Funding Opportunity Announcement-Solicitation for Applications To Assist Persistent Poverty Farmers, Ranchers, Agriculture Producers and Communities Through Agriculture Resources, 41516-41524 [2020-14325]

Download as PDF 41516 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices a. All or any part of a Federal law or regulation, b. Forest Service Directive System documents and land management plans or other published Forest Service documents, c. Documents referenced by the Forest Service in the planning documentation related to the proposal subject to objection, and d. Formal comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during the plan revision comment period. It is the responsibility of the objector to ensure that the reviewing officer receives the objection in a timely manner. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the objection filing period (36 CFR 219.56(d)). Responsible Official The responsible official who will approve the record of decision for the Custer Gallatin National Forest revised land management plan is Mary Erickson, Forest Supervisor for the Custer Gallatin National Forest, 10 E Babcock (P.O. Box 130, Bozeman, MT 59771), 406–587–6735. The Responsible Offical for the identification of the species of conservation concern for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is Leanne Marten, Northern Region Regional Forester, 26 Fort Missoula, Missoula, MT 59804. The Regional Forester is the reviewing officer for the revised land management since the Forest Supervisor is the deciding official (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)). Objection review of the list of species of conservation concern will be subject to a separate objection process. The Chief of the Forest Service is the reviewing officer for the list of species of conservation concern identification as the Regional Forester is the responsbile official (36 CFR 219.56(e)(2)). Allen Rowley, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. [FR Doc. 2020–14825 Filed 7–9–20; 8:45 am] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 3411–15–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement [FOA No.: OPPE–015] Funding Opportunity Announcement— Solicitation for Applications To Assist Persistent Poverty Farmers, Ranchers, Agriculture Producers and Communities Through Agriculture Resources Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE), Agriculture (USDA). ACTION: Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). AGENCY: Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Nos.: 10.902-Soil and Water Conservation (CTA): Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act; 10.443–Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits applications for grants from communitybased and non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities to compete for financial assistance through the OPPE. Funding will be made available for the purpose of leveraging USDA, state, local and private sector resources, to address local agricultural and natural resource issues, encourage collaboration and to develop state and local leadership and partnerships to assist limited resource and socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers, ranchers, agricultural producers and communities through agriculture industries. The eligible entities will provide technical assistance to persistent poverty communities, with emphasis on socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers to assist them in establishing a local working leaders group, identifying issues, challenges and assets, preparing a plan of action and identifying resources and means to address and accomplish results through available programmatic services and opportunities. DATES: Proposals must be received via Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on August 24, 2020. For Further Information or for Programmatic Complaints, Please Contact: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, Attn: Jacqueline Davis-Slay, Deputy Director, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 520–A, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250; Phone: (202) 720–6350; Fax: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (202) 720–7704; Email: CommunityProsperity@usda.gov. Persons with Disabilities: Persons who require alternative means for communication (Braille large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Additionally, alternative means for submissions due to disability status will be approved on a case-by-case basis. Proposals will be scored as they are received and, if eligible, added to a ranking list of projects for funding consideration. Funding recommendations will be forwarded to the Director of OPPE who will make final selections. Funds will be awarded to eligible entities that have documented knowledge of and experience with USDA programs, experience in providing agricultural education or other agricultural-related services to socially disadvantaged and/ or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers, experience with economic development in persistent poverty areas, and in developing partnerships with relevant entities and individuals to reach a common goal. An applicant MUST be an entity or organization. ‘‘Individuals’’ do not meet the eligibility criteria. Funds under this announcement may not be used for the following: Planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of a building or facility; for start-up or financing costs for businesses or for an organization’s capacity building; as small agricultural loans for individual farmers; or to incentivize individuals to attend an event. Funding/Awards: The total funding available for this competitive opportunity is approximately $4 million (including funds provided in the 2018 Farm Bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020). The OPPE will award grants from this announcement subject to availability of funds and the quality of applications received. All applicants will compete based on their organization’s entity type (e.g., nonprofit organization or higher education institution). The maximum project period is 3 years. The maximum amount of requested federal funding for projects shall not exceed $450,000 over the 3-year period. Additionally, the maximum award per year is $150,000. USDA has the discretion to fund multiyear projects in an effort to maximize outreach, education and technical assistance ensuring geographical distribution of funds. Eligible entities may receive subsequent years funding provided that: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices (a) Activities and associated costs do not overlap with projects awarded in previous years; and (b) Recipients and their key partners are successfully vetted through the SAM.gov Federal award system. The OPPE reserves the right to approve one-year no cost extensions (no additional funds). Funding will be awarded based on competition described below: 1890 Land Grant colleges and universities, 1994 Tribal Land-Grant, Alaska Native and American Indian Tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions of higher education), and other private or state institutions of higher education with an agricultural curriculum. Also included are nonprofit organizations, communitybased organizations, including a network or a coalition of communitybased organizations, and Native American tribal government (federally recognized or non-federally recognized). Higher consideration will be given to socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning, or veteran farmer or rancher) servicing legal entities, or joint operations according to the definition in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. OPPE reserves the right to allocate funding between the two categories based upon the number and quality of applications received. I. Funding Opportunity Description jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES A. Background The OPPE is committed to ensuring that socially disadvantaged, historically underserved (including limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers) are able to equitably participate in USDA programs. Community-based and nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, and eligible Tribal entities with an expertise in working within rural persistent poverty areas of socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers can play a critical role in addressing the unique difficulties they face and can help improve their ability to start and maintain successful agricultural businesses and create sustainable growing communities. With this funding, organizations must establish partnerships to provide local agricultural education and training and extend outreach efforts to connect with and assist local socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers to provide them with information on available USDA VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 resources. Only one proposal will be accepted from each organization. Eligible entities may compete for funding on projects that provide outreach, education and training in agriculture, conservation, agribusiness, and forestry, with a focus on economic and workforce development, innovation and technology, and quality of life through agriculture industries. This partnership includes working closely with OPPE, USDA Liaisons and the State Food and Agriculture Council (SFAC) to coordinate outreach and training events and attend OPPE-led events in your proposed service territory. The overall goal is to develop partnerships with eligible entities to expand outreach and assistance to help socially disadvantaged and historically underserved farmers, ranchers, ag producers and communities in persistent poverty areas, including in Opportunity Zones, through the agriculture sector to foster hope and opportunity, build assets and create wealth. Eligible entities will identify communities to receive tailored technical assistance and support by organizing and facilitating summits and training through partnerships with the USDA Liaisons and SFAC, collectively known and the OneUSDA team. Entities will establish a local prosperity council that consists of (but not limited to) the mayor, county planning committee, board of supervisors, superintendents and Board of Education, farmers, ranchers, agriculture producers, faithbased, etc. to focus on locally driven, bottom up solutions to address communities self-identified challenges and issues. Proposals will be accepted for projects in any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). A total of up to $4 million is available for Fiscal Year 2020 for this funding opportunity. Applicants must be a Native American tribal government (federally recognized or non-federally recognized), a nonprofit having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education), or a private, public or state-controlled institution of higher education. B. Program Description The statutory authority for this action is 7 U.S.C. 2279(c), which authorizes award funding for projects designed to provide outreach, education and technical assistance to socially PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41517 disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or ranchers. Funds are also being awarded under the Conservation Technical Assistance, Soil and Water Conservation (CTA): Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, Public Law 74–76, N/A, 16. U.S.C. 590a–590f, 590q. C. Purpose The purpose of this funding is to leverage USDA and partnering entities to assist persistent poverty communities with socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers, to improve, restore, maintain natural resources and growth in their communities through an established platform and process that focuses on fostering hope and opportunity, asset building and wealth creation. In addition, funding may be used to educate and assist persistent poverty communities with socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers on accessing resources and opportunities available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Through the approved grant, organizations will assist persistent poverty communities and farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers by developing partnerships and strategies to address self-identified challenges and issues to: 1. Enhance coordination and collaboration through outreach, education, and training summits and workshops; 2. Educate persistent poverty communities with limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers and ranchers on increasing their access to and participation in USDA programs; 3. Assist persistent poverty communities to become economically sustainable through a locally driven bottom-up process; 4. Assist persistent poverty communities with limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers to build and strengthen access to USDA programmatic services and opportunities that promote economic and community development; 5. Improve natural resources concerns; 6. Increase the number of agriculture producers; 7. Improve the environment and economic status of working agriculture lands; 8. Create Local Prosperity Councils through coordination and collaboration of USDA local officials, community E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 41518 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices leaders, farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers; 9. Develop plans to create sustainable communities that address self-identified challenges through the agriculture industry. Proposals from eligible entities must address at least five of the following priority areas: 1. Increased access of USDA’s programs and services. 2. Resolution of heirs’ property issues. 3. Improved financial literacy. 4. Increased and retained new entrepreneurs in agriculture industry to include farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers. 5. Improved knowledge of agriculture business understanding. 6. Promotion of USDA programs and services to build capacity to promote economic and workforce development, innovation and technology through the agriculture industry. 7. Improved knowledge of agriculture and natural resources. 8. Increased use or implementation of conservation practices. Eligible projects will increase the delivery of agriculture and conservation assistance to limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers through coordinating and leveraging program outreach and technical assistance to manage natural resources. Outreach projects should focus on assisting socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers with all aspects of participating in USDA programs, including understanding and assisting in the program application process. Eligible projects will identify and organize persistent poverty communities that include farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers to identify key challenges and develop strategies to assist them through agriculture industries to become economically sustainable, safe, educated and prosperous. Projects must follow the program summary six-step action items required and target economic development, innovation and technology, workforce development and quality of life. Projects may include, but not limited to, providing technical assistance, transfer of technology, developing natural resource tools and information to address resource concerns in soil, water, air and plants, and animals. The following steps will be required of all successful awardees: (a) Identify persistent poverty communities https://www.ers.usda.gov/ data-products/county-typologycodes.aspx, including communities VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 located in Opportunity Zones, with limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers. Assist with identifying local leaders and partners to create a Local Prosperity Council to champion in order to carry out local efforts needed to engage Federal, state, and local partners, to connect them with USDA programs and resources. (b) Conduct an assessment of local challenges and issues within identified communities. This step is to list and describe, with appropriate detail, resources needed to assist the local community. These should be concrete, practical opportunities for partnerships or projects of interest to the Local Prosperity Council. (c) List all local assets with a detailed description of each one. This step is required to identify and describe all local assets and community resources that are being leveraged by the Local Prosperity Council to accomplish its goals. (d) Identify key collaborators and partners. This should be a list of potential and existing community partners with contact information. (e) Describe ongoing implementation efforts in the community. Additional information must be provided, in narrative form, regarding steps that stakeholders in the community have taken to address the challenges independently. (f) Provide technical assistance to communities applying for programmatic resources, services, and opportunities. Host in-person and/or online trainings for socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers in persistent poverty areas (https:// www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ county-typology-codes.aspx), including in Opportunity Zones (https:// www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-18-48.pdf). Trainings can include, but are not limited to bringing awareness to USDA capacity building programs, conservation awareness, urban agriculture awareness, and other types of trainings and workshops. D. Anticipated Outputs (Activities), Outcomes (Results), and Performance Measures 1. Outputs (Activities) The term ‘‘output’’ means an outreach, educational component, or assistance activity, task, or associated work product related to improving the ability of socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers to own and operate farms and ranches, assistance PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with agriculture related activities, or guidance for participation in USDA programs. Outputs may be quantitative or qualitative but must be measurable during the period of performance. Examples of outputs from the projects to be funded under this announcement may describe an organization’s activities and their participants such as: Number of workshops or meetings held and number of participants attending (including a list of participants with contact information); frequency of services or training delivered and to whom; development of products, curriculum, or resources provided. Other examples include but are not limited to the following: a. Number of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or ranchers served or trained; b. number of trainings held and number of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers that attended; c. number of local prosperity councils with self-identified challenges and assessments; d. number of persistent poverty communities, including communities in Opportunity Zones, identified; e. number of USDA agencies providing resources; f. number of programs and resources applied for by communities and limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers; g. number of mentors and local leaders identified; h. number of State and local resources leveraged; i. number of private sector partners and resources leveraged; j. creation of a program to enhance the operational viability of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers; k. number of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers and/or ranchers and agricultural producer applications assisted with submitting for consideration for USDA programs; l. activity that supports increased participation of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers in USDA programs; or m. Partnerships formed locally to improve access to USDA’s programs and services. n. Progress and Financial Reports will be required, no more than quarterly. 2. Outcomes (Results) The term ‘‘outcome’’ means the difference or effect that has occurred as E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices a result from carrying out an activity, workshop, meeting, or from delivery of services related to a programmatic goal or objective. Outcomes refer to the final impact, change, or result that occurs as a direct result of the activities performed in accomplishing the objectives and goals of your project. Outcomes may refer to results that are agricultural, behavioral, social, or economic in nature. Outcomes may reflect an increase in knowledge or skills, a greater awareness of available resources or programs, or actions taken by stakeholders as a result of learning. Specifically, outcomes must be quantitative as it relates to the project goals and objectives. Project Directors will be required to document anticipated outcomes that are funded under this announcement including, but not limited to the following: a. Documenting the number of new farmers and/or ranchers your organization assisted as a result of your project and the type of assistance; b. Documenting the number of local prosperity councils created; Document the number of assessments, plans and strategies developed; c. Documenting race, sex, national origin, disability and number of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or ranchers applying for USDA programs and services by program area; d. Documenting race, sex, national origin, disability and number of USDA program applications approved for funding, by program area, for socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers or ranchers as a result of your activities; e. Documenting the number of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers and ranchers that have better access to USDA Programs, including conservation implementation, as a result of your outreach and/or training efforts; f. Documenting the enhanced sustainability and retention of farming operations among limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or ranchers; g. Documenting higher profitability and economic stability among limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or ranchers resulting from increased access to marketing and enhanced sales opportunities for their products; h. Documenting an increase in the number and types of USDA programs and services utilized as a result of your project; and i. Documenting partnerships and resources leveraged, including a list of all individuals, parties, entities or organization. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 3. Performance Measures Performance measures are tied to the goals or objectives of each activity and ultimately the overall purpose of the project. They provide insight into the effectiveness of proposed activities by indicating areas where a project may need adjustments. Applicants must develop performance measure expectations which will occur as a result of their proposed activities. These expectations will be used as a mechanism to track the progress and success of a project. Project performance measures should include statements such as: Whether workshops or technical assistance will meet the needs of farmers or ranchers in the service area and why; how much time will be spent in group training or individual hands-on training of farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers; or whether activities will meet the demands of stakeholders. Project performance measures must include the assumptions used to make those estimates. Consider the following questions when developing performance measurement statements: a. What is the measurable short-term and long-term impact your project will have on serving the needs of historically underserved farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers? b. How will your organization measure the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed activities to meet the overall goals and objectives for this project? c. How will your project track the compilation of a complete assessment of local challenges and document how the connection will be made to link them with available resources for assistance? d. Who can you best partner with to leverage resources available to assist historically underserved farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers? II. Award Information A. Statutory Authority The statutory authority for this action is 7 U.S.C. 2279(c), which authorizes award funding for projects designed to provide outreach, education and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or ranchers. Grant funds are also being awarded under the Conservation Technical Assistance, Soil and Water Conservation (CTA): Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, Public Law 74–76, N/A, 16. U.S.C. 590a–590f, 590q. Applicants may charge their negotiated indirect cost rate or 10 percent, whichever is lower. Indirect PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41519 cost rates exceeding 10 percent will not be permitted. B. Expected Amount of Funding The total estimated funding expected to be available for awards under this competitive opportunity is approximately $4 million, including funds provided in the 2018 Farm Bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020. C. Project Period The performance period for projects selected from this solicitation will not begin prior to the effective award date listed in the grant agreement. The maximum project period is 3 years. D. Award Type Funding for selected projects will be in the form of a grant which must be fully executed no later than September 30, 2020. The anticipated Federal involvement will be limited to the following activities: 1. Approval of recipients’ final budget and Project Narrative or statement of work accompanying the grant agreement; 2. Monitoring of recipients’ performance through quarterly, annual (for multi-year projects) and final financial and performance reports; and 3. Evaluation of recipients’ use of federal funds through desk audits and on-site visits. III. Eligibility Information A. Eligible Entities Applicants and applications must meet eligibility criteria by the application deadline to be considered for award. Eligible applicant type is determined by the implementing program statute. Eligibility for this opportunity is limited to the following entity types: 1. Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher education). 2. Native American tribal governments (federally and nonfederally recognized). 3. Private institutions of higher education. 4. Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education. (Please note that in order to submit proposals, organizations must create accounts in Grants.gov and in the System for Awards Management www.SAM.gov; both of which could take several weeks.) Therefore, it is strongly suggested that organizations begin this process immediately. Registering early could prevent unforeseen delays in submitting your proposal. E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 41520 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices Applicants identified in the SAM.gov exclusions database as ineligible, prohibited/restricted or excluded from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and benefits will not be considered for Federal funding (2 CFR 200.205(d)). B. Cost-Sharing or Matching There are no cost-sharing nor matching requirements associated with this funding announcement. C. Threshold Eligibility Criteria Applications from eligible entities that meet all criteria will be evaluated as follows: 1. Proposals must comply with the submission instructions and requirements. Pages in excess of the page limitation will not be considered. 2. Proposals must be received through Grants.gov on or before the proposal submission deadline. Applicants will receive an electronic confirmation receipt of their proposal from Grants.gov. Proposals received after the submission deadline will not be considered. Proposals must address a minimum of five priority areas to provide outreach, training and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers or ranchers as stated in leveraging partnerships. 3. Incomplete or partial applications will not be eligible for consideration. IV. Proposal and Submission Information jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES A. Data Universal Numbering System In accordance with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) and the USDA implementation, all applicants must obtain and provide an identifying number from Dun and Bradstreet’s (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). Applicants can receive a DUNS number, at no cost, by calling the toll-free DUNS number request line at (866) 705–5711 or visiting the D&B website at www.dnb.com. B. System for Award Management (SAM) It is a requirement to register for SAM (www.sam.gov).There is NO fee to register for this site. This registration must be maintained and updated annually. Applicants can register or update their profile, at no cost, by visiting the SAM website at www.sam.gov. This is a requirement to registering for Grants.gov where all organizations must submit their application. Per 2 CFR part 200, applicants are required to: (1) Be registered in SAM VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 prior to submitting an application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in the application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which the organization has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. The OPPE may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the OPPE is ready to make a Federal award, the OPPE may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. SAM contains the publicly available data for all active exclusion records entered by the Federal Government identifying those parties excluded from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain types of Federal financial and non-financial assistance and benefits. All applicant organizations and their key personnel will be vetted through SAM to ensure they are in compliance with this requirement and not on the Excluded Parties List. Organizations identified as having delinquent Federal debt may contact the Treasury Offset Program at (800) 304–3107 for instructions on resolution but will not be awarded a 2501 Program grant prior to resolution. Should an applicant be awarded a grant, ezFedGrants (USDA’s financial grants management system) is linked with SAM to ensure funding payments are directed properly as entities must enter their banking information through SAM; as a result, Federal agencies cannot award funding to any organization not properly/fully registered in SAM. C. Obtain Proposal Package From Grants.gov (www.grants.gov) All applicants must register for an account on Grants.gov to submit their application. There is no cost for registration. All applications must be submitted through www.grants.gov. This website is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services, not the OPPE. Many Federal agencies use this website to post Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA). Please click on the ‘‘Support’’ tab to contact their customer support personnel if you need help with submitting your application. Applicants may download individual grant proposal forms from www.grants.gov. For assistance with www.grants.gov, please consult the PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Applicant User Guide at http:// grants.gov/assets/ ApplicantUserGuide.pdf. Applicants are required to submit proposals through www.grants.gov will be required to register with www.grants.gov to begin the proposal submission process. We strongly suggest you initiate this process immediately to avoid processing delays due to registration requirements. Federal agencies post funding opportunities on www.grants.gov. The OPPE is not responsible for submission issues associated with www.grants.gov. If you experience submission issues, please contact www.grants.gov support staff for assistance. Proposals must be submitted by August 24, 2020, via www.grants.gov at 11:59 p.m. EST. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be considered. D. Content of Proposal Package Submission All submissions must contain completed and electronically signed original application forms, as well as a Project Narrative and a Budget Narrative as described below: 1. Forms, documents, and attachments. The forms listed below can be found in the proposal package at www.grants.gov and must be submitted with all applications. Required forms are provided in the package as fillable forms. Applicants must download and complete these forms and submit them in the application submission portal at www.grants.gov. PDF documents listed below are documents the applicant must create and submit in PDF format. Please use the checklist of documents below to submit your application through Grants.gov: a. Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance. b. Project Abstract Summary (including site location(s) with demographic information). c. Project Narrative File (this is where you will attach your Project Narrative in PDF format). d. Standard Form (SF) 424A, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs. e. Budget Narrative File (this is where you will attach your Budget Narrative in PDF format). f. Standard Form (SF) 424B, Assurances—Non-Construction Programs. g. Key Contacts Form (please provide first, middle, and last names). h. Form AD–3030 Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants. E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices i. Form AD–3031, Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants. j. Attachments Form (where you may place all your appendices). Please note, additional required forms from organizations being awarded a grant will be provided for execution upon approval. 2. Below is further guidance, where needed, for completing the forms, documents, and attachment forms listed above. SF–424 Application for Federal Assistance Complete all highlighted areas on this form. Please pay particular attention to block 18a of the SF–424. This is the amount of Federal funding you are requesting under this funding opportunity. This form is the official requesting document and the amount that will be considered if you should have any discrepancies between this form and your Budget Information Form, SF–424A. Ensure this form is completed with accuracy; particularly email addresses and phone numbers. The OPPE may not be able to reach you if your information is incorrect. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Project/Performance Site Location(s) Please include all locations if your proposed project will be carried out at additional sites. Each page must be on numbered 81⁄2″ × 11″ paper with one-inch margins. The text of the proposal must be double spaced and typed in New Times Roman, no smaller than 12-point font and must not exceed 10 pages. Letters of support and are not included in the page restriction. Proposals that fail to comply with the required content and format will not be considered for funding. Materials submitted exceeding the maximum page limits and/or formatting structure will not be considered. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Proposals must be divided into the following sections and are limited to the number of pages stated per section: a. Project Summary: 250 words maximum. b. Introduction: One (1) page maximum. c. Needs Assessment: One (2) page maximum. d. Program Objectives: One (2) page maximum. e. Methods: Two (2) page maximum plus Deliverables Table. f. Budget: One (1) page maximum. g. Evaluation: 250 words maximum. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 E. Project Summary—Up to 10 Points: (First Page of Grant Application. 250Word Maximum.) A good summary will provide a frame of reference for the reviewer as they begin the review process. It should be clear, concise, and interesting. The summary should be one to three paragraph long and include the Project Title. The summary should include one or two sentences about each of the following: The applicant organization, a statement on capacity of the organization to implement the proposed activities, a statement on the communities’ needs and challenges and strategies for addressing them, a statement on the objectives and methods, the need motivating the request, the project start and end dates, the measurable outcomes and methodology, other organizations that will be involved, the project total cost, including funds already obtained, and the amount requested in this proposal. F. Introduction—Up to 10 Points: One (1) Page Narrative Maximum This section should introduce your organization to the reviewer and lend credibility to your organization’s qualifications and ability to successfully manage a federal agreement. The response should be succinct, offer a good balance between quantitative and qualitative information, and be free of unnecessary verbiage. It should include a brief history of the organization, including its mission statement and goals, capacity to implement your proposal, evidence of past events, accomplishments, and description of your clientele, including demographic information, organizational funding sources. Describe your history of successfully managing these federal and non-federal agreements, including meeting and complying with reporting requirements, submitting final acceptable technical reports, and reporting on progress made in achieving the results under those agreements. Applicants must state if they are assisting either a Historically Underserved Community (socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning, or veteran farmers or ranchers) according to the definition in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Applicants who self-certifying as Historically Underserved may be requested to provide records to verify their claim. For more information visit: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/ nrcs/detail/national/people/outreach/ slbfr/?cid=nrcsdev11_001040. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41521 G. Needs Assessment—Up to 25 Points: (Two (2)-Page Maximum.) The needs assessment is critical to the success of your application. It is the justification for your proposal and should focus on the condition that your proposal will address. Use care to ensure your proposal makes no unsupported assumptions. Your Needs Assessment should make a compelling case and identify focal area(s) within the project area or priority criteria, demonstrate the tie-in to the organizational mission and goals, describe the issues to be addressed, and the history of, and need for, the proposed innovation, provide statistical and authoritarian evidence that clearly supports the needs identified in the proposal and supports a high probability for success, and makes a compelling case for the project funding based on demonstrated need, the extent to which the proposal addresses at least five of the priority areas identified, the narrative includes a well-conceived strategy for addressing those requirements, objectives and the needs or problems to be solved, relates to purposes and goals of the applicant, includes reasonable dimensions versus trying to solve global issues, developed with input from clients and beneficiaries, and makes no unsupportive assumptions. H. Programmatic Objectives—Up to 20 Points (Two (2)-Page Maximum) This section of the proposal should make a compelling case identifying focal area(s) within the project area or priority criteria, thoroughly address project outcomes, not project activities. Identify the primary beneficiary of the grant such as veteran, beginning, tribal, socially disadvantaged, limited resource farmers/ranchers, etc. You should be using language that supports the issues identified in the needs assessment. Avoid including topics that pertain to providing, establishing, or developing a method to address the problem. Your objectives should include at least one objective for each problem identified in the Needs Assessment. Each objective must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and contain a timeline for completion. Be sure to describe how the outcomes will be measured. I. Methods—Up to 20 Points: (Two (2)Page Maximum.) Clearly describe program activities that constitute a solution with reasons for selections of activities, methods, activities and procedures are innovative and explain to the grant reviewer the E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 41522 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices steps that will be taken to complete the objectives identified in the previous section. This section demands clarity and justification in describing how the objectives will be met. Use care to present a reasonable number of activities that can be completed within the budget and grant period. Clearly describe the program activities, their sequence, and explain your reason for choosing this combination of activities. Provide a detailed description of how the project will be organized and managed. Include a list of key project personnel, their relevant education or experience, and their anticipated contributions to the project. Explain the level of participation required in the project by government (USDA) and nongovernment/public-sector entities and identify who will participate in monitoring and evaluating the project. Proposal must describe how the project will be sustained post agreement and if the activities and outcomes are transferable to other organizations. J. Budget—Up to 10 Points: (One (1) Page Maximum) The extent which the proposal describes the costs required to achieve the desired objectives, including personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, indirect costs, and requested USDA financial assistance, lists partnering organizations, provides detailed costs, and includes a well written description of the costs required (including time, responsibilities and number of key staffs). Applicants may charge their negotiated indirect cost rate or 10 percent, whichever is lower. Indirect cost rates exceeding 10 percent will not be permitted. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES K. Evaluation—Up to 5 Points-(One (1) Page Maximum) The extent to which the proposal presents a plan for determining the degree to which objectives are met and methods are followed, presents a plan for evaluating accomplishments of objectives, a plan for evaluating and modifying methods over the course of the project, clearly states criteria of success and describes how success will be measured, and define how progress will be reported and technical representative(s) kept informed. DO NOT PASSWORD PROTECT ANY OF YOUR SUBMITTED DOCUMENTS OR FORMS. L. Sub-Awards and Partnerships Funding may be used to provide subawards, which includes using subawards to fund partnerships; however, the recipient must utilize at least 50 percent of the total funds awarded, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 no more than three sub-awards will be permitted. All sub-awardees must comply with applicable requirements for sub-awards. Applicants must provide documentation of a competitive bidding process for services, contracts, and products, including consultants and contractors, and conduct cost and price analyses to the extent required by applicable procurement regulations. The OPPE awards funds to one eligible applicant as the lead award recipient. Please indicate a lead applicant as the responsible party if other organizations are named as partners or co-applicants or members of a coalition or consortium. The lead award recipient will be held accountable to the OPPE for the proper administrative requirements and expenditure of all funds. M. Submission Dates and Times The closing date and time for receipt of proposal submissions is August 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., EST, via www.grants.gov. Proposals received after the submission deadline will be considered late without further consideration. Proposals must be submitted through Grants.gov without exception. Additionally, organizations must also be registered in the System of Awards Management (SAM) at www.sam.gov. The proposal submission deadline is firm. N. Confidential Information In accordance with 2 CFR part 200, the names of entities submitting proposals, as well as proposal contents and evaluations, will be kept confidential to the extent permissible by law. Any information that the applicant wishes to have considered as confidential, privileged, or proprietary should be clearly marked as such in the proposal. If an applicant chooses to include confidential or proprietary information in the proposal, it will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. Pre-Submission Proposal Assistance 1. The OPPE may not assist individual applicants by reviewing draft proposals or providing advice on how to respond to evaluation criteria. However, the OPPE will respond to questions from individual applicants regarding eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification regarding the announcement. Any questions should be submitted to CommunityProsperity@usda.gov. Additionally, the OPPE will host public teleconferences to address questions and clarify requirements during the PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 open period of this solicitation. Dates, time, and phone numbers are provided on Page 1 of this announcement. 2. The OPPE will post questions and answers relating to this funding opportunity during its open period on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of our website: http:// www.outreach.usda.gov/grants/. Reviewing this section of our website will likely save you valuable time. The OPPE will update the FAQs on a weekly basis and conduct teleconferences on an as-needed basis. 3. Please visit our website: https:// www.outreach.usda.gov/grants/ index.htm to review the most recent Terms and Conditions for administering grants. This version is subject to change upon new program requirements. 4. Applicants selected for funding must inform their participants that USDA, or any of its third-party representatives, may contact them for quality assurance. V. Application Review Information A. Evaluation Criteria Only eligible entities whose proposals meet the threshold criteria of this announcement will be reviewed according to the evaluation criteria set forth below. Applicants should explicitly and fully address these criteria as part of their proposal package. Each proposal will be evaluated under the regulations established under 2 CFR part 200. Proposals will be screened for completeness and compliance with the provisions of this notice. Incomplete, noncompliant, and/or proposals not meeting the formatting criteria will be eliminated from competition. Merit/technical reviews will be conducted by a qualified evaluation panel (panel). Risk reviews will be conducted prior to making the final award decisions. Evaluated proposals will be forwarded to the Director of the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement who will make the final selections. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least two members of the panel. Panel members will review, and score all submitted applications. The Panel Lead will numerically score and rank each application and funding will be awarded within the two funding categories. Funding decisions will be based on the Panel’s recommendations. Final funding decisions are not appealable. Please be patient as processing all submitted applications, vetting key personnel, proposal reviews, approval process, and agreement creation is a E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices lengthy process that takes approximately two to three months. All applicants will be notified electronically of their application status when final selections have been made and will be provided an opportunity for application feedback as provided within the correspondence. B. Selection of Reviewers All applications will be reviewed by the Review Panel. Panel members are selected based upon training and experience in assisting historically undeserved farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers. This assistance includes, but is not limited to, bringing increased awareness of USDA’s programs and services in underserved communities, outreach, technical assistance, cooperative extension services, civil rights, education, statistical and ethnographic data collection and analysis, and agricultural programs, and are drawn from a diverse group of experts, including applicant peers, to create a balanced panel. VI. Award Administration Information A. Award Notices Proposal Notifications and Feedback jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 1. Successful applicants will be notified by the OPPE via telephone, email, and/or postal mail that its proposed project has been recommended for award. The notification will be sent to the Project Manager listed on the SF–424, Application for Federal Assistance. Project Managers should be the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) and authorized to sign on behalf of the organization. It is imperative that this individual is responsive to notifications by the OPPE. If the individual is no longer in the position, please notify the OPPE immediately to submit the new contact for the application by updating your organization’s Key Contacts form and forwarding a re´sume´ of the new key personnel. The grant agreement will be forwarded to the recipient for execution and must be returned to the OPPE Director, who is the authorizing official. Once grant documents are executed by all parties, authorization to begin work will be given. At a minimum, this VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 process can take up to 30 days from the date of notification. 2. Within 10 days of award status notification, unsuccessful applicants may request feedback on their application. Feedback will be provided as expeditiously as possible. Feedback sessions will be scheduled contingent upon the number of requests. B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements All awards resulting from this solicitation will be administered in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards codified at 2 CFR part 200, as supplemented by USDA implementing regulations at 2 CFR parts 400 and 415, and the OPPE Federal Financial Assistance Programs—General Award Administrative Procedures, 7 CFR part 2500. Additionally, the authorizing statute and regulation for this opportunity is also the Conservation Technical Assistance, CFDA 10.902— Soil and Water Conservation (CTA): Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, Public Law 74–76, N/A, 16. U.S.C. 590a–590f, 590q. In compliance with its obligations under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166, it is the policy of the OPPE to provide timely and meaningful access for persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) to projects, programs, and activities administered by Federal grant recipients. Recipient organizations must comply with these obligations upon acceptance of grant agreements as written in the OPPE’s Terms and Conditions. Following these guidelines is essential to the success of our mission to improve access to USDA programs for socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers. C. Reporting Requirement Your approved statement of work, timeline, and budget are your guiding documents in carrying out the activities of your project and for your reporting requirements. Please familiarize yourself with USDA’s grants management system called ezFedGrants: https://www.nfc.usda.gov/FSS/ PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41523 ClientServices/ezFedGrants/. In accordance with 2 CFR part 200, the following reporting requirements will apply to awards provided under this FOA. The OPPE reserves the right to revise the schedule and format of reporting requirements as necessary in the award agreement. 1. No more than Quarterly Progress Reports and Financial Reports will be required as follows: a. Quarterly Progress Reports. The recipient is required to provide a detailed narrative of project performance and activities as described in the award agreement. Quarterly progress reports must be submitted to the designated OPPE official via ezFedGrants within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter. This includes, but is not limited to, activities completed, events held, and the release of sign-in sheets with participants’ contact information. b. Quarterly Financial Reports. The recipient must submit SF 425, Federal Financial Report to the designated OPPE official via ezFedGrants within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter. 2. Annual reports may be required for multi-year projects. 3. Final Progress and Financial Reports will be required upon project completion. The Final Progress Report must include a summary of the project or activity throughout the funding period, achievements of the project or activity, and a discussion of overall successes and issues experienced in conducting the project or project activities. It should convey the impact your project had on the communities you served and discuss the project’s accomplishments in achieving expected outcomes. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, the number of new USDA applicants as a result of your award, the number of approved applicants for USDA programs and services, increased awareness of USDA programs and services, etc. 4. The final Financial Report should consist of a complete SF–425 indicating the total costs of the project. Final Progress and Financial Reports must be submitted to the designated OPPE official via ezFedGrants within 90 days after the completion of the award period as follows: E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 41524 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 133 / Friday, July 10, 2020 / Notices Report Performance period Form SF–425, Federal Financial Report and Progress Report (Due Quarterly). 1 October thru 31 December ...... 1 January thru 31 March ............. 1 April thru 30 June 1 ................. July thru 30 September ............... Annual (for multi-year project) and Final Progress and Financial Reports ... Due date 12/31/2020 3/31/2021 6/30/2021 9/30/2021 Grace period 1/30/2021 4/30/2021 7/30/2021 10/30/2021 Earlier of December 30, 2021, or 90 days after project completion. * Dates subject to change at the discretion of the OPPE. Signed this 26 day of June 2020. Jacqueline Davis-Slay, Deputy Director, Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. [FR Doc. 2020–14325 Filed 7–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3412–89–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service [Docket #: RBS–20–CO–OP–0021] Inviting Applications for the Delta Health Care Services Grant Program Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Department of Agriculture (USDA). ACTION: Notice of Funding Availability. AGENCY: This Notice of Funding Availability (Notice) announces that the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is accepting fiscal year (FY) 2020 applications for the Delta Health Care Services (DHCS) grant program. Approximately $6.0 million is currently available for FY 2020. The Agency will publish the program funding level on the Rural Development website https:// www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/ delta-health-care-services-grants. The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to address the continued unmet health needs in the Delta Region through cooperation among health care professionals, institutions of higher education, research institutions, and economic development entities in the Delta Region. DATES: Completed applications for grants must be submitted electronically by no later than midnight Eastern Standard Time August 24, 2020 through http://www.grants.gov to be eligible for grant funding. Please review the Grants.gov website at https:// www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/ organization-registration.html for instructions on the process of registering your organization as soon as possible to ensure you are able to meet the electronic application deadline. Late applications are not eligible for funding under this Notice and will not be evaluated. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:28 Jul 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 You are encouraged to contact your USDA Rural Development State Office well in advance of the application deadline to discuss your Project and ask any questions about the application process. Contact information for State Offices can be found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/ contact-us/state-offices. Program guidance as well as application templates may be obtained at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programsservices/delta-health-care-servicesgrants or by contacting your State Office. To submit an electronic application, follow the instructions for the DHCS funding announcement located at http://www.grants.gov. Please review the Grants.gov website at https:// www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/ organization-registration.html 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Honie Turner, Program Management Division, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mail Stop 3226, Room 4204-South, Washington, DC 20250–3226, 202–720– 1400 or email CPgrants@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: Preface The Agency encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force report to help improve life in rural America. https://www.usda.gov/topics/ rural/rural-prosperity. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include: • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America • Developing the Rural Economy • Harnessing Technological Innovation • Supporting a Rural Workforce PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 • Improving Quality of Life Overview Federal Agency Name: USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Funding Opportunity Title: Delta Health Care Services Grant Program. Announcement Type: Initial Notice. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 10.874. Dates: Application Deadline. Your electronic application must be received by http://www.grants.gov no later than Midnight Eastern Standard Time August 24, 2020, or it will not be considered for funding. Hemp Related Projects Funding cannot be provided to a project involving hemp unless the Agency can verify that the hemp producer providing hemp to the project has a valid license issued from an approved State, Tribal or Federal plan as defined by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, Public Law 115–334. Verification will occur at the time of award. Persistent Poverty Counties The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, SEC. 740 designates funding for projects in Persistent Poverty Counties. Persistent Poverty Counties as defined in SEC. 740 is ‘‘any county that has had 20 percent or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years, as measured by the 1990 and 2000 decennial censuses, and 2007–2011 American Community Survey 5-year average, or any territory or possession of the United States’’. Another provision in Section 740 expands the eligible population in Persistent Poverty Counties to include any county seat of such a Persistent Poverty County that has a population that does not exceed the authorized population limit by more than 10 percent. Therefore, applications for projects in Persistent Poverty County seats with populations up to 55,000 (per the 2010 Census) are eligible. Funding of approximately $4.5 million is available to support Persistent Poverty Counties. COVID–19 Administrative Relief Exceptions: The Agency reviewed the E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 133 (Friday, July 10, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41516-41524]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-14325]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement

[FOA No.: OPPE-015]


Funding Opportunity Announcement--Solicitation for Applications 
To Assist Persistent Poverty Farmers, Ranchers, Agriculture Producers 
and Communities Through Agriculture Resources

AGENCY: Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE), 
Agriculture (USDA).

ACTION: Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Nos.: 10.902-Soil and 
Water Conservation (CTA): Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment 
Act; 10.443-Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged 
Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits 
applications for grants from community-based and non-profit 
organizations, institutions of higher education, and tribal entities to 
compete for financial assistance through the OPPE. Funding will be made 
available for the purpose of leveraging USDA, state, local and private 
sector resources, to address local agricultural and natural resource 
issues, encourage collaboration and to develop state and local 
leadership and partnerships to assist limited resource and socially 
disadvantaged and veteran farmers, ranchers, agricultural producers and 
communities through agriculture industries. The eligible entities will 
provide technical assistance to persistent poverty communities, with 
emphasis on socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and 
agricultural producers to assist them in establishing a local working 
leaders group, identifying issues, challenges and assets, preparing a 
plan of action and identifying resources and means to address and 
accomplish results through available programmatic services and 
opportunities.

DATES: Proposals must be received via Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern 
Standard Time on August 24, 2020.
    For Further Information or for Programmatic Complaints, Please 
Contact: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Partnerships and 
Public Engagement, Attn: Jacqueline Davis-Slay, Deputy Director, Jamie 
L. Whitten Building, Room 520-A, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, 
Washington, DC 20250; Phone: (202) 720-6350; Fax: (202) 720-7704; 
Email: [email protected].
    Persons with Disabilities: Persons who require alternative means 
for communication (Braille large print, audiotape, etc.), should 
contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). 
Additionally, alternative means for submissions due to disability 
status will be approved on a case-by-case basis.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposals will be scored as they are 
received and, if eligible, added to a ranking list of projects for 
funding consideration. Funding recommendations will be forwarded to the 
Director of OPPE who will make final selections. Funds will be awarded 
to eligible entities that have documented knowledge of and experience 
with USDA programs, experience in providing agricultural education or 
other agricultural-related services to socially disadvantaged and/or 
veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers, experience with 
economic development in persistent poverty areas, and in developing 
partnerships with relevant entities and individuals to reach a common 
goal.
    An applicant MUST be an entity or organization. ``Individuals'' do 
not meet the eligibility criteria.
    Funds under this announcement may not be used for the following: 
Planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of a 
building or facility; for start-up or financing costs for businesses or 
for an organization's capacity building; as small agricultural loans 
for individual farmers; or to incentivize individuals to attend an 
event.
    Funding/Awards: The total funding available for this competitive 
opportunity is approximately $4 million (including funds provided in 
the 2018 Farm Bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020). 
The OPPE will award grants from this announcement subject to 
availability of funds and the quality of applications received. All 
applicants will compete based on their organization's entity type 
(e.g., nonprofit organization or higher education institution). The 
maximum project period is 3 years. The maximum amount of requested 
federal funding for projects shall not exceed $450,000 over the 3-year 
period. Additionally, the maximum award per year is $150,000. USDA has 
the discretion to fund multi-year projects in an effort to maximize 
outreach, education and technical assistance ensuring geographical 
distribution of funds. Eligible entities may receive subsequent years 
funding provided that:

[[Page 41517]]

    (a) Activities and associated costs do not overlap with projects 
awarded in previous years; and
    (b) Recipients and their key partners are successfully vetted 
through the SAM.gov Federal award system.
    The OPPE reserves the right to approve one-year no cost extensions 
(no additional funds).
    Funding will be awarded based on competition described below:
    1890 Land Grant colleges and universities, 1994 Tribal Land-Grant, 
Alaska Native and American Indian Tribal colleges and universities, 
Hispanic-Serving Institutions of higher education), and other private 
or state institutions of higher education with an agricultural 
curriculum. Also included are nonprofit organizations, community-based 
organizations, including a network or a coalition of community-based 
organizations, and Native American tribal government (federally 
recognized or non-federally recognized).
    Higher consideration will be given to socially disadvantaged, 
limited resource, beginning, or veteran farmer or rancher) servicing 
legal entities, or joint operations according to the definition in the 
Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.
    OPPE reserves the right to allocate funding between the two 
categories based upon the number and quality of applications received.

I. Funding Opportunity Description

A. Background

    The OPPE is committed to ensuring that socially disadvantaged, 
historically underserved (including limited resource, socially 
disadvantaged, and veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural 
producers) are able to equitably participate in USDA programs. 
Community-based and non-profit organizations, higher education 
institutions, and eligible Tribal entities with an expertise in working 
within rural persistent poverty areas of socially disadvantaged or 
veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers can play a 
critical role in addressing the unique difficulties they face and can 
help improve their ability to start and maintain successful 
agricultural businesses and create sustainable growing communities. 
With this funding, organizations must establish partnerships to provide 
local agricultural education and training and extend outreach efforts 
to connect with and assist local socially disadvantaged and/or veteran 
farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers to provide them with 
information on available USDA resources. Only one proposal will be 
accepted from each organization.
    Eligible entities may compete for funding on projects that provide 
outreach, education and training in agriculture, conservation, 
agribusiness, and forestry, with a focus on economic and workforce 
development, innovation and technology, and quality of life through 
agriculture industries. This partnership includes working closely with 
OPPE, USDA Liaisons and the State Food and Agriculture Council (SFAC) 
to coordinate outreach and training events and attend OPPE-led events 
in your proposed service territory.
    The overall goal is to develop partnerships with eligible entities 
to expand outreach and assistance to help socially disadvantaged and 
historically underserved farmers, ranchers, ag producers and 
communities in persistent poverty areas, including in Opportunity 
Zones, through the agriculture sector to foster hope and opportunity, 
build assets and create wealth. Eligible entities will identify 
communities to receive tailored technical assistance and support by 
organizing and facilitating summits and training through partnerships 
with the USDA Liaisons and SFAC, collectively known and the OneUSDA 
team. Entities will establish a local prosperity council that consists 
of (but not limited to) the mayor, county planning committee, board of 
supervisors, superintendents and Board of Education, farmers, ranchers, 
agriculture producers, faith-based, etc. to focus on locally driven, 
bottom up solutions to address communities self-identified challenges 
and issues.
    Proposals will be accepted for projects in any of the 50 States, 
the District of Columbia, the Caribbean area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. 
Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Islands area (Guam, American Samoa, 
and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). A total of up to 
$4 million is available for Fiscal Year 2020 for this funding 
opportunity. Applicants must be a Native American tribal government 
(federally recognized or non-federally recognized), a nonprofit having 
a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than institutions of higher 
education), or a private, public or state-controlled institution of 
higher education.

B. Program Description

    The statutory authority for this action is 7 U.S.C. 2279(c), which 
authorizes award funding for projects designed to provide outreach, 
education and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and/or 
veteran farmers or ranchers.
    Funds are also being awarded under the Conservation Technical 
Assistance, Soil and Water Conservation (CTA): Soil Conservation and 
Domestic Allotment Act, Public Law 74-76, N/A, 16. U.S.C. 590a-590f, 
590q.

C. Purpose

    The purpose of this funding is to leverage USDA and partnering 
entities to assist persistent poverty communities with socially 
disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural 
producers, to improve, restore, maintain natural resources and growth 
in their communities through an established platform and process that 
focuses on fostering hope and opportunity, asset building and wealth 
creation. In addition, funding may be used to educate and assist 
persistent poverty communities with socially disadvantaged and/or 
veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers on accessing 
resources and opportunities available through the Coronavirus Aid, 
Relief, and Economic Security Act. Through the approved grant, 
organizations will assist persistent poverty communities and farmers, 
ranchers and agriculture producers by developing partnerships and 
strategies to address self-identified challenges and issues to:
    1. Enhance coordination and collaboration through outreach, 
education, and training summits and workshops;
    2. Educate persistent poverty communities with limited resource, 
socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers and ranchers on 
increasing their access to and participation in USDA programs;
    3. Assist persistent poverty communities to become economically 
sustainable through a locally driven bottom-up process;
    4. Assist persistent poverty communities with limited resource, 
socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and 
agricultural producers to build and strengthen access to USDA 
programmatic services and opportunities that promote economic and 
community development;
    5. Improve natural resources concerns;
    6. Increase the number of agriculture producers;
    7. Improve the environment and economic status of working 
agriculture lands;
    8. Create Local Prosperity Councils through coordination and 
collaboration of USDA local officials, community

[[Page 41518]]

leaders, farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers;
    9. Develop plans to create sustainable communities that address 
self-identified challenges through the agriculture industry.
    Proposals from eligible entities must address at least five of the 
following priority areas:
    1. Increased access of USDA's programs and services.
    2. Resolution of heirs' property issues.
    3. Improved financial literacy.
    4. Increased and retained new entrepreneurs in agriculture industry 
to include farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers.
    5. Improved knowledge of agriculture business understanding.
    6. Promotion of USDA programs and services to build capacity to 
promote economic and workforce development, innovation and technology 
through the agriculture industry.
    7. Improved knowledge of agriculture and natural resources.
    8. Increased use or implementation of conservation practices.
    Eligible projects will increase the delivery of agriculture and 
conservation assistance to limited resource, socially disadvantaged 
and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers through 
coordinating and leveraging program outreach and technical assistance 
to manage natural resources. Outreach projects should focus on 
assisting socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and 
agricultural producers with all aspects of participating in USDA 
programs, including understanding and assisting in the program 
application process.
    Eligible projects will identify and organize persistent poverty 
communities that include farmers, ranchers and agriculture producers to 
identify key challenges and develop strategies to assist them through 
agriculture industries to become economically sustainable, safe, 
educated and prosperous. Projects must follow the program summary six-
step action items required and target economic development, innovation 
and technology, workforce development and quality of life.
    Projects may include, but not limited to, providing technical 
assistance, transfer of technology, developing natural resource tools 
and information to address resource concerns in soil, water, air and 
plants, and animals.
    The following steps will be required of all successful awardees:
    (a) Identify persistent poverty communities https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/county-typology-codes.aspx, including 
communities located in Opportunity Zones, with limited resource, 
socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and 
agricultural producers. Assist with identifying local leaders and 
partners to create a Local Prosperity Council to champion in order to 
carry out local efforts needed to engage Federal, state, and local 
partners, to connect them with USDA programs and resources.
    (b) Conduct an assessment of local challenges and issues within 
identified communities. This step is to list and describe, with 
appropriate detail, resources needed to assist the local community. 
These should be concrete, practical opportunities for partnerships or 
projects of interest to the Local Prosperity Council.
    (c) List all local assets with a detailed description of each one. 
This step is required to identify and describe all local assets and 
community resources that are being leveraged by the Local Prosperity 
Council to accomplish its goals.
    (d) Identify key collaborators and partners. This should be a list 
of potential and existing community partners with contact information.
    (e) Describe ongoing implementation efforts in the community. 
Additional information must be provided, in narrative form, regarding 
steps that stakeholders in the community have taken to address the 
challenges independently.
    (f) Provide technical assistance to communities applying for 
programmatic resources, services, and opportunities. Host in-person 
and/or online trainings for socially disadvantaged and/or veteran 
farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers in persistent poverty 
areas (https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/county-typology-codes.aspx), including in Opportunity Zones (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-18-48.pdf). Trainings can include, but are not limited to 
bringing awareness to USDA capacity building programs, conservation 
awareness, urban agriculture awareness, and other types of trainings 
and workshops.

D. Anticipated Outputs (Activities), Outcomes (Results), and 
Performance Measures

1. Outputs (Activities)
    The term ``output'' means an outreach, educational component, or 
assistance activity, task, or associated work product related to 
improving the ability of socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers, 
ranchers and agricultural producers to own and operate farms and 
ranches, assistance with agriculture related activities, or guidance 
for participation in USDA programs. Outputs may be quantitative or 
qualitative but must be measurable during the period of performance. 
Examples of outputs from the projects to be funded under this 
announcement may describe an organization's activities and their 
participants such as: Number of workshops or meetings held and number 
of participants attending (including a list of participants with 
contact information); frequency of services or training delivered and 
to whom; development of products, curriculum, or resources provided. 
Other examples include but are not limited to the following:
    a. Number of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or 
veteran farmers or ranchers served or trained;
    b. number of trainings held and number of limited resource, 
socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and 
agricultural producers that attended;
    c. number of local prosperity councils with self-identified 
challenges and assessments;
    d. number of persistent poverty communities, including communities 
in Opportunity Zones, identified;
    e. number of USDA agencies providing resources;
    f. number of programs and resources applied for by communities and 
limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, 
ranchers and agricultural producers;
    g. number of mentors and local leaders identified;
    h. number of State and local resources leveraged;
    i. number of private sector partners and resources leveraged;
    j. creation of a program to enhance the operational viability of 
limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, 
ranchers and agricultural producers;
    k. number of limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or 
veteran farmers and/or ranchers and agricultural producer applications 
assisted with submitting for consideration for USDA programs;
    l. activity that supports increased participation of limited 
resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers and 
agricultural producers in USDA programs; or
    m. Partnerships formed locally to improve access to USDA's programs 
and services.
    n. Progress and Financial Reports will be required, no more than 
quarterly.
2. Outcomes (Results)
    The term ``outcome'' means the difference or effect that has 
occurred as

[[Page 41519]]

a result from carrying out an activity, workshop, meeting, or from 
delivery of services related to a programmatic goal or objective. 
Outcomes refer to the final impact, change, or result that occurs as a 
direct result of the activities performed in accomplishing the 
objectives and goals of your project. Outcomes may refer to results 
that are agricultural, behavioral, social, or economic in nature. 
Outcomes may reflect an increase in knowledge or skills, a greater 
awareness of available resources or programs, or actions taken by 
stakeholders as a result of learning. Specifically, outcomes must be 
quantitative as it relates to the project goals and objectives. Project 
Directors will be required to document anticipated outcomes that are 
funded under this announcement including, but not limited to the 
following:
    a. Documenting the number of new farmers and/or ranchers your 
organization assisted as a result of your project and the type of 
assistance;
    b. Documenting the number of local prosperity councils created; 
Document the number of assessments, plans and strategies developed;
    c. Documenting race, sex, national origin, disability and number of 
limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or 
ranchers applying for USDA programs and services by program area;
    d. Documenting race, sex, national origin, disability and number of 
USDA program applications approved for funding, by program area, for 
socially disadvantaged or veteran farmers or ranchers as a result of 
your activities;
    e. Documenting the number of limited resource, socially 
disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers and ranchers that have better 
access to USDA Programs, including conservation implementation, as a 
result of your outreach and/or training efforts;
    f. Documenting the enhanced sustainability and retention of farming 
operations among limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or 
veteran farmers or ranchers;
    g. Documenting higher profitability and economic stability among 
limited resource, socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers or 
ranchers resulting from increased access to marketing and enhanced 
sales opportunities for their products;
    h. Documenting an increase in the number and types of USDA programs 
and services utilized as a result of your project; and
    i. Documenting partnerships and resources leveraged, including a 
list of all individuals, parties, entities or organization.
3. Performance Measures
    Performance measures are tied to the goals or objectives of each 
activity and ultimately the overall purpose of the project. They 
provide insight into the effectiveness of proposed activities by 
indicating areas where a project may need adjustments. Applicants must 
develop performance measure expectations which will occur as a result 
of their proposed activities. These expectations will be used as a 
mechanism to track the progress and success of a project. Project 
performance measures should include statements such as: Whether 
workshops or technical assistance will meet the needs of farmers or 
ranchers in the service area and why; how much time will be spent in 
group training or individual hands-on training of farmers, ranchers and 
agricultural producers; or whether activities will meet the demands of 
stakeholders. Project performance measures must include the assumptions 
used to make those estimates. Consider the following questions when 
developing performance measurement statements:
    a. What is the measurable short-term and long-term impact your 
project will have on serving the needs of historically underserved 
farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers?
    b. How will your organization measure the effectiveness and 
efficiency of our proposed activities to meet the overall goals and 
objectives for this project?
    c. How will your project track the compilation of a complete 
assessment of local challenges and document how the connection will be 
made to link them with available resources for assistance?
    d. Who can you best partner with to leverage resources available to 
assist historically underserved farmers, ranchers and agricultural 
producers?

II. Award Information

A. Statutory Authority

    The statutory authority for this action is 7 U.S.C. 2279(c), which 
authorizes award funding for projects designed to provide outreach, 
education and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and/or 
veteran farmers or ranchers.
    Grant funds are also being awarded under the Conservation Technical 
Assistance, Soil and Water Conservation (CTA): Soil Conservation and 
Domestic Allotment Act, Public Law 74-76, N/A, 16. U.S.C. 590a-590f, 
590q.
    Applicants may charge their negotiated indirect cost rate or 10 
percent, whichever is lower. Indirect cost rates exceeding 10 percent 
will not be permitted.

B. Expected Amount of Funding

    The total estimated funding expected to be available for awards 
under this competitive opportunity is approximately $4 million, 
including funds provided in the 2018 Farm Bill and the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act of 2020.

C. Project Period

    The performance period for projects selected from this solicitation 
will not begin prior to the effective award date listed in the grant 
agreement. The maximum project period is 3 years.

D. Award Type

    Funding for selected projects will be in the form of a grant which 
must be fully executed no later than September 30, 2020. The 
anticipated Federal involvement will be limited to the following 
activities:
    1. Approval of recipients' final budget and Project Narrative or 
statement of work accompanying the grant agreement;
    2. Monitoring of recipients' performance through quarterly, annual 
(for multi-year projects) and final financial and performance reports; 
and
    3. Evaluation of recipients' use of federal funds through desk 
audits and on-site visits.

III. Eligibility Information

A. Eligible Entities

    Applicants and applications must meet eligibility criteria by the 
application deadline to be considered for award. Eligible applicant 
type is determined by the implementing program statute. Eligibility for 
this opportunity is limited to the following entity types:
    1. Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS (other than 
institutions of higher education).
    2. Native American tribal governments (federally and non-federally 
recognized).
    3. Private institutions of higher education.
    4. Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education.
    (Please note that in order to submit proposals, organizations must 
create accounts in Grants.gov and in the System for Awards Management 
www.SAM.gov; both of which could take several weeks.) Therefore, it is 
strongly suggested that organizations begin this process immediately. 
Registering early could prevent unforeseen delays in submitting your 
proposal.

[[Page 41520]]

    Applicants identified in the SAM.gov exclusions database as 
ineligible, prohibited/restricted or excluded from receiving Federal 
contracts, certain subcontracts, and certain Federal assistance and 
benefits will not be considered for Federal funding (2 CFR 200.205(d)).

B. Cost-Sharing or Matching

    There are no cost-sharing nor matching requirements associated with 
this funding announcement.

C. Threshold Eligibility Criteria

    Applications from eligible entities that meet all criteria will be 
evaluated as follows:
    1. Proposals must comply with the submission instructions and 
requirements. Pages in excess of the page limitation will not be 
considered.
    2. Proposals must be received through Grants.gov on or before the 
proposal submission deadline. Applicants will receive an electronic 
confirmation receipt of their proposal from Grants.gov. Proposals 
received after the submission deadline will not be considered. 
Proposals must address a minimum of five priority areas to provide 
outreach, training and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged 
or veteran farmers or ranchers as stated in leveraging partnerships.
    3. Incomplete or partial applications will not be eligible for 
consideration.

IV. Proposal and Submission Information

A. Data Universal Numbering System

    In accordance with the Federal Funding Accountability and 
Transparency Act (FFATA) and the USDA implementation, all applicants 
must obtain and provide an identifying number from Dun and Bradstreet's 
(D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). Applicants can receive a 
DUNS number, at no cost, by calling the toll-free DUNS number request 
line at (866) 705-5711 or visiting the D&B website at www.dnb.com.

B. System for Award Management (SAM)

    It is a requirement to register for SAM (www.sam.gov).There is NO 
fee to register for this site. This registration must be maintained and 
updated annually. Applicants can register or update their profile, at 
no cost, by visiting the SAM website at www.sam.gov. This is a 
requirement to registering for Grants.gov where all organizations must 
submit their application.
    Per 2 CFR part 200, applicants are required to: (1) Be registered 
in SAM prior to submitting an application; (2) provide a valid unique 
entity identifier in the application; and (3) continue to maintain an 
active SAM registration with current information at all times during 
which the organization has an active Federal award or an application or 
plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. The OPPE may not 
make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied 
with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If 
an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time 
the OPPE is ready to make a Federal award, the OPPE may determine that 
the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that 
determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another 
applicant.
    SAM contains the publicly available data for all active exclusion 
records entered by the Federal Government identifying those parties 
excluded from receiving Federal contracts, certain subcontracts, and 
certain types of Federal financial and non-financial assistance and 
benefits. All applicant organizations and their key personnel will be 
vetted through SAM to ensure they are in compliance with this 
requirement and not on the Excluded Parties List. Organizations 
identified as having delinquent Federal debt may contact the Treasury 
Offset Program at (800) 304-3107 for instructions on resolution but 
will not be awarded a 2501 Program grant prior to resolution.
    Should an applicant be awarded a grant, ezFedGrants (USDA's 
financial grants management system) is linked with SAM to ensure 
funding payments are directed properly as entities must enter their 
banking information through SAM; as a result, Federal agencies cannot 
award funding to any organization not properly/fully registered in SAM.

C. Obtain Proposal Package From Grants.gov (www.grants.gov)

    All applicants must register for an account on Grants.gov to submit 
their application. There is no cost for registration. All applications 
must be submitted through www.grants.gov. This website is managed by 
the Department of Health and Human Services, not the OPPE. Many Federal 
agencies use this website to post Funding Opportunity Announcements 
(FOA). Please click on the ``Support'' tab to contact their customer 
support personnel if you need help with submitting your application.
    Applicants may download individual grant proposal forms from 
www.grants.gov. For assistance with www.grants.gov, please consult the 
Applicant User Guide at http://grants.gov/assets/ApplicantUserGuide.pdf.
    Applicants are required to submit proposals through www.grants.gov 
will be required to register with www.grants.gov to begin the proposal 
submission process. We strongly suggest you initiate this process 
immediately to avoid processing delays due to registration 
requirements.
    Federal agencies post funding opportunities on www.grants.gov. The 
OPPE is not responsible for submission issues associated with 
www.grants.gov. If you experience submission issues, please contact 
www.grants.gov support staff for assistance.
    Proposals must be submitted by August 24, 2020, via www.grants.gov 
at 11:59 p.m. EST. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be 
considered.

D. Content of Proposal Package Submission

    All submissions must contain completed and electronically signed 
original application forms, as well as a Project Narrative and a Budget 
Narrative as described below:
    1. Forms, documents, and attachments. The forms listed below can be 
found in the proposal package at www.grants.gov and must be submitted 
with all applications. Required forms are provided in the package as 
fillable forms. Applicants must download and complete these forms and 
submit them in the application submission portal at www.grants.gov. PDF 
documents listed below are documents the applicant must create and 
submit in PDF format. Please use the checklist of documents below to 
submit your application through Grants.gov:
    a. Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance.
    b. Project Abstract Summary (including site location(s) with 
demographic information).
    c. Project Narrative File (this is where you will attach your 
Project Narrative in PDF format).
    d. Standard Form (SF) 424A, Budget Information--Non-Construction 
Programs.
    e. Budget Narrative File (this is where you will attach your Budget 
Narrative in PDF format).
    f. Standard Form (SF) 424B, Assurances--Non-Construction Programs.
    g. Key Contacts Form (please provide first, middle, and last 
names).
    h. Form AD-3030 Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax 
Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants.

[[Page 41521]]

    i. Form AD-3031, Assurance Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax 
Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants.
    j. Attachments Form (where you may place all your appendices).
    Please note, additional required forms from organizations being 
awarded a grant will be provided for execution upon approval.
    2. Below is further guidance, where needed, for completing the 
forms, documents, and attachment forms listed above.
SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance
    Complete all highlighted areas on this form. Please pay particular 
attention to block 18a of the SF-424. This is the amount of Federal 
funding you are requesting under this funding opportunity. This form is 
the official requesting document and the amount that will be considered 
if you should have any discrepancies between this form and your Budget 
Information Form, SF-424A. Ensure this form is completed with accuracy; 
particularly email addresses and phone numbers. The OPPE may not be 
able to reach you if your information is incorrect.
Project/Performance Site Location(s)
    Please include all locations if your proposed project will be 
carried out at additional sites.
    Each page must be on numbered 8\1/2\'' x 11'' paper with one-inch 
margins. The text of the proposal must be double spaced and typed in 
New Times Roman, no smaller than 12-point font and must not exceed 10 
pages. Letters of support and are not included in the page restriction.
    Proposals that fail to comply with the required content and format 
will not be considered for funding. Materials submitted exceeding the 
maximum page limits and/or formatting structure will not be considered. 
Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Proposals must be divided 
into the following sections and are limited to the number of pages 
stated per section:
    a. Project Summary: 250 words maximum.
    b. Introduction: One (1) page maximum.
    c. Needs Assessment: One (2) page maximum.
    d. Program Objectives: One (2) page maximum.
    e. Methods: Two (2) page maximum plus Deliverables Table.
    f. Budget: One (1) page maximum.
    g. Evaluation: 250 words maximum.

E. Project Summary--Up to 10 Points: (First Page of Grant Application. 
250-Word Maximum.)

    A good summary will provide a frame of reference for the reviewer 
as they begin the review process. It should be clear, concise, and 
interesting. The summary should be one to three paragraph long and 
include the Project Title. The summary should include one or two 
sentences about each of the following: The applicant organization, a 
statement on capacity of the organization to implement the proposed 
activities, a statement on the communities' needs and challenges and 
strategies for addressing them, a statement on the objectives and 
methods, the need motivating the request, the project start and end 
dates, the measurable outcomes and methodology, other organizations 
that will be involved, the project total cost, including funds already 
obtained, and the amount requested in this proposal.

F. Introduction--Up to 10 Points: One (1) Page Narrative Maximum

    This section should introduce your organization to the reviewer and 
lend credibility to your organization's qualifications and ability to 
successfully manage a federal agreement. The response should be 
succinct, offer a good balance between quantitative and qualitative 
information, and be free of unnecessary verbiage. It should include a 
brief history of the organization, including its mission statement and 
goals, capacity to implement your proposal, evidence of past events, 
accomplishments, and description of your clientele, including 
demographic information, organizational funding sources. Describe your 
history of successfully managing these federal and non-federal 
agreements, including meeting and complying with reporting 
requirements, submitting final acceptable technical reports, and 
reporting on progress made in achieving the results under those 
agreements.
    Applicants must state if they are assisting either a Historically 
Underserved Community (socially disadvantaged, limited resource, 
beginning, or veteran farmers or ranchers) according to the definition 
in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Applicants who self-
certifying as Historically Underserved may be requested to provide 
records to verify their claim. For more information visit: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/people/outreach/slbfr/?cid=nrcsdev11_001040.

G. Needs Assessment--Up to 25 Points: (Two (2)-Page Maximum.)

    The needs assessment is critical to the success of your 
application. It is the justification for your proposal and should focus 
on the condition that your proposal will address. Use care to ensure 
your proposal makes no unsupported assumptions. Your Needs Assessment 
should make a compelling case and identify focal area(s) within the 
project area or priority criteria, demonstrate the tie-in to the 
organizational mission and goals, describe the issues to be addressed, 
and the history of, and need for, the proposed innovation, provide 
statistical and authoritarian evidence that clearly supports the needs 
identified in the proposal and supports a high probability for success, 
and makes a compelling case for the project funding based on 
demonstrated need, the extent to which the proposal addresses at least 
five of the priority areas identified, the narrative includes a well-
conceived strategy for addressing those requirements, objectives and 
the needs or problems to be solved, relates to purposes and goals of 
the applicant, includes reasonable dimensions versus trying to solve 
global issues, developed with input from clients and beneficiaries, and 
makes no unsupportive assumptions.

H. Programmatic Objectives--Up to 20 Points (Two (2)-Page Maximum)

    This section of the proposal should make a compelling case 
identifying focal area(s) within the project area or priority criteria, 
thoroughly address project outcomes, not project activities. Identify 
the primary beneficiary of the grant such as veteran, beginning, 
tribal, socially disadvantaged, limited resource farmers/ranchers, etc. 
You should be using language that supports the issues identified in the 
needs assessment. Avoid including topics that pertain to providing, 
establishing, or developing a method to address the problem. Your 
objectives should include at least one objective for each problem 
identified in the Needs Assessment. Each objective must be specific, 
measurable, achievable, realistic, and contain a timeline for 
completion. Be sure to describe how the outcomes will be measured.

I. Methods--Up to 20 Points: (Two (2)-Page Maximum.)

    Clearly describe program activities that constitute a solution with 
reasons for selections of activities, methods, activities and 
procedures are innovative and explain to the grant reviewer the

[[Page 41522]]

steps that will be taken to complete the objectives identified in the 
previous section. This section demands clarity and justification in 
describing how the objectives will be met. Use care to present a 
reasonable number of activities that can be completed within the budget 
and grant period. Clearly describe the program activities, their 
sequence, and explain your reason for choosing this combination of 
activities. Provide a detailed description of how the project will be 
organized and managed. Include a list of key project personnel, their 
relevant education or experience, and their anticipated contributions 
to the project. Explain the level of participation required in the 
project by government (USDA) and non-government/public-sector entities 
and identify who will participate in monitoring and evaluating the 
project. Proposal must describe how the project will be sustained post 
agreement and if the activities and outcomes are transferable to other 
organizations.

J. Budget--Up to 10 Points: (One (1) Page Maximum)

    The extent which the proposal describes the costs required to 
achieve the desired objectives, including personnel, fringe benefits, 
travel, equipment, supplies, indirect costs, and requested USDA 
financial assistance, lists partnering organizations, provides detailed 
costs, and includes a well written description of the costs required 
(including time, responsibilities and number of key staffs). Applicants 
may charge their negotiated indirect cost rate or 10 percent, whichever 
is lower. Indirect cost rates exceeding 10 percent will not be 
permitted.

K. Evaluation--Up to 5 Points-(One (1) Page Maximum)

    The extent to which the proposal presents a plan for determining 
the degree to which objectives are met and methods are followed, 
presents a plan for evaluating accomplishments of objectives, a plan 
for evaluating and modifying methods over the course of the project, 
clearly states criteria of success and describes how success will be 
measured, and define how progress will be reported and technical 
representative(s) kept informed. DO NOT PASSWORD PROTECT ANY OF YOUR 
SUBMITTED DOCUMENTS OR FORMS.

L. Sub-Awards and Partnerships

    Funding may be used to provide sub-awards, which includes using 
sub-awards to fund partnerships; however, the recipient must utilize at 
least 50 percent of the total funds awarded, and no more than three 
sub-awards will be permitted. All sub-awardees must comply with 
applicable requirements for sub-awards. Applicants must provide 
documentation of a competitive bidding process for services, contracts, 
and products, including consultants and contractors, and conduct cost 
and price analyses to the extent required by applicable procurement 
regulations.
    The OPPE awards funds to one eligible applicant as the lead award 
recipient. Please indicate a lead applicant as the responsible party if 
other organizations are named as partners or co-applicants or members 
of a coalition or consortium. The lead award recipient will be held 
accountable to the OPPE for the proper administrative requirements and 
expenditure of all funds.

M. Submission Dates and Times

    The closing date and time for receipt of proposal submissions is 
August 24, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., EST, via www.grants.gov. Proposals 
received after the submission deadline will be considered late without 
further consideration. Proposals must be submitted through Grants.gov 
without exception. Additionally, organizations must also be registered 
in the System of Awards Management (SAM) at www.sam.gov. The proposal 
submission deadline is firm.

N. Confidential Information

    In accordance with 2 CFR part 200, the names of entities submitting 
proposals, as well as proposal contents and evaluations, will be kept 
confidential to the extent permissible by law. Any information that the 
applicant wishes to have considered as confidential, privileged, or 
proprietary should be clearly marked as such in the proposal. If an 
applicant chooses to include confidential or proprietary information in 
the proposal, it will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by 
law.
Pre-Submission Proposal Assistance
    1. The OPPE may not assist individual applicants by reviewing draft 
proposals or providing advice on how to respond to evaluation criteria. 
However, the OPPE will respond to questions from individual applicants 
regarding eligibility criteria, administrative issues related to the 
submission of the proposal, and requests for clarification regarding 
the announcement. Any questions should be submitted to 
[email protected]. Additionally, the OPPE will host public 
teleconferences to address questions and clarify requirements during 
the open period of this solicitation. Dates, time, and phone numbers 
are provided on Page 1 of this announcement.
    2. The OPPE will post questions and answers relating to this 
funding opportunity during its open period on the Frequently Asked 
Questions (FAQs) section of our website: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/grants/. Reviewing this section of our website will likely save you 
valuable time. The OPPE will update the FAQs on a weekly basis and 
conduct teleconferences on an as-needed basis.
    3. Please visit our website: https://www.outreach.usda.gov/grants/index.htm to review the most recent Terms and Conditions for 
administering grants. This version is subject to change upon new 
program requirements.
    4. Applicants selected for funding must inform their participants 
that USDA, or any of its third-party representatives, may contact them 
for quality assurance.

V. Application Review Information

A. Evaluation Criteria

    Only eligible entities whose proposals meet the threshold criteria 
of this announcement will be reviewed according to the evaluation 
criteria set forth below. Applicants should explicitly and fully 
address these criteria as part of their proposal package. Each proposal 
will be evaluated under the regulations established under 2 CFR part 
200.
    Proposals will be screened for completeness and compliance with the 
provisions of this notice. Incomplete, noncompliant, and/or proposals 
not meeting the formatting criteria will be eliminated from 
competition.
    Merit/technical reviews will be conducted by a qualified evaluation 
panel (panel). Risk reviews will be conducted prior to making the final 
award decisions. Evaluated proposals will be forwarded to the Director 
of the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement who will make the 
final selections.
    Each proposal will be reviewed by at least two members of the 
panel. Panel members will review, and score all submitted applications. 
The Panel Lead will numerically score and rank each application and 
funding will be awarded within the two funding categories. Funding 
decisions will be based on the Panel's recommendations. Final funding 
decisions are not appealable.
    Please be patient as processing all submitted applications, vetting 
key personnel, proposal reviews, approval process, and agreement 
creation is a

[[Page 41523]]

lengthy process that takes approximately two to three months. All 
applicants will be notified electronically of their application status 
when final selections have been made and will be provided an 
opportunity for application feedback as provided within the 
correspondence.

B. Selection of Reviewers

    All applications will be reviewed by the Review Panel. Panel 
members are selected based upon training and experience in assisting 
historically undeserved farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers. 
This assistance includes, but is not limited to, bringing increased 
awareness of USDA's programs and services in underserved communities, 
outreach, technical assistance, cooperative extension services, civil 
rights, education, statistical and ethnographic data collection and 
analysis, and agricultural programs, and are drawn from a diverse group 
of experts, including applicant peers, to create a balanced panel.

VI. Award Administration Information

A. Award Notices

Proposal Notifications and Feedback
    1. Successful applicants will be notified by the OPPE via 
telephone, email, and/or postal mail that its proposed project has been 
recommended for award. The notification will be sent to the Project 
Manager listed on the SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance. 
Project Managers should be the Authorized Organizational Representative 
(AOR) and authorized to sign on behalf of the organization. It is 
imperative that this individual is responsive to notifications by the 
OPPE. If the individual is no longer in the position, please notify the 
OPPE immediately to submit the new contact for the application by 
updating your organization's Key Contacts form and forwarding a 
r[eacute]sum[eacute] of the new key personnel. The grant agreement will 
be forwarded to the recipient for execution and must be returned to the 
OPPE Director, who is the authorizing official. Once grant documents 
are executed by all parties, authorization to begin work will be given. 
At a minimum, this process can take up to 30 days from the date of 
notification.
    2. Within 10 days of award status notification, unsuccessful 
applicants may request feedback on their application. Feedback will be 
provided as expeditiously as possible. Feedback sessions will be 
scheduled contingent upon the number of requests.

B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    All awards resulting from this solicitation will be administered in 
accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform 
Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements 
for Federal Awards codified at 2 CFR part 200, as supplemented by USDA 
implementing regulations at 2 CFR parts 400 and 415, and the OPPE 
Federal Financial Assistance Programs--General Award Administrative 
Procedures, 7 CFR part 2500. Additionally, the authorizing statute and 
regulation for this opportunity is also the Conservation Technical 
Assistance, CFDA 10.902--Soil and Water Conservation (CTA): Soil 
Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, Public Law 74-76, N/A, 16. 
U.S.C. 590a-590f, 590q.
    In compliance with its obligations under Title VI of the Civil 
Rights Act of 1964 and Executive Order 13166, it is the policy of the 
OPPE to provide timely and meaningful access for persons with Limited 
English Proficiency (LEP) to projects, programs, and activities 
administered by Federal grant recipients. Recipient organizations must 
comply with these obligations upon acceptance of grant agreements as 
written in the OPPE's Terms and Conditions. Following these guidelines 
is essential to the success of our mission to improve access to USDA 
programs for socially disadvantaged and/or veteran farmers, ranchers 
and agricultural producers.

C. Reporting Requirement

    Your approved statement of work, timeline, and budget are your 
guiding documents in carrying out the activities of your project and 
for your reporting requirements. Please familiarize yourself with 
USDA's grants management system called ezFedGrants: https://www.nfc.usda.gov/FSS/ClientServices/ezFedGrants/. In accordance with 2 
CFR part 200, the following reporting requirements will apply to awards 
provided under this FOA. The OPPE reserves the right to revise the 
schedule and format of reporting requirements as necessary in the award 
agreement.
    1. No more than Quarterly Progress Reports and Financial Reports 
will be required as follows:
    a. Quarterly Progress Reports. The recipient is required to provide 
a detailed narrative of project performance and activities as described 
in the award agreement. Quarterly progress reports must be submitted to 
the designated OPPE official via ezFedGrants within 30 days after the 
end of each calendar quarter. This includes, but is not limited to, 
activities completed, events held, and the release of sign-in sheets 
with participants' contact information.
    b. Quarterly Financial Reports. The recipient must submit SF 425, 
Federal Financial Report to the designated OPPE official via 
ezFedGrants within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter.
    2. Annual reports may be required for multi-year projects.
    3. Final Progress and Financial Reports will be required upon 
project completion. The Final Progress Report must include a summary of 
the project or activity throughout the funding period, achievements of 
the project or activity, and a discussion of overall successes and 
issues experienced in conducting the project or project activities. It 
should convey the impact your project had on the communities you served 
and discuss the project's accomplishments in achieving expected 
outcomes. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, the number 
of new USDA applicants as a result of your award, the number of 
approved applicants for USDA programs and services, increased awareness 
of USDA programs and services, etc.
    4. The final Financial Report should consist of a complete SF-425 
indicating the total costs of the project. Final Progress and Financial 
Reports must be submitted to the designated OPPE official via 
ezFedGrants within 90 days after the completion of the award period as 
follows:

[[Page 41524]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Report                             Performance period                  Due date      Grace period
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Form SF-425, Federal Financial     1 October thru 31 December...................      12/31/2020       1/30/2021
 Report and Progress Report (Due   1 January thru 31 March......................       3/31/2021       4/30/2021
 Quarterly).                       1 April thru 30 June 1.......................       6/30/2021       7/30/2021
                                   July thru 30 September.......................       9/30/2021      10/30/2021
                                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual (for multi-year project)          Earlier of December 30, 2021, or 90 days after project completion.
 and Final Progress and Financial
 Reports.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Dates subject to change at the discretion of the OPPE.


    Signed this 26 day of June 2020.
Jacqueline Davis-Slay,
Deputy Director, Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement.
[FR Doc. 2020-14325 Filed 7-9-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3412-89-P