Solicitation of Commodity Board Topics and Contribution of Funding Under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, 24968-24969 [2018-11634]

Download as PDF 24968 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 105 / Thursday, May 31, 2018 / Notices information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have a practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, such as through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques. Comments may be sent to Kay Derr at the address listed above within 60 days of the date of publication. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. Dated: May 17, 2018. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator, Agricultural Research Service. [FR Doc. 2018–11582 Filed 5–30–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–03–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture Solicitation of Commodity Board Topics and Contribution of Funding Under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. ACTION: Notice of opportunity for commodity boards to submit topics and contribute funding under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program. AGENCY: NIFA is soliciting topics from eligible commodity board entities (Federal and State- level commodity boards, as defined below) that the entities are willing to co-fund equally with NIFA. To be considered for inclusion in future Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) competitive grants program Requests for Applications (RFAs), topics must relate to the established priority areas of AFRI. Commodity boards are those entities established under a commodity promotion law, as such term is defined under the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, or a State commodity board or other equivalent State entity. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 May 30, 2018 Jkt 241001 this Notice under the heading ‘‘Eligibility for Submitting Topics’’ for further information. If, after NIFA’s evaluation, proposed topics are accepted for inclusion, they will be incorporated into AFRI competitive grants program RFAs. As a condition of funding grants pertaining to a topic, NIFA will require an agreement with the commodity board to provide funds equal to the amount NIFA is contributing under the agreed upon topic. This Notice invites topic submissions from commodity boards as defined above, outlines the process NIFA will use to evaluate the appropriateness of these topics for inclusion in AFRI RFAs, and describes the commitment required of commodity boards for NIFA to jointly fund competitively selected AFRI awards within a topic area submitted by the commodity boards. DATES: Commodity boards may submit topics at any time; however, all topics received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 30, 2018 will be considered for the fiscal year 2019 AFRI RFAs. Topics submitted by eligible commodity board entities after this date are not guaranteed review for fiscal year 2019, but will be considered for RFAs to be issued in future years. Frequently asked questions about commodity board topics are available on the NIFA Website (https:// nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boardsfrequently-asked-questions). ADDRESSES: You may submit topics by the following method: Website: https:// nifa.usda.gov/webform/commodityboard-topic-submission/ Instructions: The topic submission must be through the website form; emailed topics will not be accepted. Required fields are marked. Topics submitted through this form will not be posted to a public site. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Mirando; Phone: (202) 401-4336, or Email: commodityboards@ nifa.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background and Purpose This Notice begins the fourth topic submission cycle to implement section 2(b)(4)(F) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 3157(b)(4)(F)), as added by section 7404 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113–79, which requires NIFA to ‘‘establish procedures, including timelines, under which an entity established under a commodity promotion law (as such term is defined under section 501(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7401(a))) or a State PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 commodity board (or other equivalent State entity) may directly submit to [NIFA] for consideration proposals for requests for applications’’ within the AFRI Program. Stakeholder feedback gathered in previous years informed this Notice and the process NIFA is using to implement section 7404. This Notice invites entities established under a commodity promotion law or State commodity boards (or other equivalent State entities) to submit topics they are proposing for inclusion in fiscal year 2019 AFRI RFAs. Topics must relate to the established AFRI priority areas, which were authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill and described in 7 CFR 3430.309 as: Plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. The AFRI priorities are subject to change based on future Farm Bills, and any changes will be reflected on the NIFA website. A summary statement on AFRI is included below. To learn more about AFRI programs, including program priorities, typical award budget amounts, and examples of RFAs, please visit: http:// nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/. AFRI Program Overview The AFRI program is the largest agricultural competitive grants program in the United States and a primary funding source for research, education, and extension projects that bring practical solutions to some of today’s most critical societal challenges. AFRI programs impact all components of agriculture, including farm and ranch efficiency and profitability, bioenergy, forestry, aquaculture, rural communities, human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and genetic improvement of plants and animals. In FY 2019, NIFA plans to solicit applications for AFRI funding opportunities in the AFRI priority areas authorized in the Farm Bill and described in 7 CFR 3430.309. It is anticipated these will include the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program RFA and the AFRI Education and Workforce Development RFA. The annual AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program RFA solicits grant applications focused predominately, but not exclusively, on fundamental scientific research addressing statutory priorities. The AFRI Education and Workforce Development RFA solicits grant applications for training K–14 teachers and administrators, E:\FR\FM\31MYN1.SGM 31MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 105 / Thursday, May 31, 2018 / Notices undergraduate research and extension experiential learning fellowships, and pre- and post-doctoral fellowships. Any additional AFRI RFAs made available in FY 2019 may be included in this solicitation. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Eligibility for Submitting Topics Eligible commodity board entities are those established under a commodity promotion law, as such term is defined under 7 U.S.C. 7401(a), or a State commodity board (or other equivalent State entity). Language in 7 U.S.C. 7401(a) defines a ‘‘commodity promotion law’’ as ‘‘a Federal law that provides for the establishment and operation of a promotion program regarding an agricultural commodity that includes a combination of promotion, research, industry information, or consumer information activities, is funded by mandatory assessments on producers or processors, and is designed to maintain or expand markets and uses for the commodity (as determined by the Secretary).’’ 7 U.S.C. 7401(a) includes a list of such Federal laws. A current list of approved entities is maintained at (http://nifa.usda.gov/ commodity-boards/). Additionally, entities eligible to submit topics include State commodity boards (or other equivalent State entities). This includes commodity boards authorized by State law; commodity boards that are not authorized by State law, but are organized and operate within a State and meet the requirements of their authorizing statute; and commodity boards that are authorized by a State and operate within the State for commodities that have no Federal program or oversight. Topic Submission Guidance and Procedures Topics may be submitted at any time and will be evaluated by NIFA on an annual basis. However, to guarantee consideration for the proposed fiscal year 2019 AFRI RFAs, topics must be received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 30, 2018. Each topic proposed must be submitted using the online topic submission form provided at: https:// nifa.usda.gov/webform/commodityboard-topic-submission/. Commodity boards may propose support for multiple awards for each topic proposed. For each topic the commodity board proposes to support, the minimum amount contributed by the commodity board must align with budget guidance for each AFRI area (http://nifa.usda.gov/commodityboards/) and comply with the maximum VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 May 30, 2018 Jkt 241001 amount of $2.5 million allowed per topic. NIFA does not intend to match funding from a single commodity board in excess of $10 million in any year. Commodity boards should only submit topics that have a strong economic impact on their industry and U.S. agriculture, as a whole. Examples of topics typically supported by AFRI can be found at http://nifa.usda.gov/ commodity-boards/. If topics are accepted for funding, they will be incorporated into AFRI RFAs, and grants supporting the topic area may be awarded to AFRI eligible entities based on a competitive peer review process. As a condition of funding grants in a topic, NIFA will require an agreement by the commodity board to provide funds in an amount equal to the amount NIFA is contributing under the agreed upon topic. If a topic is selected for inclusion in an RFA, the commodity board submitting the topic will be required to maintain the confidentiality of the topic until the RFA is issued by NIFA. All commodity board funds and NIFA funds must be available at the time projects are selected for funding; awards are fully funded at the beginning of the award. Applications submitted under topics provided by commodity boards will be required to include a letter of support for co-funding from the the commodity board that proposed the topic. Evaluation and Notification Process NIFA will screen proposed research topics to ensure eligibility of the submitting commodity boards. NIFA will also consult with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to determine that submissions and proposed financial contributions are consistent with commodity promotion laws and commodity boards’ charters, as applicable. Commodity board topics are reviewed by an internal panel based on evaluation criteria developed using stakeholder input from commodity boards and other stakeholders from government, industry, and academe. Each topic will be evaluated based on alignment with one or more of the statutory AFRI priority areas (AFRI priority areas authorized in the Farm Bill and described in 7 CFR 3430.309); alignment with the President’s budget proposal for NIFA, as identified in the Department of Agriculture’s annual budget submission; and alignment with the priority areas in the AFRI RFAs to be released by NIFA during the fiscal year for which the commodity board is proposing a topic for funding (for example, within the AFRI Foundational and Applied PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24969 Science RFA, the AFRI Animal Health and Production and Animal Products’ ‘‘Animal Reproduction’’ priority area). From those topics received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 30, 2018, NIFA will select the topic(s) that were evaluated favorably for inclusion in the appropriate FY 2019 AFRI RFA. NIFA will notify commodity boards as to whether their topics will be included by August 29, 2018. Based on the evaluation, NIFA reserves the right to negotiate with commodity boards should changes be required to accept topics and funding amounts. Any changes to topics and funding amounts will be reviewed by USDA’s AMS to determine if such changes are consistent with applicable commodity promotion laws. NIFA will evaluate topics submitted after the July 30, 2018 deadline on an annual basis and notify commodity boards whether their topics will be included in subsequent RFAs within two weeks following the meeting of the internal evaluation panel, the date of which will be published on NIFA’s Commodity Boards web page at (http:// nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/). Done at Washington, DC, on May 21, 2018. Thomas Shanower, Acting Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. [FR Doc. 2018–11634 Filed 5–30–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–22–P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the West Virginia Advisory Committee Commission on Civil Rights. Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the West Virginia Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene by conference call at 12:00 p.m. (EST) on Friday, June 1, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the upcoming SAC briefing to be held in July 2018. DATES: Friday, June 1, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. EST. Public Call-In Information: Conference call-in number: 1–800–474– 8920 and conference call ID number: 8310490. SUMMARY: Ivy Davis at ero@usccr.gov or by phone at 202–376–7533. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E:\FR\FM\31MYN1.SGM 31MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 105 (Thursday, May 31, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24968-24969]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-11634]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

National Institute of Food and Agriculture


Solicitation of Commodity Board Topics and Contribution of 
Funding Under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive 
Grants Program

AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of opportunity for commodity boards to submit topics and 
contribute funding under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative 
Competitive Grants Program.

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

SUMMARY: NIFA is soliciting topics from eligible commodity board 
entities (Federal and State- level commodity boards, as defined below) 
that the entities are willing to co-fund equally with NIFA. To be 
considered for inclusion in future Agriculture and Food Research 
Initiative (AFRI) competitive grants program Requests for Applications 
(RFAs), topics must relate to the established priority areas of AFRI.
    Commodity boards are those entities established under a commodity 
promotion law, as such term is defined under the Federal Agriculture 
Improvement and Reform Act of 1996, or a State commodity board or other 
equivalent State entity. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
this Notice under the heading ``Eligibility for Submitting Topics'' for 
further information.
    If, after NIFA's evaluation, proposed topics are accepted for 
inclusion, they will be incorporated into AFRI competitive grants 
program RFAs. As a condition of funding grants pertaining to a topic, 
NIFA will require an agreement with the commodity board to provide 
funds equal to the amount NIFA is contributing under the agreed upon 
topic.
    This Notice invites topic submissions from commodity boards as 
defined above, outlines the process NIFA will use to evaluate the 
appropriateness of these topics for inclusion in AFRI RFAs, and 
describes the commitment required of commodity boards for NIFA to 
jointly fund competitively selected AFRI awards within a topic area 
submitted by the commodity boards.

DATES: Commodity boards may submit topics at any time; however, all 
topics received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 30, 2018 will be considered 
for the fiscal year 2019 AFRI RFAs. Topics submitted by eligible 
commodity board entities after this date are not guaranteed review for 
fiscal year 2019, but will be considered for RFAs to be issued in 
future years. Frequently asked questions about commodity board topics 
are available on the NIFA Website (https://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards-frequently-asked-questions).

ADDRESSES: You may submit topics by the following method: Website: 
https://nifa.usda.gov/webform/commodity-board-topic-submission/ 
Instructions: The topic submission must be through the website form; 
emailed topics will not be accepted.
    Required fields are marked. Topics submitted through this form will 
not be posted to a public site.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Mirando; Phone: (202) 401-4336, 
or Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background and Purpose

    This Notice begins the fourth topic submission cycle to implement 
section 2(b)(4)(F) of the Competitive, Special, and Facilities Research 
Grant Act (7 U.S.C. 3157(b)(4)(F)), as added by section 7404 of the 
Agricultural Act of 2014, Public Law 113-79, which requires NIFA to 
``establish procedures, including timelines, under which an entity 
established under a commodity promotion law (as such term is defined 
under section 501(a) of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform 
Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 7401(a))) or a State commodity board (or other 
equivalent State entity) may directly submit to [NIFA] for 
consideration proposals for requests for applications'' within the AFRI 
Program.
    Stakeholder feedback gathered in previous years informed this 
Notice and the process NIFA is using to implement section 7404. This 
Notice invites entities established under a commodity promotion law or 
State commodity boards (or other equivalent State entities) to submit 
topics they are proposing for inclusion in fiscal year 2019 AFRI RFAs. 
Topics must relate to the established AFRI priority areas, which were 
authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill and described in 7 CFR 3430.309 as: 
Plant health and production and plant products; animal health and 
production and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; 
bioenergy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and 
technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. The AFRI 
priorities are subject to change based on future Farm Bills, and any 
changes will be reflected on the NIFA website. A summary statement on 
AFRI is included below. To learn more about AFRI programs, including 
program priorities, typical award budget amounts, and examples of RFAs, 
please visit: http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/.

AFRI Program Overview

    The AFRI program is the largest agricultural competitive grants 
program in the United States and a primary funding source for research, 
education, and extension projects that bring practical solutions to 
some of today's most critical societal challenges. AFRI programs impact 
all components of agriculture, including farm and ranch efficiency and 
profitability, bioenergy, forestry, aquaculture, rural communities, 
human nutrition, food safety, biotechnology, and genetic improvement of 
plants and animals.
    In FY 2019, NIFA plans to solicit applications for AFRI funding 
opportunities in the AFRI priority areas authorized in the Farm Bill 
and described in 7 CFR 3430.309. It is anticipated these will include 
the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science Program RFA and the AFRI 
Education and Workforce Development RFA. The annual AFRI Foundational 
and Applied Science Program RFA solicits grant applications focused 
predominately, but not exclusively, on fundamental scientific research 
addressing statutory priorities. The AFRI Education and Workforce 
Development RFA solicits grant applications for training K-14 teachers 
and administrators,

[[Page 24969]]

undergraduate research and extension experiential learning fellowships, 
and pre- and post-doctoral fellowships. Any additional AFRI RFAs made 
available in FY 2019 may be included in this solicitation.

Eligibility for Submitting Topics

    Eligible commodity board entities are those established under a 
commodity promotion law, as such term is defined under 7 U.S.C. 
7401(a), or a State commodity board (or other equivalent State entity). 
Language in 7 U.S.C. 7401(a) defines a ``commodity promotion law'' as 
``a Federal law that provides for the establishment and operation of a 
promotion program regarding an agricultural commodity that includes a 
combination of promotion, research, industry information, or consumer 
information activities, is funded by mandatory assessments on producers 
or processors, and is designed to maintain or expand markets and uses 
for the commodity (as determined by the Secretary).'' 7 U.S.C. 7401(a) 
includes a list of such Federal laws.
    A current list of approved entities is maintained at (http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/). Additionally, entities eligible to 
submit topics include State commodity boards (or other equivalent State 
entities). This includes commodity boards authorized by State law; 
commodity boards that are not authorized by State law, but are 
organized and operate within a State and meet the requirements of their 
authorizing statute; and commodity boards that are authorized by a 
State and operate within the State for commodities that have no Federal 
program or oversight.

Topic Submission Guidance and Procedures

    Topics may be submitted at any time and will be evaluated by NIFA 
on an annual basis. However, to guarantee consideration for the 
proposed fiscal year 2019 AFRI RFAs, topics must be received by 5:00 
p.m. EDT on July 30, 2018.
    Each topic proposed must be submitted using the online topic 
submission form provided at: https://nifa.usda.gov/webform/commodity-board-topic-submission/. Commodity boards may propose support for 
multiple awards for each topic proposed. For each topic the commodity 
board proposes to support, the minimum amount contributed by the 
commodity board must align with budget guidance for each AFRI area 
(http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/) and comply with the maximum 
amount of $2.5 million allowed per topic. NIFA does not intend to match 
funding from a single commodity board in excess of $10 million in any 
year. Commodity boards should only submit topics that have a strong 
economic impact on their industry and U.S. agriculture, as a whole. 
Examples of topics typically supported by AFRI can be found at http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/.
    If topics are accepted for funding, they will be incorporated into 
AFRI RFAs, and grants supporting the topic area may be awarded to AFRI 
eligible entities based on a competitive peer review process. As a 
condition of funding grants in a topic, NIFA will require an agreement 
by the commodity board to provide funds in an amount equal to the 
amount NIFA is contributing under the agreed upon topic. If a topic is 
selected for inclusion in an RFA, the commodity board submitting the 
topic will be required to maintain the confidentiality of the topic 
until the RFA is issued by NIFA. All commodity board funds and NIFA 
funds must be available at the time projects are selected for funding; 
awards are fully funded at the beginning of the award. Applications 
submitted under topics provided by commodity boards will be required to 
include a letter of support for co-funding from the the commodity board 
that proposed the topic.

Evaluation and Notification Process

    NIFA will screen proposed research topics to ensure eligibility of 
the submitting commodity boards. NIFA will also consult with USDA's 
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to determine that submissions and 
proposed financial contributions are consistent with commodity 
promotion laws and commodity boards' charters, as applicable.
    Commodity board topics are reviewed by an internal panel based on 
evaluation criteria developed using stakeholder input from commodity 
boards and other stakeholders from government, industry, and academe. 
Each topic will be evaluated based on alignment with one or more of the 
statutory AFRI priority areas (AFRI priority areas authorized in the 
Farm Bill and described in 7 CFR 3430.309); alignment with the 
President's budget proposal for NIFA, as identified in the Department 
of Agriculture's annual budget submission; and alignment with the 
priority areas in the AFRI RFAs to be released by NIFA during the 
fiscal year for which the commodity board is proposing a topic for 
funding (for example, within the AFRI Foundational and Applied Science 
RFA, the AFRI Animal Health and Production and Animal Products' 
``Animal Reproduction'' priority area).
    From those topics received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on July 30, 2018, NIFA 
will select the topic(s) that were evaluated favorably for inclusion in 
the appropriate FY 2019 AFRI RFA. NIFA will notify commodity boards as 
to whether their topics will be included by August 29, 2018. Based on 
the evaluation, NIFA reserves the right to negotiate with commodity 
boards should changes be required to accept topics and funding amounts. 
Any changes to topics and funding amounts will be reviewed by USDA's 
AMS to determine if such changes are consistent with applicable 
commodity promotion laws.
    NIFA will evaluate topics submitted after the July 30, 2018 
deadline on an annual basis and notify commodity boards whether their 
topics will be included in subsequent RFAs within two weeks following 
the meeting of the internal evaluation panel, the date of which will be 
published on NIFA's Commodity Boards web page at (http://nifa.usda.gov/commodity-boards/).

    Done at Washington, DC, on May 21, 2018.
Thomas Shanower,
Acting Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2018-11634 Filed 5-30-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-22-P