The State Offices will review applications to determine if they are 
eligible for assistance based on requirements in 7 CFR Part 4284, 
subparts A and F, this Notice, and other applicable Federal 
regulations. If determined eligible, your application will be scored by 
a panel of USDA employees in accordance with the point allocation 
specified in this Notice. A recommendation will be submitted to the 
Administrator to fund applications in highest ranking order. 
Applications that cannot be fully funded may be offered partial funding 
at the Agency's discretion.

B. Scoring Criteria

    Scoring criteria will follow criteria published at 7 CFR 4284.513 
as supplemented below including any amendments made by the Section 6013 
of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-234), 
which is incorporated by reference in this Notice. The regulatory and 
statutory criteria are clarified and supplemented below. You should 
also include information as described in Section IV.C.2.e. (vi) (A)-(C) 
if you chose to address these items under the scoring criteria. 
Evaluators will base scores only on the information provided or cross-
referenced by page number in each individual evaluation criterion. The 
maximum amount of points available is 100. Newly established or 
proposed Centers that do not yet have a track record on which to 
evaluate the following criteria should refer to the expertise and track 
records of staff or consultants expected to perform tasks related to 
the respective criteria. Proposed or newly established Centers must be 
organized well-enough at time of application to address its 
capabilities for meeting these criteria.
    1. Administrative capabilities (maximum score of 10 points). A 
panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated track record in 
carrying out activities in support of development assistance to 
cooperatively and mutually owned businesses. At a minimum, you must 
discuss the following administrative capabilities:
    a. Financial systems and audit controls;
    b. Personnel and program administration performance measures;
    c. Clear written rules of governance; and
    d. Experience administering Federal grant funding no later than the 
last 5 years, including but not limited to past RCDGs. Please list the 
name of the Federal grant program(s) and the amount(s) of funding 
received.
    You will score higher on this criterion if you can demonstrate that 
the Center has independent governance. For applicants that are 
universities or parent organizations, you should demonstrate that there 
is a separate board of directors for the Center.
    2. Technical assistance and other services (maximum score of 10 
points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated 
expertise no later than the last 5 years in providing technical 
assistance and accomplishing effective outcomes in rural areas to 
promote and assist the development of cooperatively and mutually owned 
businesses. You must discuss at least:
    a. Your potential for delivering effective technical assistance;
    b. The types of assistance provided;
    c. The expected effects of that assistance;
    d. The sustainability of organizations receiving the assistance; 
and
    e. The transferability of your cooperative development strategies 
and focus to other areas of the U.S.
    A chart or table showing the outcomes of your demonstrated 
expertise based upon the performance elements listed in Section 
IV.C.2.e. (iv) or as identified in your award document on previous RCDG 
awards. At a minimum, please provide information for FY 2010--FY 2012 
awards. We prefer that you provide one chart or table separating out 
award years. The intention here is for you to provide actual 
performance numbers based upon award years even though your grant 
period for the award was for the next calendar or fiscal year. Please 
provide a narrative explanation if you have not received a RCDG award.
    You will score higher on this criterion if you provide more than 3 
years of outcomes and can demonstrate that the organizations you 
assisted within the last 5 years are sustainable. Additional outcome 
information should be provided on RCDG grants awarded before FY 2010. 
Please describe specific project(s) when addressing a-e of this 
paragraph.
    3. Economic development (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of 
USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated ability to facilitate:
    a. Establishment of cooperatives or mutually owned businesses;

[[Page 24386]]

    b. New cooperative approaches (i.e., organizing cooperatives among 
underserved individuals or communities; an innovative market approach; 
a type of cooperative currently not in your service area; a new 
cooperative structure; novel ways to raise member equity or community 
capitalization; conversion of an existing business to cooperative 
ownership); and
    c. Retention of businesses, generation of employment opportunities 
or other factors, as applicable, that will otherwise improve the 
economic conditions of rural areas.
    You will score higher on this criterion if you provide economic 
statistics showing the impacts of your past development projects no 
later than 5 years old and identify your role in the economic 
development outcomes.
    4. Past performance in establishing legal business entities 
(maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate 
your demonstrated past performance in establishing legal cooperative 
business entities and other legal business entities during FY 2011-FY 
2013. Provide the name of the organization(s) established, the date of 
formation and your role in assisting with the incorporation(s) under 
this criterion. In addition, documentation verifying the establishment 
of legal business entities must be included in Appendix C of your 
application and will not count against the 40-page limit for the 
narrative. The documentation must include proof that organizational 
documents were filed with the Secretary of State's Office (i.e. 
Certificate of Incorporation or information from the State's official 
Web site naming the entity established and the date of establishment); 
or if the business entity is not required to register with the 
Secretary of State, a certification from the business entity that a 
legal business entity has been established and when. Please note that 
you are not required to submit articles of incorporation to receive 
points under this criterion. You will score higher on this criterion if 
you have established legal cooperative businesses.
    5. Networking and regional focus (maximum score of 10 points). A 
panel of USDA employees will evaluate your demonstrated commitment to:
    a. Networking with other cooperative development centers, and other 
organizations involved in rural economic development efforts, and
    b. Developing multi-organization and multi-state approaches to 
addressing the economic development and cooperative needs of rural 
areas.
    You will score higher on this criterion if you can demonstrate the 
outcomes of your multi-organizational and multi-state approaches. 
Please describe the project(s), partners and the outcome(s) that 
resulted from the approach.
    6. Commitment (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA 
employees will evaluate your commitment to providing technical 
assistance and other services to under-served and economically 
distressed areas in rural areas of the United States. You will score 
higher on this criterion if you define and describe the underserved and 
economically distressed areas within your service area, provide 
statistics, and identify projects within or affecting these areas, as 
appropriate.
    7. Matching Funds (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA 
employees will evaluate your commitment for the 25 percent (5 percent 
for 1994 Institutions) matching funds requirement. A chart or table 
should be provided to describe all matching funds being committed to 
the project. However, formal documentation to verify all of the 
matching funds must be included in Appendix A of your application. You 
will be scored on how you identify your matching funds.
    a. If you met the 25 percent (5 percent for 1994 Institutions) 
matching requirement, points will be assigned as follows:
     In-kind only--1 point,
     Mix of in-kind and cash--3-4 points (maximum points will 
be awarded if the ratio of cash to in-kind is 30 percent and above of 
matching funds), or
     Cash only--5 points.
    b. If you exceeded the 25 percent (5 percent for 1994 Institutions) 
matching requirement, points will be assigned as follows:
     In-kind only--2 points,
     Mix of in-kind and cash--6-7 points (maximum points will 
be awarded if the ratio of cash to in-kind is 30 percent and above of 
matching funds), or
     Cash only--10 points.
    8. Work Plan/Budget (maximum score of 10 points). A panel of USDA 
employees will evaluate your work plan for detailed actions and an 
accompanying timetable for implementing the proposal. The budget must 
present a breakdown of the estimated costs associated with cooperative 
and business development activities as well as the operation of the 
Center and allocate these costs to each of the tasks to be undertaken. 
Matching funds as well as grant funds must be accounted for in the 
budget.
    You must discuss at a minimum:
    a. Specific tasks (whether it be by type of service or specific 
project) to be completed using grant and matching funds;
    b. How customers will be identified;
    c. Key personnel; and
    d. The evaluation methods to be used to determine the success of 
specific tasks and overall objectives of Center operations. Please 
provide qualitative methods of evaluation. For example, evaluation 
methods should go beyond quantitative measurements of completing 
surveys or number of evaluations.
    You will score higher on this criterion if you present a clear, 
logical, realistic, and efficient work plan and budget.
    9. Qualifications of those Performing the Tasks (maximum score of 
10 points). A panel of USDA employees will evaluate your application to 
determine if the personnel expected to perform key tasks have a track 
record of:
    a. Positive solutions for complex cooperative development and/or 
marketing problems; or
    b. A successful record of conducting accurate feasibility studies, 
business plans, marketing analysis, or other activities relevant to 
your success as determined by the tasks identified in the your work 
plan; and
    c. Whether the personnel expected to perform the tasks are full/
part-time employees of your organization or are contract personnel.
    You will score higher on this criterion if you demonstrate 
commitment and availability of qualified personnel expected to perform 
the tasks.
    10. Local and Future Support (maximum score of 10 points). A panel 
of USDA employees will evaluate your application for local and future 
support. Support should be discussed directly within the response to 
this criterion.
    a. Discussion on local support should include previous and/or 
expected local support and plans for coordinating with other 
developmental organizations in the proposed service area or with state 
and local government institutions. You will score higher if you 
demonstrate strong support from potential beneficiaries and formal 
evidence of intent to coordinate with other developmental 
organizations. You may also submit a maximum of 10 letters of support 
or intent to coordinate with the application to verify your discussion. 
These letters should be included in Appendix B of your application and 
will not count against the 40-page limit for the narrative.
    b. Discussion on future support will include your vision for 
funding operations in future years. You should document:
    (i) New and existing funding sources that support your goals;

[[Page 24387]]

    (ii) Alternative funding sources that reduce reliance on Federal, 
State, and local grants; and
    (iii) The use of in-house personnel for providing services versus 
contracting out for that expertise. Please discuss your strategy for 
building in-house technical assistance capacity.
    You will score higher if you can demonstrate that your future 
support will result in long-term sustainability of the Center.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Award Notices

    If your application is successful, you will receive notification 
regarding funding from the State Office where your application is 
submitted or headquarter if you submitted your application via 
Grants.gov. You must comply with all applicable statutes, regulations, 
and notice requirements before the grant award will be approved. If 
your application is not successful, you will receive notification, 
including mediation and appeal rights by mail. See 7 CFR part 11 for 
USDA National Appeals Division procedures.
Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    Additional requirements that apply to grantees selected for this 
program can be found in 7 CFR part 4284, subparts A and F, parts 3015, 
3019, 3052, and any successor regulations, and 2 CFR parts 215 and 417. 
All recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report 
information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation (see 
2 CFR part 170). You will be required to have the necessary processes 
and systems in place to comply with the Federal Funding Accountability 
and Transparency Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-282) reporting requirements 
(see 2 CFR 170.200(b), unless you are exempt under 2 CFR 170.110(b)).
    The following additional requirements apply to grantees selected 
for this program:
     Agency-approved Grant Agreement.
     Letter of Conditions.
     Form RD 1940-1, ``Request for Obligation of Funds.''
     Form RD 1942-46, ``Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions.''
     Form AD-1047, ``Certification Regarding Debarment, 
Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters-Primary Covered 
Transactions.''
     Form AD-1048, ``Certification Regarding Debarment, 
Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-Lower Tier Covered 
Transactions.''
     Form AD-1049, ``Certification Regarding Drug-Free 
Workplace Requirements (Grants).''
     Form RD 400-4, ``Assurance Agreement.''
     SF LLL, ``Disclosure of Lobbying Activities,'' if 
applicable.
     SF-PPR ''Performance Progress Report.''

VII. Agency Contacts

    If you have questions about this Notice, please contact the State 
Office as identified in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice.

VIII. Nondiscrimination Statement

Non-Discrimination Policy

    USDA prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and 
applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, 
age, disability, sex, gender identify, religion, reprisal, and where 
applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental 
status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is 
derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic 
information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or 
funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all 
programs and/or employment activities.)
To File a Program Complaint
    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of 
discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form 
(PDF), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complain_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the 
form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information 
requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to 
us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of 
Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, 
by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.
Persons With Disabilities
    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech 
disabilities and who wish to file either an EEO or program complaint, 
please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 
or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).
    Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, 
please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or 
by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program 
information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), please 
contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Dated: April 24, 2014.
Ashli Palmer,
Acting Administrator, Rural Business Cooperative Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-09869 Filed 4-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P