Federal Register Volume 76, Number 114 (Tuesday, June 14, 2011)
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
FR Doc No: 2011-14596
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation
Funding Opportunity Title: Risk Management Education and Outreach
Partnerships Program; Announcement Type: Announcement of Availability of Funds and Request for Application for Competitive Cooperative
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDAs): 10.455 and 10.459.
DATES: All applications, which must be submitted electronically through
Grants.gov, must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 14, 2011. Hard copy applications shall NOT be accepted.
SUMMARY: The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces its intent to award approximately $3,500,000 (subject to availability of funds) to fund the
Risk Management Education and Outreach Partnerships Program. This
Request for Applications (RFA) Announcement is for a combination of the programs previously known as the ``Commodity Partnerships for Small
Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions'' and the ``Community
Outreach and Assistance Partnerships Program.'' The purpose of this combined cooperative partnership agreements program is to deliver crop insurance education and risk management training to U.S. agricultural producers to assist them in identifying and managing production, marketing, legal, financial and human risk. The program gives priority to: (1) Educating producers of crops currently not insured under
Federal crop insurance, specialty crops, and underserved commodities, including livestock and forage; and (2) providing collaborative outreach and assistance programs for limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers.
The minimum award for any cooperative partnership agreement is $20,000.
The maximum award for any cooperative partnership agreement is
$100,000. The cooperative partnership agreements will be awarded on a competitive basis up to one year from the date of the award. Awardees must demonstrate non-financial benefits from a cooperative partnership agreement and must agree to the substantial involvement of RMA in the project. Funding availability for this program may be announced at approximately the same time as funding availability for similar but separate programs:--CFDA No. 10.458 (Crop Insurance Education in
Targeted States). Prospective applicants should carefully examine and compare the notices of each announcement.
The collections of information in this Announcement have been approved by OMB under control numbers 0563-0066 and 0563-0067.
This Announcement Consists of Eight Sections
Section I--Funding Opportunity Description
A. Legislative Authority
C. Definition of Priority Commodities
D. Project Goal
Section II--Award Information
A. Type of Application
B. Funding Availability
C. Location and Target Audience
D. Minimum and Maximum Award
E. Project Period
F. Description of Agreement--Awardee Tasks
G. RMA Activities
H. Other Tasks
Section III--Eligibility Information
A. Eligible Applicants
B. Cost Sharing or Matching
C. Other--Non-Financial Benefits
Section IV--Application and Submission Information
A. Electronic Application Package
B. Content and Form of Application Submission
C. Funding Restrictions
D. Limitation on Use of Project Funds for Salaries and Benefits
E. Indirect Cost Rates
F. Other Submission Requirements
G. Acknowledgement of Applications
Section V--Application Review Information
B. Selection and Review Process
Section VI--Award Administration Information
A. Award Notices
B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 1. Requirement to Use Program Logo 2. Requirement to Provide Project Information to an RMA-selected
Representative 3. Private Crop Insurance Organizations and Potential Conflicts of
Interest 4. Access to Panel Review Information 5. Confidential Aspects of Applications and Awards 6. Audit Requirements 7. Prohibitions and Requirements Regarding Lobbying 8. Applicable OMB Circulars 9. Requirement to Assure Compliance with Federal Civil Rights Laws 10. Requirement to Participate in a Post Award Teleconference 11. Requirement to Submit Educational Materials to the National
AgRisk Education Library 12. Requirement to Submit Proposed Results to the National AgRisk
Education Library 13. Requirement to Submit a Project Plan of Operation in the Event of a Human Pandemic Outbreak
C. Reporting Requirements
Section VII--Agency Contact
Section VIII--Additional Information
A. Required Registration with the Central Contract Registry (CCR) for Submission of Proposals
B. Related Programs
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
A. Legislative Authority
The Risk Management Education and Outreach Partnership Program is authorized under section 522(d)(3)(F) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act
(Act) (7 U.S.C. 1522(d)(3)(F)).
RMA promotes and regulates sound risk management solutions to improve the economic stability of American agriculture. On behalf of
FCIC, RMA does this by offering Federal crop insurance products through a network of private-sector partners, overseeing the creation of new risk management products, seeking enhancements in existing products, ensuring the integrity of crop insurance programs, offering programs aimed at equal access and participation of underserved communities, and providing risk management education and information.
One of RMA's strategic goals is to ensure that its customers are well informed as to the risk management solutions available. This educational goal is supported by section 522(d)(3)(F) of the Federal
Crop Insurance Act (FCIA) (7 U.S.C. 1522(d)(3)(F), which authorizes
FCIC funding for risk management training and informational efforts for agricultural producers through the formation of partnerships with public and private organizations. With respect to such partnerships, priority is to be given to reaching producers of Priority Commodities, as defined below. A project is considered as giving priority to
Priority Commodities if 75 percent of the educational and training activities of the project are directed to producers of any one of the three classes of commodities listed in the definition of Priority
Commodities or any combination of the three classes.
C. Definition of Priority Commodities
For purposes of this program, Priority Commodities are defined as: 1. Agricultural commodities covered by (7 U.S.C. 7333). Commodities in this group are commercial crops that are not covered by catastrophic risk protection crop insurance, are used for food or fiber (except livestock), and specifically include, but are not limited to, floricultural, ornamental nursery, Christmas trees, turf grass sod, aquaculture (including ornamental fish), and industrial crops. 2. Specialty crops. Commodities in this group may or may not be covered under a Federal crop insurance plan and include, but are not limited to, fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, syrups, honey, roots, herbs, and highly specialized varieties of traditional crops. 3. Underserved commodities. This group includes: (a) Commodities, including livestock and forage, that are
covered by a Federal crop insurance plan but for which participation in an area is below the national average; and (b) commodities, including livestock and forage, with inadequate crop insurance coverage.
D. Project Goal
The goal of this program is to ensure that ``* * * producers will be better able to use financial management, crop insurance, marketing contracts, and other existing and emerging risk management tools.''
The purpose of the Risk Management Education and Outreach
Partnerships Program is to provide U.S. farmers and ranchers with training and information opportunities to be able to understand: 1. The kinds of risks addressed by existing and emerging risk management tools; 2. The features and appropriate use of existing and emerging risk management tools; and 3. How to make sound risk management decisions.
For the 2011 fiscal year, the FCIC Board of Directors and the FCIC
Manager are seeking projects that address one or more of the Priority
In addition, the application must clearly designate that education or training will be provided on at least one (1) of the Special
Emphasis Topics listed under Category 1 below. Applications that do not include at least one (1) Special Emphasis Topic from Category 1 will not be considered for funding.
Category 1. Projects That Concentrate on Risk Management Education and
Special Emphasis Topics:
Production: AGR and AGR-Lite; Livestock Gross Margin Dairy;
Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall and/or Vegetative Index; Common
Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (``COMBO''); Enterprise Units;
Specialty Crops; Prevented Planting; or Other Existing Crop Insurance
Programs; Irrigation; Erosion Control Measures; Good Farming Practices;
Wildfire Management; Forest Management; and Range Management.
Legal: Legal and Succession Planning;
Marketing: Marketing Strategies; Farm Products Branding; Farmers
Financial: Financial Tools and Planning; Farm Management
Human: Farm Labor; Farm Safety; Food Safety, Risk Management
Education to Students.
In addition, the application must clearly demonstrate that education or training will be provided to at least one (1) of the
Producer Types listed under Category 2 below. Applications that do not include at least one (1) of the Producer Types listed under Category 2 will not be considered for funding.
Category 2. Projects That Concentrate on Producer Type
Producers and Ranchers;
Producers located in Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia;
New and Beginning Farmers;
Women Producers and Ranchers;
Hispanic Producers and Ranchers;
African American Producers and Ranchers;
Native American Producers and Ranchers;
Limited Resource Producers and Ranchers;
Asian American and Pacific Islander Producers and Ranchers;
Transitional Farmers and Ranchers;
Senior Farmers and Ranchers;
Small Acreage Producers;
Specialty Crop Producers;
Returning Military Veterans Producers and Ranchers.
II. Award Information
A. Type of Application
Only electronic applications will be accepted and they must be submitted through Grants.gov. Hard copy applications will NOT be accepted. Applications submitted to the Risk Management Education and
Outreach Partnerships Program are new applications: There are no renewals. All applications will be reviewed competitively using the selection process and evaluation criteria described in Section V--
Application Review Process. Each award will be designated as a
Cooperative Partnership Agreement, which will require substantial involvement by RMA.
B. Funding Availability
There is no commitment by USDA to fund any particular application.
Approximately $3,500,000 is expected to be available in fiscal year 2011 but it is possible that this amount may be reduced or not funded.
In the event that all funds available for this program are not obligated after the maximum number of agreements are awarded or if additional funds become available, these funds may, at the discretion of the Manager of FCIC, be used to award additional applications that score highly by the technical review panel or allocated pro-rata to awardees for use in broadening the size or scope of awarded projects, if agreed to by the awardee. In the event that the Manager of FCIC determines that available RMA resources cannot support the administrative and substantial involvement requirements of all agreements recommended for funding, the Manager may elect to fund fewer agreements than the available funding might otherwise allow. All awards will be made and agreements finalized no later than September 30, 2011.
C. Location and Target Audience
RMA Regional Offices and the States serviced within each RMA Region are listed below. Staff from the respective RMA Regional Offices will provide substantial involvement for projects conducted within the
Billings, Montana Regional Office: (MT, ND, SD, and WY)
Davis, California Regional Office: (AZ, CA, HI, NV, and UT)
Jackson, Mississippi Regional Office: (AR, KY, LA, MS, and TN)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Regional Office: (NM, OK, and TX)
Raleigh, North Carolina Regional Office: (CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH,
NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, and WV)
Spokane, Washington Regional Office: (AK, ID, OR, and WA)
Springfield, Illinois Regional Office: (IL, IN, MI, and OH)
St. Paul, Minnesota Regional Office: (IA, MN, and WI)
Topeka, Kansas Regional Office: (CO, KS, MO, and NE)
Valdosta, Georgia Regional Office: (AL, FL, GA, SC, and Puerto Rico)
Each application must clearly designate the RMA Region where educational activities will be conducted in the application narrative in block 12 of the SF-424 form. Applications without this designation will be rejected. Priority will be given to producers of Priority
Commodities and Special Emphasis Topics previously identified in this
Announcement. Applicants proposing to conduct educational activities in states served by more than one RMA Regional Office must submit a separate application for each RMA Region. Single applications proposing to conduct educational activities in states served by more than one RMA
Region will be rejected. Applications serving Tribal Nations will be accepted and managed from the RMA Regional office serving the designated Tribal Office.
D. Minimum and Maximum Award
Any application that requests Federal funding of less than $20,000 or more than $100,000 for a project will be rejected. RMA also reserves the right to
fund successful applications at an amount less than requested if it is judged that the application can be implemented at a lower funding level.
E. Project Period
Projects will be funded for a period of up to one year from the project starting date.
F. Description of Agreement Award--Awardee Tasks
In conducting activities to achieve the purpose and goal of this program in a designated RMA Region, the awardee will be responsible for performing the following tasks: 1. Develop and conduct a promotional program. This program will include activities using media, newsletters, publications, or other appropriate informational dissemination techniques that are designed to: (a) Raise awareness for crop insurance and risk management; (b) inform producers of the availability of crop insurance and risk management tools; and (c) inform producers and agribusiness leaders in the designated RMA Region of training and informational opportunities. 2. Deliver crop insurance and risk management training as well as informational opportunities to agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals in the designated RMA Region. This will include organizing and delivering educational activities using the instructional materials assembled by the grantee to meet the local needs of agricultural producers. Activities should be directed primarily to agricultural producers, but may include those agribusiness professionals that have frequent opportunities to advise producers on risk management tools and decisions. 3. Document all educational activities conducted under the cooperative partnership agreement and the results of such activities, including criteria and indicators used to evaluate the success of the program. The awardee will also be required to provide information to
RMA as requested for evaluation purposes.
G. RMA Activities
FCIC, working through RMA, will be substantially involved during the performance of the funded project through RMA's ten Regional
Offices. Potential types of substantial involvement may include, but are not limited to, the following activities. 1. Collaborate with the awardee in assembling, reviewing, and approving crop insurance and risk management materials for producers in the designated RMA Region. 2. Collaborate with the awardee in reviewing and approving a promotional program for raising awareness for crop insurance and risk management and for informing producers of training and informational opportunities in the RMA Region. 3. Collaborate with the awardee on the delivery of education to producers and agribusiness leaders in the RMA Region. This will include: (a) Reviewing and approving in advance all producer and agribusiness leader educational activities; (b) advising the project leader on technical issues related to crop insurance education and information; and (c) assisting the project leader in informing crop insurance professionals about educational activity plans and scheduled meetings. 4. Conduct an evaluation of the performance of the awardee in meeting the deliverables of the project.
Applications that do not address substantial involvement by RMA will be rejected.
H. Other Tasks
In addition to the specific, required tasks listed above, the applicant may propose additional tasks that would contribute directly to the purpose of this program. For any proposed additional task, the applicant must identify the objective of the task, the specific subtasks required to meet the objective, specific time lines for performing the subtasks, and the specific responsibilities of the applicant and any entities working with the applicant in the development or delivery of the project. The applicant must also identify specific ways in which RMA would have substantial involvement in the proposed project task.
III. Eligibility Information
A. Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants include: State Departments of Agriculture,
State Cooperative Extension Services; Federal, State, or tribal agencies; community based organizations; nongovernmental organizations; junior and four-year colleges or universities or foundations maintained by a college or university; private for-profit organizations; faith- based organizations and other appropriate partners with the capacity to lead a local program of crop insurance and risk management education for producers in an RMA Region.
Individuals are not eligible applicants. Although an applicant may be eligible to compete for an award based on its status as an eligible entity, other factors may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal assistance under this program governed by Federal law and regulations
(e.g. debarment and suspension; a determination of non-performance on a prior contract, cooperative partnership agreement, or grant; or a determination of a violation of applicable ethical standards.
Applications in which the applicant or any of the partners are ineligible or excluded persons shall be rejected in their entirety.
B. Cost Sharing or Matching
Although RMA prefers cost sharing by the applicant, this program has neither a cost sharing nor a matching requirement.
C. Other--Non-financial Benefits
To be eligible, applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they will receive a non-financial benefit as a result of a cooperative partnership agreement. Non-financial benefits must accrue to the applicant and must include more than the ability to provide employment income to the applicant or for the applicant's employees or the community. The applicant must demonstrate that performance under the cooperative partnership agreement will further the specific mission of the applicant (such as providing research or activities necessary for graduate or other students to complete their educational program).
Applications that do not demonstrate a non-financial benefit will be rejected.
IV. Application and Submission Information
A. Electronic Application Package
Only electronic applications will be accepted and they must be submitted via Grants.gov to the Risk Management Agency in response to this Announcement. Prior to preparing an application, it is suggested that the Project Director (PD) first contact an Authorized
Representative (AR) (also referred to as Authorized Organizational
Representative or AOR) to determine if the organization is prepared to submit electronic applications through Grants.gov. If the organization is not prepared, the AR should see http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp for steps for preparing to submit applications through Grants.gov.
The steps to access application materials are as follows: 1. In order to access, complete, and submit applications, applicants must download and install a version of Adobe Reader compatible with Grants.gov. This software is essential to apply for
RMA Federal awards. For basic system requirements and download instructions, please see http://www.grants.gov/help/download_software.jsp. To verify that you have a compatible version of Adobe
Reader, Grants.gov established a test package that will assist you in making that determination. Grants.gov Adobe Versioning Test Package is located at: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/AdobeVersioningTestOnly.jsp. 2. The application package must be obtained via Grants.gov, go to http://www.grants.gov, click on ``Apply for Grants'' in the left-hand column, click on ``Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and
Instructions,'' enter the funding opportunity number USDA-RMA-RME-SSGP- 002011 in the appropriate box and click ``Download Package.'' From the search results, click ``Download'' to access the application package.
Applicants who need assistance in accessing the application package
(e.g. downloading or navigating Adobe forms) should refer to resources available on the Grants.gov Web site first (http://grants/gov/).
Grants.gov assistance is also available as follows: Grants.gov customer support, Toll Free: 1-800-518-4726; Business Hours: 24 Hours a day;
B. Content and Form of Application Submission
The title of the application must include the Special Emphasis
Topic(s) under Category 1; the Producer Type(s) under Category 2; and the RMA Region.
A complete and valid application must include the following: 1. A completed OMB Standard Form 424, ``Application for Federal
Assistance.'' 2. A completed OMB Standard Form 424-A, ``Budget Information--Non- construction Programs.'' Federal funding requested (the total of direct and indirect costs) must not exceed $100,000. 3. A completed OMB Standard Form 424-B, ``Assurances, Non- constructive Programs.'' 4. An Executive Summary (One page) and Proposal Narrative (Not to
Exceed 10 single-sided pages in Microsoft Word), which will also include a Statement of Work as specified in section V.A. of this
Announcement. 5. Budget Narrative (in Microsoft Excel) describing how the categorical costs listed on the SF 424-A are derived. The budget narrative should provide enough detail for reviewers to easily understand how costs were determined and how they relate to the goals and objectives of the project. 6. Partnering Plan, if applicable, that includes how each partner shall aid in carrying out the project goal providing specific tasks.
Letters of commitment from individuals and/or groups must be included in the Partnering Plan, and these letters must include the specific tasks they have agreed to do with the applicant. A completed and signed
OMB Standard Form LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. 7. A completed and signed AD-1049, Certification Regarding Drug-
* Applications that do not include items 1-7 above shall be considered incomplete, shall not receive further consideration, and shall be rejected.
The percentage of each person's time devoted to the project must be identified in the application. Applicants must list all current public or private employment arrangements or financial support associated with the project or any of the personnel that are part of the project, regardless of whether such arrangements or funding constitute part of the project under this Announcement (supporting agency, amount of award, effective date, expiration date, expiration date of award, etc.). An application submitted under this RFA that duplicates or overlaps substantially with any application already reviewed and funded
(or to be funded) by any other organization or agency, including but not limited to other RMA, USDA, and Federal government programs, shall not be funded under this program. The application package from
Grants.gov contains a document called the Current and Pending Report.
On the Current and Pending Report you must state for this fiscal year if this application is a duplicate application or overlaps substantially with another application already submitted to or funded by another USDA Agency, including RMA, or other private organization.
RMA reserves the right to reject your application based on the review of this information. The percentage of time for both ``Current'' and
``Pending'' projects must not exceed 100 percent of time committed.
C. Funding Restrictions
Cooperative partnership agreement funds may not be used to: a. Plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire, or construct a building or facility including a processing facility; b. Purchase, rent, or install fixed equipment; c. Repair or maintain privately owned vehicles; d. Pay for the preparation of the cooperative partnership agreement application; e. Fund political activities; f. Purchase alcohol, food, beverage, gifts cards, or entertainment; g. Lend money to support farming or agricultural business operation or expansion; h. Pay costs incurred prior to receiving a cooperative partnership agreement; or i. Fund any activities prohibited in 7 CFR Parts 3015 and 3019, as applicable.
D. Limitation on Use of Project Funds for Salaries and Benefits
Total costs for salary and benefits allowed for projects under this
Announcement shall be limited to not more than 70 percent reimbursement of the funds awarded under the cooperative partnership agreement. The reasonableness of the total costs for salary and benefits allowed for projects under this Announcement shall be reviewed and considered by
RMA as part of the application review process. Applications for which
RMA does not consider the salary and benefits reasonable for the proposed application shall be rejected, or shall only be offered a cooperative agreement upon the condition of changing the salary and benefits structure to one deemed appropriate by RMA for that. The goal of the Risk Management Education and Outreach Partnerships Program is to maximize the use of the limited funding available for crop insurance risk management education for producers of Priority Commodities, and
Special Emphasis Topics.
E. Indirect Cost Rates 1. Indirect costs allowed for projects submitted under this
Announcement shall be limited to ten (10) percent of the total direct cost of the cooperative partnership agreement. Therefore, when preparing budgets, applicants should limit their requests for recovery of indirect costs to the lesser of their institution's official negotiated indirect cost rate or 10 percent of the total direct costs. 2. RMA reserves the right to negotiate final budgets with successful applicants.
F. Other Submission Requirements
When the applicant enters the Grants.gov site, the applicant will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site. To use Grants.gov, all applicants must have a Dun and
Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, which can be obtained at no cost via a toll-free request line at 1-866-705-5711 or online at http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Therefore,
potential applicants should verify that they have a DUNS number or take the steps needed to obtain one. For information about how to obtain a
DUNS number, go to http://www.grants.gov. Please note that the registration may take up to 14 business days to complete.
Applicants are responsible for ensuring that RMA receives a complete application package by the closing date and time. The agency strongly encourages applicants to submit applications well before the deadline to allow time for correction of technical errors identified by
Grants.gov. Any application package received after the deadline shall be rejected.
G. Acknowledgement of Applications
Receipt of timely applications will be acknowledged by e-mail, whenever possible. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to provide e- mail addresses in their applications. If an e-mail address is not indicated on an application, timely receipt will be acknowledged by letter. There shall be no notification of incomplete, unqualified or unfunded applications until after the awards have been made. When received by RMA, applications shall be assigned an identification number. This number will be communicated to applicants in the acknowledgement of receipt of applications. An application's identification number should be referenced in all correspondence regarding the application. If the applicant does not receive an acknowledgement within 15 days of the submission deadline, the applicant should notify RMA's point of contact indicated in Section
VII, Agency Contact.
V. Application Review Information
Applications submitted under the Risk Management Education and
Outreach Partnerships Program shall be evaluated within each RMA Region according to the following criteria:
Project Impacts--Maximum 20 Points Available
The applicant must demonstrate that the project benefits to producers, farmers and ranchers warrant the funding requested.
Applicants shall be scored according to the extent they can: (a)
Identify the specific actions producers, farmers and ranchers will likely be able to take as a result of the educational activities described in the Statement of Work; (b) identify the specific measures for evaluating results that will be employed in the project; (c) reasonably estimate the total number of producers, farmers and ranchers reached through the various methods and educational activities described in the Statement of Work; (d) identify the number of meetings to be held; (e) provide an estimate of the number of training hours to be held; and (f) justify such estimates with clear specifics.
Reviewers' scoring shall be based on the scope and reasonableness of the applicant's clear descriptions of specific expected actions producers will accomplish, and well-designed methods for measuring the project's results and effectiveness. With respect to the expected producer, farmer and rancher actions and the measurement of results, the applicant must include how the project will: 1. Increase the understanding of crop insurance and risk management tools; 2. Assist producers, farmers and ranchers in evaluating the feasibility of implementing various risk management options; 3. Assist producers, farmers and ranchers in developing risk management plans and strategies; and 4. Assist producers, farmers and ranchers in deciding on and implementing a specific course of actions (e.g., participation in crop insurance programs or implementation of other risk management actions).
Statement of Work--Maximum 20 Points Available
The applicant must produce a clear and specific Statement of Work for the project. For each of the tasks contained in Section II--Award
Information, the applicant must identify and describe specific subtasks, responsible entities, expected completion dates, RMA substantial involvement, and deliverables that will further the purpose of this program. Applicants shall be scored higher to the extent that the Statement of Work is specific, measurable, reasonable, has specific deadlines for the completion of subtasks, relates directly to the required activities and the program purpose described in this
Announcement, which is to provide producers with training and informational opportunities so that the producers will be better able to use financial management, crop insurance, marketing contracts, and other existing and emerging risk management tools. All narratives should give estimates of how many producers, farmers and ranchers will be reached through this project.
Project Management--Maximum 20 Points Available
The applicant must demonstrate an ability to implement sound and effective project management practices. Higher scores shall be awarded to applicants that can demonstrate organizational skills, leadership, and experience in delivering services or programs that assist agricultural producers in the respective RMA Region. The project manager must demonstrate that he/she has the capability to accomplish the project goal and purpose stated in this Announcement by: (a) Having a current or previous working relationship with the farm community in the designated RMA Region of the application, including being able to recruit approximately the number of producers to be reached in the application; or (b) having established the capacity to partner with and gain the support of grower organizations, agribusiness professionals, and agribusiness leaders locally to aid in carrying out a program of education and information, including being able to recruit approximately the number of producers to be reached in this application. Applicants are encouraged to designate an alternate
Project Leader in the event the Project Leader is unable to finish the project. Applicants that shall employ, or have access to, personnel who have experience in directing local educational programs that benefit agricultural producers in the respective RMA Region shall receive higher rankings.
Budget Appropriateness and Efficiency--Maximum 10 Points Available
Applicants must provide a detailed budget summary that clearly explains and justifies costs associated with the project. Applicants shall receive higher scores to the extent that they can demonstrate a fair and reasonable use of funds appropriate for the project and a budget that contains the estimated cost of reaching each individual producer, farmer and rancher.
Priority Commodity--Maximum 15 Points Available
The applicant can submit projects that are not related to Priority
Commodities. However, only projects relating to Priority Commodities shall receive these points.
Special Emphasis--Maximum of 15 Points Available
Projects that include more than one Special Emphasis Topics shall be eligible for the most points.
Bonus Points for Diversity Partnering--Maximum of 15 Points Available
RMA is focused on adding diversity to this program. Management may add up to an additional 15 points to the final paneled score of any submission demonstrating a partnership with another group or entity that is a member of a specific population listed in Section I.E.,
Category 2--Projects that concentrate on Producer Type.
B. Review and Selection Process
Applications shall be evaluated using a two-part process. First, each application shall be screened by RMA personnel to ensure that it meets the requirements in this Announcement. Applications that do not meet the requirements of this Announcement or that are incomplete shall not receive further consideration during the next process. Applications that meet Announcement requirements will be sorted into the RMA Region in which the applicant proposes to conduct the project and shall be presented to a review panel for consideration.
Second, the review panel will meet to consider and discuss the merits of each application. The panel will consist of not less than three independent reviewers. Reviewers shall be drawn from USDA, other
Federal agencies, and public and private organizations, as needed.
After considering the merits of all applications within an RMA Region, panel members shall score each application according to the criteria and point values listed above. The panel shall then rank each application against others within the RMA Region according to the scores received.
The review panel shall report the results of the evaluation to the
Manager of FCIC. The panel's report shall include the recommended applicants to receive cooperative partnership agreements for each RMA
Region. Funding shall not be provided for an application receiving a score less than 60. Funding shall not be provided for an application that is highly similar to a higher-scoring application in the same RMA
Region. Highly similar is one that proposes to reach the same producers, farmers and ranchers likely to be reached by another applicant that scored higher by the panel and the same general educational material is proposed to be delivered.
An organization, or group of organizations in partnership, may apply for funding under other FCIC or RMA programs, in addition to the program described in this Announcement. However, if the Manager of FCIC determines that an application recommended for funding is sufficiently similar to a project that has been funded or has been recommended to be funded under another RMA or FCIC program, then the Manager may elect not to fund that application in whole or in part. The Manager of FCIC shall make the final determination on those applications that will be awarded funding.
VI. Award Administration Information
A. Award Notices
The award document shall provide pertinent instructions and information including, at a minimum, the following:
(1) Legal name and address of performing organization or institution to which the Manager of FCIC has issued an award under the terms of this request for applications;
(2) Title of project;
(3) Name(s) and employing institution(s) of Project Directors chosen to direct and control approved activities;
(4) Identifying award number assigned by RMA;
(5) Project period, specifying the amount of time RMA intends to support the project without requiring recompeting for funds;
(6) Total amount of RMA financial assistance approved by the
Manager of FCIC during the project period;
(7) Legal authority(ies) under which the award is issued;
(8) Appropriate Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers;
(9) Applicable award terms and conditions (see http://www.rma.usda.gov/business/awards/awardterms.html to view RMA award terms and conditions);
(10) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds to accomplish the stated purpose of the award; and
(11) Other information or provisions deemed necessary by RMA to carry out its respective awarding activities or to accomplish the purpose of a particular award.Following approval by the Manager of FCIC of the applications to be selected for funding, project leaders whose applications have been selected for funding will be notified. Within the limit of funds available for such a purpose, the Manager of FCIC shall enter into cooperative partnership agreements with those selected applicants.
After a cooperative partnership agreement has been signed, RMA shall extend to awardees, in writing, the authority to draw down funds for the purpose of conducting the activities listed in the agreement.
All funds provided to the applicant by FCIC must be expended solely for the purpose for which the funds are obligated in accordance with the approved cooperative partnership agreement and budget, the regulations, the terms and conditions of the award, and the applicability of Federal cost principles. No commitment of Federal assistance beyond the project period is made or implied for any award resulting from this notice.
Notification of denial of funding shall be sent to applicants after final funding decisions have been made and the awardees announced publicly.
B. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 1. Requirement To Use Program Logo
Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements shall be required to use a program logo and design provided by RMA for all instructional and promotional materials, when deemed appropriate. 2. Requirement To Provide Project Information to an RMA-selected
Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements may be required to assist RMA in evaluating the effectiveness of its educational programs by providing documentation of educational activities and related information to any representative selected by
RMA for program evaluation purposes. 3. Private Crop Insurance Organizations and Potential Conflicts of
Private organizations that are involved in the sale of Federal crop insurance (approved insurance providers and agencies), or that have financial ties to such organizations, are eligible to apply for funding under this Announcement. However, such entities shall not be allowed to receive funding to conduct activities that would otherwise be required under a Standard Reinsurance Agreement or any other agreement in effect between FCIC and the entity. Also, such entities shall not be allowed to receive funding to conduct activities that could be perceived by producers as promoting one approved insurance provider or agencies services or products over another's. If applying for funding, such organizations are encouraged to be sensitive to potential conflicts of interest and to describe in their application the specific actions they will take to avoid actual and perceived conflicts of interest. 4. Access to Panel Review Information
Upon written request from the applicant, scores from the evaluation
panel, not including the identity of reviewers, shall be sent to the applicant after the review and awards process has been completed. 5. Confidential Aspects of Applications and Awards
The names of applicants, the names of individuals identified in the applications, the content of applications, and the panel evaluations of applications shall all be kept confidential, except to those involved in the review process, to the extent permitted by law. In addition, the identities of review panel members shall remain confidential throughout the entire review process and shall not be released to applicants. At the end of the fiscal year, names of panel members shall be made available. However, panelists shall not be identified with the review of any particular application.
When an application results in a cooperative partnership agreement, that agreement becomes a part of the official record of RMA transactions, available to the public upon specific request.
Information that the Secretary of Agriculture determines to be of a confidential, privileged, or proprietary nature shall be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law. Therefore, any information that the applicant wishes to be considered confidential, privileged, or proprietary should be clearly marked within an application, including the basis for such designation. The original copy of an application that does not result in an award shall be retained by RMA for a period of one year. Other copies shall be destroyed. Copies of applications not receiving awards shall be released only with the express written consent of the applicant or to the extent required by law. An application may be withdrawn at any time prior to award. 6. Audit Requirements
Applicants awarded cooperative partnership agreements are subject to audit. 7. Prohibitions and Requirements Regarding Lobbying
All cooperative agreements shall be subject to the requirements of 7 CFR Part 3015, ``Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations.'' A signed copy of the certification and disclosure forms must be submitted with the application and are available at the address and telephone number listed in Section VII, Agency Contact.
Departmental regulations published at 7 CFR Part 3018 imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification related to lobbying on awardees of Federal contracts, grants, cooperative partnership agreements and loans. It provides exemptions for Indian
Tribes and tribal organizations. Current and prospective awardees, and any subcontractors, are prohibited from using Federal funds, other than profits from a Federal contract, for lobbying Congress or any Federal agency in connection with the award of a contract, grant, cooperative partnership agreement or loan. In addition, for each award action in excess of $100,000 ($150,000 for loans) the law requires awardees and any subcontractors to complete a certification in accordance with
Appendix A to Part 3018 and a disclosure of lobbying activities in accordance with Appendix B to Part 3018: The law establishes civil penalties for non-compliance. 8. Applicable OMB Circulars
All cooperative partnership agreements funded as a result of this notice shall be subject to the requirements contained in all applicable
OMB circulars. 9. Requirement To Assure Compliance With Federal Civil Rights Laws
Awardees and all partners/collaborators of all cooperative agreements funded as a result of this notice are required to know and abide by Federal civil rights laws, which include, but are not limited to, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), and 7 CFR Part 15. RMA requires that awardees submit an Assurance
Agreement (Civil Rights), assuring RMA of this compliance prior to the beginning of the project period. 10. Requirement To Participate in a Post Award Teleconference
RMA requires that project leaders participate in a post award teleconference, if conducted, to become fully aware of agreement requirements and for delineating the roles of RMA personnel and the procedures that shall be followed in administering the agreement and shall afford an opportunity for the orderly transition of agreement duties and obligations if different personnel are to assume post-award responsibility. 11. Requirement To Submit Educational Materials to the National AgRisk
RMA requires that project leaders upload digital copies of all risk management educational materials developed because of the project to the National AgRisk Education Library (http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/) for posting. RMA shall be clearly identified as having provided funding for the materials. 12. Requirement To Submit Proposed Results to the National AgRisk
RMA requires that project leaders submit results of the project to the National AgRisk Education Library (http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/) for posting. 13. Requirement To Submit a Project Plan of Operation in the Event of a
Human Pandemic Outbreak
RMA requires that project leaders submit a project plan of operation in case of a human pandemic event. The plan should address the concept of continuing operations as they relate to the project.
This should include the roles, responsibilities, and contact information for the project team and individuals serving as back-ups in case of a pandemic outbreak.
C. Reporting Requirements
Awardees shall be required to submit quarterly progress reports using the Performance Progress Report (SF-PPR) as the cover sheet, and quarterly financial reports (OMB Standard Form 425) throughout the project period, as well as a final program and financial report not later than 90 days after the end of the project period. The quarterly progress reports and final program reports MUST be submitted through the Results Verification System. The Web site address is http://www.agrisk.umn.edu/RMA/Reporting.
VII. Agency Contact
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Applicants and other interested parties are encouraged to contact: USDA-RMA-RME, phone: 202-720-0779, e-mail: RMA.Risk-Ed@rma.usda.gov. You may also obtain information regarding this announcement from the RMA Web site at: http://www.rma.usda.gov/aboutrma/agreements.
VIII. Additional Information
A. Required Registration With the Central Contract Registry (CCR) for
Submission of Proposals
Under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, the applicant must comply with the additional requirements set forth in Attachment A regarding the Dun and Bradstreet Universal
Numbering System (DUNS) Requirements and the CCR Requirements found at 2 CFR Part 25. For the purposes of this RFA, the term ``you'' in
Attachment A shall mean ``applicant''. The applicant shall comply
with the additional requirements set forth in Attachment B regarding
Subawards and Executive Compensation. For the purpose of this RFA, the term ``you'' in Attachment B shall mean ``applicant''. The Central
Contract Registry CCR is a database that serves as the primary
Government repository for contractor information required for the conduct of business with the Government. This database will also be used as a central location for maintaining organizational information for organizations seeking and receiving grants from the Government.
Such organizations must register in the CCR prior to the submission of applications. A DUNS number is needed for CCR registration. For information about how to register in the CCR, visit ``Get Registered'' at the Web site, http://www.grants.gov. Allow a minimum of 5 business days to complete the CCR registration.
B. Related Programs
Funding availability for this program may be announced at approximately the same time as funding availability for similar but separate programs--and CFDA No. 10.458 (Crop Insurance Education in
Targeted States). These programs have some similarities, but also key differences. The differences stem from important features of each program's authorizing legislation and different RMA objectives.
Prospective applicants should carefully examine and compare the notices for each program.
I. Central Contractor Registration and Universal Identifier
A. Requirement for Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
Unless you are exempted from this requirement under 2 CFR 25.110, you as the recipient must maintain the currency of your information in the CCR until you submit the final financial report required under this award or receive the final payment, whichever is later. This requires that you review and update the information at least annually after the initial registration, and more frequently if required by changes in your information or another award term.
B. Requirement for Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Numbers
If you are authorized to make subawards under this award, you: 1. Must notify potential sub recipients that no entity (see definition in paragraph C of this award) may receive a subaward from you unless the entity has provided its DUNS number to you. 2. May not make a subaward to an entity unless the entity has provided its DUNS number to you.
C. Definitions for Purposes of This Award Term 1. Central Contractor Registration (CCR) means the Federal repository into which an entity must provide information required for the conduct of business as a recipient. Additional information about registration procedures may be found at the CCR Internet site
(currently at http://www.ccr.gov). 2. Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number means the nine- digit number established and assigned by Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D &
B) to uniquely identify business entities. A DUNS number may be obtained from D & B by telephone (currently 866-705-5711) or the
Internet (currently at http://fedgov.dnb.comlwebform). 3. Entity, as it is used in this award term, means all of the following, as defined at 2 CFR Part 25, Subpart C: a. A Governmental organization, which is a State, local government, or Indian Tribe; b. A foreign public entity; c. A domestic or foreign nonprofit organization; d. A domestic or foreign for-profit organization; and e. A Federal agency, but only as a subrecipient under an award or subaward to a non-Federal entity. 4. Subaward: a. This term means a legal instrument to provide support for the performance of any portion of the substantive project or program for which you received this award and that you as the recipient award to an eligible subrecipient. b. The term does not include your procurement of property and services needed to carry out the project or program (for further explanation, see Sec. 10 of the attachment to OMB Circular A-I33,
``Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations''). c. A subaward may be provided through any legal agreement, including an agreement that you consider a contract. 5. Subrecipient means an entity that: a. Receives a subaward from you under this award; and b. Is accountable to you for the use of the Federal funds provided by the subaward.
I. Reporting Sub Awards and Executive Compensation a. Reporting of First-Tier Subawards 1. Applicability. Unless you are exempt as provided in paragraph d. of this award term, you must report each action that obligates $25,000 or more in Federal funds that does not include Recovery funds (as defined in section 1512(a)(2) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-5) for a subaward to an entity (see definitions in paragraph e. of this award term). 2. Where and when to report. i. You must report each obligating action described in paragraph a.I. of this award term to http://www.fsrs.gov. ii. For sub award information, report no later than the end of the month following the month in which the obligation was made. (For example, if the obligation was made on November 7, 2010, the obligation must be reported by no later than December 31, 2010.) 3. What to report. You must report the information about each obligating action that the submission instructions posted at http://www.fsrs.gov specify. b. Reporting Total Compensation of Recipient Executives 1. Applicability and what to report. You must report total compensation for each of your five most highly compensated executives for the preceding completed fiscal year, if-- i. The total Federal funding authorized to date under this award is
$25,000 or more; ii. In the preceding fiscal year, you received--
(A) 80 percent or more of your annual gross revenues from Federal procurement contracts (and subcontracts) and Federal financial assistance subject to the Transparency Act, as defined at 2 CFR 170.320
(and subawards); and
(B) $25,000,000 or more in annual gross revenues from Federal procurement contracts (and subcontracts) and Federal financial assistance subject to the Transparency Act, as defined at 2 CFR 170.320
(and subawards); and iii. The public does not have access to information about the compensation of the executives through periodic reports filed under section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15
U.S.C. 78m(a), 780(d)) or section 6104 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. (To determine if the public has access to the compensation information, see the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission
total compensation filings at http://www.sec.gov/answers/execomp.htm.) 2. Where and when to report. You must report executive total compensation described in paragraph b.1. of this award term: i. As part of your registration profile at http://www.ccr.gov. ii. By the end of the month following the month in which this award is made, and annually thereafter. c. Reporting of Total Compensation of Sub Recipient Executives 1. Applicability and what to report. Unless you are exempt as provided in paragraph d. of this award term, for each first-tier sub recipient under this award, you shall report the names and total compensation of each of the sub recipient's five most highly compensated executives for the sub recipient's preceding completed fiscal year, if-- i. In the subrecipient's preceding fiscal year, the subrecipient received--
(A) 80 percent or more of its annual gross revenues from Federal procurement contracts (and subcontracts) and Federal financial assistance subject to the Transparency Act, as defined at ~ CFR 170.320
(and subawards); and
(B) $25,000,000 or more in annual gross revenues from Federal procurement contracts (and subcontracts), and Federal financial assistance subject to the Transparency Act (and subawards); and ii. The public does not have access to information about the compensation of the executives through periodic reports filed under section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15
U.S.C. 78m(a), 780(d) or section 6104 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. (To determine if the public has access to the compensation information, see the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission total compensation filings at http://www.sec.gov/answers/execomp.htm.) 2. Where and when to report. You must report subrecipient executive total compensation described in paragraph c.1. of this award term: i. To the recipient. ii. By the end of the month following the month during which you make the subaward. For example, if a subaward is obligated on any date during the month of October of a given year (i.e., between October 1 and 31), you must report any required compensation information of the subrecipient by November 30 of that year. d. Exemptions
If, in the previous tax year, you had gross income, from all sources, under $300,000, you are exempt from the requirements to report: i. Subawards, and ii. The total compensation of the five most highly compensated executives of any sub recipient. e. Definitions. For Purposes of This Award Term: 1. Entity means all of the following, as defined in 2 CFR part 25: i. A Governmental organization, which is a State, local government, or Indian tribe; ii. A foreign public entity; iii. A domestic or foreign nonprofit organization; iv. A domestic or foreign for-profit organization; v. A Federal agency, but only as a subrecipient under an award or subaward to a non-Federal entity. 2. Executive means officers, managing partners, or any other employees in management positions. 3. Subaward: 1. This term means a legal instrument to provide support for the performance of any portion of the substantive project or program for which you received this award and that you as the recipient award to an eligible subrecipient. ii. The term does not include your procurement of property and services needed to carry out the project or program (for further explanation, see Sec. -- .210 of the attachment to OMB Circular A-133,
``Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations''). iii. A subaward may be provided through any legal agreement, including an agreement that you or a subrecipient considers a contract. 4. Subrecipient means an entity that: i. Receives a subaward from you (the recipient) under this award; and ii. Is accountable to you for the use of the Federal funds provided by the subaward. 5. Total compensation means the cash and noncash dollar value earned by the executive during the recipient's or subrecipient's preceding fiscal year and includes the following (for more information see 17 CFR 229.402(c)(2): i. Salary and bonus. ii. Awards of stock, stock options, and stock appreciation rights.
Use the dollar amount recognized for financial statement reporting purposes with respect to the fiscal year in accordance with the
Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123 (Revised 2004) (FAS 123R), Shared Based Payments. iii. Earnings for services under non-equity incentive plans. This does not include group life, health, hospitalization or medical reimbursement plans that do not discriminate in favor of executives, and are available generally to all salaried employees. iv. Change in pension value. This is the change in present value of defined benefit and actuarial pension plans. v. Above-market earnings on deferred compensation which is not tax- qualified. vi. Other compensation, if the aggregate value of all such other compensation (e.g. severance, termination payments, value of life insurance paid on behalf of the employee, perquisites or property) for the executive exceeds $10,000.
Signed in Washington, DC, on June 8, 2011.
William J. Murphy,
Manager, Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
FR Doc. 2011-14596 Filed 6-13-11; 8:45 am
BILLING CODE 3410-08-P