Inviting Applications for Agriculture Innovation Demonstration Center Grants

 
CONTENT
This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER
contains documents other than rules or
proposed rules that are applicable to the
public. Notices of hearings and investigations,
committee meetings, agency decisions and
rulings, delegations of authority, filing of
petitions and applications and agency
statements of organization and functions are
examples of documents appearing in this
section.
Notices Federal Register
55274
Vol. 84, No. 200
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
1
To view the notice, the CWD Herd Certification
Standards, and the comments we received, go to
http://www.regulations.gov/
#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2018-0011.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service
[Docket No. APHIS–2018–0011]
Notice of Determination; Changes to
the Chronic Wasting Disease Herd
Certification Program Standards
AGENCY
: Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service, USDA.
ACTION
: Notice.
SUMMARY
: We are updating the Chronic
Wasting Disease (CWD) Herd
Certification Program Standards. In a
previous notice, we made available to
the public for review and comment
proposed changes to the CWD Program
Standards to provide guidance on how
to meet CWD Herd Certification
Program and interstate movement
requirements.
DATES
: The updated program standards
became available on May 20, 2019.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
: Dr.
Tracy Nichols, Staff Officer, Cervid
Health Team, Surveillance,
Preparedness, and Response Services,
VS, APHIS, USDA, 2150 Centre Avenue,
Bldg. B, Fort Collins, CO 80526; (970)
494–7380.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
: Chronic
wasting disease (CWD) is a
transmissible spongiform
encephalopathy of cervids (members of
Cervidae, the deer family). Species
currently known to be susceptible to
CWD include elk, mule deer, moose,
white-tailed deer, sika deer, muntjac,
reindeer, and black-tailed deer.
In 2014, the Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS)
implemented the National CWD Herd
Certification Program (HCP), a voluntary
Federal-State-industry cooperative
program administered by APHIS and
implemented by participating States.
Currently, 28 States participate in the
program. States and herd owners
choosing to participate must comply
with the provisions of 9 CFR parts 55
and 81 (referred to below as the
regulations), which include
requirements for animal identification,
interstate movement, fencing,
recordkeeping, herd inspections and
inventories, animal mortality testing,
and response to any findings of CWD-
exposed, -suspect, or -positive herds.
APHIS monitors the approved State
HCPs to ensure consistency with
Federal standards by means of annual
State reporting. With each year of
successful surveillance, participating
herds will advance in status. After 5
years with no evidence of CWD, APHIS
will certify the herd for CWD. Only
captive cervids from certified herds for
CWD may move interstate.
On March 29, 2018, we published in
the Federal Register (83 FR 13469–
13470, Docket No. APHIS–2018–0011) a
notice of availability of a revised version
of the CWD Herd Certification Program
Standards. These standards provide
guidance on how to meet the program
and interstate movement requirements
referenced above. The proposed
revisions addressed concerns of State
and industry participants about the
existing standards.
We solicited comments on the CWD
Herd Certification Program Standards
for 30 days ending on April 30, 2018.
We extended the deadline for comments
until May 30, 2018, in a document
published in the Federal Register on
April 26, 2018 (83 FR 18264, Docket No.
APHIS–2018–0011).
1
We received 334
comments by that date. They were from
producers, industry groups,
representatives of State governments,
and private citizens. We received a
number of comments on the content of
the regulations themselves and not on
the specifics of the revised CWD
Program Standards. As the notice only
served to alert the public of the
availability of that document for review
and comment, any comments focusing
on the regulations themselves are
outside the scope of the request for
comment and will not be addressed.
The remaining comments provided
valuable insight into stakeholder
concerns and priorities.
After reviewing the comments, where
practicable and within the bounds of
our authority, we made changes to the
CWD Program Standards in order to
address commenter concerns while
maintaining program integrity. The
revisions cover a variety of topics
including: Adding guidelines for live
animal testing in specific situations;
clarifying how disease investigations
should be handled; aligning with the
regulatory requirement for mortality
testing; simplifying fencing
requirements; adding biosecurity
recommendations; and describing the
Agency’s intended approach to update
the CWD-susceptible species list. We
also outline factors for determining
indemnity and include a table with
possible reductions in herd certification
status that States may consider for herd
owners that do not submit required
mortality surveillance samples or
consistently submit unusable testing
samples.
The revised CWD Program Standards
are in effect and may be found on the
internet at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/
aphis/newsroom/stakeholder-info/sa_
by_date/2019/sa-05/cwd-standards.
Pursuant to the Congressional Review
Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of
Information and Regulatory Affairs
designated this action as a non-major
rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).
Done in Washington, DC, this 9th day of
October 2019.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2019–22453 Filed 10–15–19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410–34–P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
Inviting Applications for Agriculture
Innovation Demonstration Center
Grants
AGENCY
: Rural Business-Cooperative
Service, USDA.
ACTION
: Notice.
SUMMARY
: This Notice announces that
the Rural Business-Cooperative Service
(Agency) is accepting fiscal year (FY)
2019 applications for the Agriculture
Innovation Demonstration Center (AIC)
program. In FY 2019, the program has
$3,500,000 available for funding. If
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additional funds are appropriated
during fiscal year 2020 prior to the
selection of awards, funding amounts
will be posted on the Agency website
and we will utilize those additional FY
2020 funds to make awards under this
Notice.
The purpose of this program is to
establish and operate Agriculture
Innovation Centers (Centers) that
provide technical and business
development assistance to agricultural
producers seeking to engage in the
marketing or the production of Value-
Added products. Eligible applicants
include nonprofit and for-profit
corporations, public bodies, and
institutions of higher education. This
program supports Rural Development’s
(RD) mission of improving the quality of
life for rural Americans and
commitment to directing resources to
those who most need them.
DATES
: Completed applications for
grants must be submitted electronically
by no later than midnight Eastern Time,
March 20, 2020, through Grants.gov.
Late applications are not eligible for
funding under this Notice and will not
be evaluated.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
: Gail
Thuner, Grants Division, Cooperative
Programs, Rural Business-Cooperative
Service, United States Department of
Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue
SW, MS 3253, Room 4208-South,
Washington, DC 20250–3250, or call
202–690–1374, or email cpgrants@
wdc.usda.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
:
Preface
The Agency encourages applications
that will support recommendations
made in the Rural Prosperity Task Force
report to help improve life in rural
America. For more information, see
www.usda.gov/ruralprosperity.
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 Technical Innovation
Supporting a Rural Workforce
Improving Quality of Life
Overview
Federal Agency Name: USDA Rural
Business-Cooperative Service.
Funding Opportunity Title:
Agriculture Innovation Demonstration
Center.
Announcement Type: Initial Notice.
Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance Number: 10.377.
Dates: Application Deadline. Your
application must be received by http://
www.grants.gov no later than midnight
Eastern Time, March 20, 2020, or it will
not be considered for funding.
Paperwork Reduction Act
In accordance with the Paperwork
Reduction Act, the paperwork burden
associated with this Notice has been
approved by the Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control
Number 0570–0045.
A. Program Description
The AIC program is authorized by
section 7608 of the Farm Security and
Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C.
1632b) and is implemented by 7 CFR
4284 subparts A and K which are
incorporated by reference into this
Notice. The primary objective of the AIC
program is to provide technical
assistance to agricultural producers to
market value-added agricultural
products through Centers. Grants are
available to public bodies, institutions
of higher education, nonprofit
corporations, and for-profit
corporations. It is expected that
recipients will establish and operate
independently-governed Centers whose
boards of directors meet the
representation requirements described
in Section D.2(j) of this Notice.
Definitions
The terms you need to understand are
defined and published at 7 CFR 4284.3
and 7 CFR 4284.1004. The term ‘‘you’’
referenced throughout this Notice
should be understood to mean ‘‘you’’
the applicant. Finally, as required by 2
CFR 200.112, we have defined our
Conflict of Interest policy as follows.
Conflict of Interest—A situation in
which a person or entity has competing
personal, professional, or financial
interests that make it difficult for the
person or business to act impartially.
Federal procurement standards prohibit
transactions that involve a real or
apparent conflict of interest for owners,
employees, officers, agents, or their
immediate family members having a
financial or other interest in the
outcome of the project; or that restrict
open and free competition for
unrestrained trade. Specifically, neither
grant nor matching funds may be used
for services or goods going to, or coming
from, a person or entity with a real or
apparent conflict of interest, including,
but not limited to, owner(s) and their
immediate family members. Examples
of conflicts of interest include using
grant or matching funds to pay a
member of the applicant’s board of
directors to provide Producer Services
and using grant or matching funds to
pay an immediate family member of the
applicant to provide Producer Services.
B. Federal Award Information
Type of Award: Competitive Grant.
Fiscal Year Funds: FY 2019.
Total Funding: $3,500,000.
Minimum Award: $500,000.
Maximum Award: $1,000,000.
Project Period: 2 years.
Anticipated Award Date: September
15, 2020.
C. Eligibility Information
You must meet all of the following
eligibility requirements. Applicants
and/or applications which fail to meet
any of these requirements by the
application deadline will not be
evaluated further or considered for
funding.
1. Eligible Applicants. Grants may be
made to public bodies (including local
governments, State governments, and
Federally-Recognized Tribes),
institutions of higher education,
nonprofit corporations, and for-profit
corporations.
(a) An applicant is ineligible if they
have been debarred or suspended or
otherwise excluded from or ineligible
for participation in Federal assistance
programs under Executive Order 12549,
‘‘Debarment and Suspension.’’ In
addition, an applicant will be
considered ineligible for a grant due to
an outstanding judgment obtained by
the U.S. in a Federal Court (other than
U.S. Tax Court), is delinquent on the
payment of Federal income taxes, or is
delinquent on Federal debt. The
applicant must certify as part of the
application that they do not have an
outstanding judgment against them. The
Agency will check the Do Not Pay
system to verify the certification. (See
also Section D.2.f of this Notice.)
(b) Any corporation (i) that has been
convicted of a felony criminal violation
under any Federal law within the past
24 months or (ii) that has any unpaid
Federal tax liability that has been
assessed, for which all judicial and
administrative remedies have been
exhausted or have lapsed, and that is
not being paid in a timely manner
pursuant to an agreement with the
authority responsible for collecting the
tax liability, is not eligible for financial
assistance provided with funds
appropriated by the Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2019 (Pub. L. 116–
6), unless a Federal agency has
considered suspension or debarment of
the corporation and has made a
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determination that this further action is
not necessary to protect the interests of
the Government. (See also Section D.2.e
of this Notice.)
2. Cost Sharing or Matching. Matching
funds are required for at least one-third
of the total project budget. For example,
if the total project budget is $300,000,
matching funds must be at least
$100,000. Matching funds may be
provided in cash by the applicant or a
third party or in-kind by a third party.
They must be available for use during
the period of performance, and they
must be used for allowable expenses.
(See also Section D.2.j of this Notice.)
3. Other Eligibility Requirements.
Independent Governance: The Center
must be independently governed,
although it does not have to be a
separate legal entity from the applicant
organization. If the applicant is a parent
organization or institution of higher
education, you must demonstrate that
there is a separate Board of Directors for
the Center and that the Center has
independent governance. We consider
the Center to have independent
governance if it has control over
personnel decisions, including hiring
and firing employees and contractors;
setting policies and procedures,
including personnel and procurement;
developing and approving its budget;
and selecting its own Board of Directors,
which shall not include any members
who are affiliated with the parent
organization. (See also Section D.2.k of
this Notice.)
Qualified Board of Directors: The
Board of Directors for the Center must
include, but is not limited to,
representatives from each of the
following groups: (1) Two general
agricultural organizations with the
greatest number of members in the State
in which the Center is located, (2) the
department of agriculture, or similar
State department or agency or a State
legislator, of the State in which the
Center is located, and (3) four entities
representing different commodities
produced in the State in which the
Center is located. Note that no
representative may represent more than
one group or organization. Board of
Director members must not have any
Conflicts of Interest. (See also Section
D.2.l of this Notice.)
Existing Capability to Provide
Services: You must be able to
demonstrate that you have previously
provided services similar to the
Producer Services defined in 7 CFR
4284.1004 or that you have the
capability to provide those services. In
order to be considered qualified, you
must either demonstrate at least three
years of experience providing the same
type of Producer Services as those
proposed in the application and show a
record of at least three positive
outcomes or you must demonstrate that
you currently have key personnel
assigned to the project who have the
same level of experience and positive
outcomes, even if they have not worked
for you for at least three years. (See also
Section D.2.m of this Notice.)
Support of Agricultural Community:
You must demonstrate that at least three
relevant agricultural organizations
support your project. We will consider
the support to be relevant if the
supporting organization is based in the
State or region in which the project will
take place and if the organization serves
the same group of producers (either
directly or through commodity/
marketing efforts) targeted by the
proposed project. (See also Section
D.2.n of this Notice.)
Improving Value-Added Markets:
Your project must focus on increasing
and improving the ability of local
agricultural producers to develop
markets and processes for Value-Added
agricultural commodities or products.
(See also D.2.s of this Notice.)
Use of Funds: You must propose to
engage in one or more of the following
activities during the project period:
Consulting services for legal,
accounting, and technical services to be
used by the recipient for the purpose of
establishing and operating the Center;
Hiring employees for the purpose of
establishing and operating the Center;
Making grants to agricultural
producers, individually not to exceed
$5,000, where the aggregate amount of
all such grants does not exceed $50,000.
Note that these grants are considered
subawards and all Federal requirements
that apply to awards made under this
Notice also apply to these subawards,
including the Matching Funds
requirement.
Producer Services (as defined at 7
CFR 4284.1004);
Applied research; and
Legal services.
For information on selected items that
are not allowable for funding under this
Notice, please review section D (6) of
this Notice, ‘‘Funding Restrictions.’’
Period of Performance. The proposed
period of performance must be two
years or less or the application will not
be considered for funding. Note that in
the future, any recipients that have
already received funding through this
program will be limited to one-year
project periods while new recipients
will be allowed up to two years. This
difference in time is to allow new
recipients additional time for start-up
activities. The proposed start date must
be no earlier than three months after the
expected award date and no later than
six months after the expected award
date. Extensions may be approved on a
case-by-case basis at our discretion if
circumstances beyond the recipient’s
control cause a significant delay in the
performance of the award. However, in
no case, will we approve a period of
performance (including any extension
period) for longer than two years.
Satisfactory Performance. We will
check the Federal Awardee Performance
and Integrity Information System as
well as the Do Not Pay system prior to
awarding funds. If you have deficiencies
identified in either system, we may
either discontinue processing your
application if the deficiencies are
significant or indicate a lack of
capability to accomplish the proposed
project or we may impose special
conditions to address the deficiencies.
Special conditions may include, but are
not limited to, more frequent reporting,
more detailed reporting, and the
addition of benchmarks or checkpoints
to assess progress.
Financial Capability. We will assess
the last three years of your financial
statements and your most recent audit
to confirm that you possess sufficient
financial capabilities for the proposed
project. In particular, you must have a
current ratio of at least 1:1 and the
ability to provide sufficient cash flow to
cover at least three months of total
project costs to account for the lag
between when expenses are incurred,
and award funds are disbursed. If you
do not meet these requirements, you are
not eligible for funding. We will also
evaluate your operating expense ratio
and the sustainability of your revenue
sources, and if we determine that your
financial capability would preclude you
from properly managing Federal funds,
your organization will not be eligible for
an award. We may also identify any
concerns that might require special
conditions if an award is made. (See
also Section D.2.h.)
Application Completeness: Your
application must provide all the
information requested in Section D.2 of
this Notice. Applications lacking
sufficient information to determine
eligibility and scoring will not be
considered for funding.
No Duplication of Current Services.
Your application must demonstrate that
you are providing services to new
customers or new services to current
customers. (See also Section D.2.s of
this Notice.)
Number of Applications. You may
only submit one application in response
to this Notice.
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Collaboration, Contracts, and
Subawards. While we support
collaboration between and among
Centers, you must limit any contracts or
subawards with other Centers to 10% or
less of project costs. We consider
collaboration to occur when two or
more Centers work jointly on an
activity, but each Center controls its
own budget for its involvement. Any
collaboration with other Centers must
be identified in the proposed Work
Plan.
D. Application and Submission
Information
1. Address To Request Application
Package
The application template for applying
for this funding opportunity is located
at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-
services/agriculture-innovation-center-
program. Use of the application
template is strongly recommended to
assist you with the application process.
2. Content and Form of Application
Submission
Your application must be submitted
electronically through Grants.gov. Your
application must contain all required
information. You must follow the
instructions for this funding
announcement at http://
www.grants.gov. Note that we cannot
accept applications through mail or
courier delivery, in-person delivery,
email, or fax.
You can locate the Grants.gov
downloadable application package for
this program by using a keyword, the
program name, or the Catalog of Federal
Domestic Assistance Number for this
program.
When you enter the Grants.gov
website, you will find information about
applying electronically through the site,
as well as the hours of operation. We
have included additional information
about how to register and use the
Grants.gov website in our Application
Guide.
To use Grants.gov, you must already
have a DUNS number and you must also
be registered and maintain registration
in SAM. We strongly recommend that
you do not wait until the application
deadline date to begin the application
process through Grants.gov because it
can take up to four weeks to complete
the registration process.
You must submit all application
documents electronically through
Grants.gov. Applications must include
electronic signatures. Original
signatures may be required if funds are
awarded.
After applying electronically through
Grants.gov, you will receive an
automatic acknowledgement from
Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov
tracking number.
Your application must contain the
following required forms and other
components:
(a) Standard Form SF–424,
‘‘Application for Federal Assistance,’’ to
include your DUNS number and SAM
Commercial and Government Entity
(CAGE) code and expiration date. If you
do not include your DUNS number and
your CAGE code or your DUNS number
or Cage code is inactive or expired, we
will not consider your application for
funding.
(b) Form SF–424A, ‘‘Budget
Information-Non-Construction
Programs.’’ This form must be
completed and submitted as part of the
application package.
(c) Form SF–424B, ‘‘Assurances—
Non-Construction Programs.’’ This form
must be completed, signed, and
submitted as part of the application
package.
(d) Form AD–3030, ‘‘Representations
Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax
Delinquent Status for Corporate
Applicants,’’ if you are a corporation. A
corporation is any entity that has filed
articles of incorporation in one of the 50
States, the District of Columbia, the
Federated States of Micronesia, the
Republic of Palau, and the Republic of
the Marshall Islands, or the various
territories of the United States including
American Samoa, Guam, Midway
Islands, the Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico,
or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Corporations
include both for profit and non-profit
entities. Institutions of higher education
are not required to submit this form.
(e) You must certify that there are no
current outstanding Federal judgments
against your property and that you will
not use grant funds to pay for any
judgment obtained by the United States.
You must also certify that you are not
delinquent on the payment of Federal
income taxes, or any Federal debt. To
satisfy the Certification requirement,
you must include this statement in your
application: ‘‘[INSERT NAME OF
APPLICANT] certifies that the United
States has not obtained an unsatisfied
judgment against its property, is not
delinquent on the payment of Federal
income taxes, or any Federal debt, and
will not use grant funds to pay any
judgments obtained by the United
States.’’ A separate signature is not
required.
(f) Certification on Lobbying. Your
authorized representative must sign a
certification which contains the entire
statement from 2 CFR part 418,
Appendix A.
(g) Financial Capability. You must
include the last three years of your
financial statements (balance sheets,
income statements, and cash flow
statements) and your most recent audit
(including the Letter to the Managers).
(h) Applicant Eligibility. You must
verify your legal status and demonstrate
your eligibility for the program.
Public bodies must provide
information regarding their
authorization.
Non-profit and for-profit
corporations must submit the State’s
Certificate of Good Standing and your
Articles of Incorporation. You may also
submit your Bylaws if they provide
additional information not included in
your Articles of Incorporation that will
help verify your legal status.
Institutions of Higher Education
must demonstrate that you qualify as an
Institution of Higher Education as
defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001.
(i) Verification of Matching Funds.
Matching funds must be provided for at
least one-third of the total project cost.
For example, if your total project cost is
$300,000, you must provide at least
$100,000 in matching funds. Matching
funds can be provided in cash by the
applicant organization or a third-party.
They can also be provided in-kind by a
third-party organization. You must
verify the amount of funds to be
contributed, the source of the funds, the
availability of the funds, and the
purpose for which the funds will be
used. All verification must be done on
an organization’s letterhead and be
signed by the organization’s authorized
representative.
(j) Governance Structure of the Center.
The Center does not need to be an
independent legal entity; however, it
must be independently governed. You
must provide an explanation of how the
governance of the Center works (or will
work if it hasn’t been established at the
time of application). In particular, you
must address how the Center carries out
personnel decisions, including hiring
and firing employees and contractors;
sets its policies and procedures,
including personnel and procurement;
develops and approves its budget; and
selects its own Board of Directors.
(k) Board of Directors. You must
provide the following information:
For the representatives from the two
organizations with the greatest number
of members in your State, you must
identify the representatives, the
organization, its purpose, and the
number of members it has in your State.
The purpose must focus on agriculture
in general; it cannot be restricted to a
specific group, commodity, or sector.
The membership of the organization
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does not need to be restricted to your
State. You must also explain how you
determined that it had the most (or
second most) members. Acceptable
sources for this information can include
the state Department of Agriculture, or
its equivalent, or a third-party, reliable
source, such as a trade journal or
university agriculture department.
For the representative from the State
department of agriculture (or
equivalent) or State legislator, you must
identify the representative and include
the person’s title and job responsibility
if from the Department of Agriculture or
identify the district the State legislator
represents.
For representatives from entities
representing four commodities, you
must identify each representative and
the entity they represent. You must use
data from State Department of
Agriculture, or its equivalent, to
demonstrate that the commodities are
produced in your state and provide a
copy of the information used.
You must also submit a signed
statement from each representative
stating that they either are currently on
the Center’s Board of Directors or that
they commit to being on the Center’s
Board of Directors during the proposed
period of performance.
If your application is selected for
funding, we will confirm the Board of
Directors still meets the requirements. If
at any time, the Center’s Board of
Directors does not meet the
requirements during the period of
performance, the award will either be
suspended until the requirements can
be met or it will be terminated if the
requirements can no longer be met.
(l) Existing Capability to Provide
Services. The applicant organization
must be able to demonstrate that it has
previously provided services similar to
the Producer Services defined in 7 CFR
4284.1004 or that it has the capability to
provide those services. In order to be
considered qualified, the applicant
organization must either demonstrate at
least three years of experience providing
the same type of Producer Services as
those proposed in the application and
show a record of at least three positive
outcomes or the applicant organization
must demonstrate that it currently has
key personnel assigned to the project
who have the same level of experience
and positive outcomes, even if they
have not worked for the organization for
at least three years. You must explain
your role or your key personnel’s role in
the project and identify the organization
that you worked with. Note that
examples of positive outcomes include
assisting a business with incorporation
and assisting a business with expanding
its operation in terms of additional staff
or additional products marketed. It can
also mean working with an organization
and determining that going forward
with a proposed project is not feasible.
To demonstrate previously providing
services, you must include a chart or
narrative that describes the services
provided during the last three years.
The description must include the
specific type of service provided, how
many times it has been provided, and
the outcomes of the services provided
(preferably with quantitative
measurements). To demonstrate current
capability when the applicant has not
previously provided Producer Services,
the applicant must provide a narrative
that describes the key personnel’s
experience with providing Producer
Services. The narrative must include a
description of the services provided,
how many times it has been provided,
and the outcomes of the services
provided (preferably with quantitative
measurements). We will assess the
capability of each applicant
organization based only on what is
submitted with the application.
(m) Support of the Agricultural
Community. You must include at least
three letters of support from agricultural
organizations, other than the applicant
organization, that are relevant to the
project. Evidence of support includes
contributions of cash or in-kind
matching funds. Other examples of
support include referring clients and
intent to collaborate. We will consider
the support to be relevant if the
organization is based in the State or
region in which the project will take
place and if the organization serves the
same group of producers (either directly
or through commodity/marketing
efforts) targeted by the proposed project.
(n) Title Page. Your application must
contain a Title Page. It is recommended
that your Title Page include a short title
for your proposed project as well as
contact information or other application
identifying information.
(o) Table of Contents. Your
application must contain a detailed
Table of Contents (TOC). The TOC must
include page numbers for each part of
the application, including each
evaluation criterion. Page numbers
should begin immediately following the
TOC.
(p) Executive Summary. A summary
of the proposal, not to exceed one page,
must briefly describe the Project, tasks
to be completed, and other relevant
information that provides a general
overview of the Project.
(q) Goals of the Project. You must
include a listing of each Producer
Service to be offered during the project.
You must also identify one or more
specific goals relating to increasing and
improving the ability of identified local
agricultural producers to develop a
market or process for Value-Added
agricultural commodities or products.
(r) Work Plan. You must include a
description of your proposed work for
the project, including how your project
focuses on increasing and improving the
ability of local agricultural producers to
develop markets and processes for
Value-Added agricultural commodities
or products. This description must
include the actions that will be taken in
order for the Producer Services to be
available from the Center. Each action
should include a target date for
completion. General start-up tasks
should be listed, followed by specific
tasks listed for each Producer Service to
be offered. Tasks associated with the
start-up of the Center should include a
focused marketing and delivery plan
directed at the local agricultural
producers that were identified in the
Goals section of your application. The
actions to be taken should include steps
for identifying customers, hiring key
personnel (if not already hired),
contracting for services for the Center,
and making arrangements for strategic
alliances. Each defined task needs to
have a description, assigned key
personnel, and an expected time frame
for accomplishment. You must also
clearly demonstrate how your project
will provide services to new customers
or provide new services to existing
customers.
(s) Budget Justification. You must
provide additional information
regarding the budget you submit on the
SF–424A, including your matching
funds. This additional information
should describe each category of
expense and what specific costs are
included in each category as well as
how your Matching Funds will be used.
For example, the Salaries justification
should include the names of each staff
member (not just key personnel) who
will be paid and how much they will be
paid. The Fringe Benefits category
should include a description of how
fringe benefits are calculated and what
is included. The Contracts category
should identify the contractors by name
(if known) as well as the amounts
expected for each contract and the
purpose of each contract. The Other
category should include the expected
expenses (e.g. supplies) that will be
included. The Travel category should
identify specific trips that will be taken,
who will be traveling, and the reason for
the travel. Additionally, if there are any
unusual expenses, you should describe
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them and why they are appropriate for
the award.
(t) Scoring Criteria. Each of the
scoring criteria in this Notice must be
addressed in narrative form, with a
maximum of three pages for each
individual scoring criterion, unless
otherwise specified. Failure to address
each scoring criteria will result in the
application being determined ineligible.
(u) Strategic Coordination and
Alliances. Describe arrangements in
place or planned with end users (for
example, processing and distribution
companies and regional grocers) as well
as with entities that have technical
research capabilities, broad support
from the agricultural community in the
State or region, significant coordination
with end users, strategic alliances with
entities having technical research
capabilities and a focused delivery plan
for reaching out to the producer
community.
3. DUNS Number and SAM
To be eligible, you are required to:
(a) Provide a valid DUNS number in
your application, which can be obtained
at no cost via a toll-free request line at
(866) 705–5711 or at http://
fedgov.dnb.com/webform.;
(b) Register in SAM before submitting
your application. You may register in
SAM at no cost at https://www.sam.gov/
SAM/. You must provide your SAM
CAGE Code and expiration date; and
(c) Continue to maintain an active
SAM registration with current
information at all times during which
you have an active Federal award or an
application or plan under consideration
by a Federal awarding agency.
If you have not fully complied with
all applicable DUNS and SAM
requirements, the Agency may
determine that the applicant is not
qualified to receive a Federal award and
the Agency may use that determination
as a basis for making an award to
another applicant. Please refer to
Section F. 2 for additional submission
requirements that apply to grantees
selected for this program.
4. Submission Dates and Times
Application Deadline Date: March 20,
2020.
Explanation of Deadlines:
Applications must be RECEIVED by
http://www.grants.gov by midnight
Eastern Time March 20, 2020, to be
eligible for funding. Please review the
Grants.gov website at http://grants.gov/
applicants/organization_registration.jsp
for instructions on the process of
registering your organization as soon as
possible to ensure you can meet the
electronic application deadline.
Grants.gov will not accept applications
submitted after the deadline.
5. Intergovernmental Review
Executive Order (E.O.) 12372,
‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal
Programs,’’ applies to this program. This
E.O. requires that Federal agencies
provide opportunities for consultation
on proposed assistance with State and
local governments. Many States have
established a Single Point of Contact
(SPOC) to facilitate this consultation.
For a list of States that maintain a SPOC,
please see the White House website:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-
content/uploads/2017/11/SPOC-Feb.-
2018.pdf. If your State has a SPOC, you
may submit a copy of the application
directly for review. Any comments
obtained through the SPOC must be
provided to us for consideration as part
of your application. If your State has not
established a SPOC, or if you do not
want to submit a copy of the
application, we will submit your
application to the SPOC or other
appropriate agency or agencies.
6. Funding Restrictions
Grant funds must be used for
Technical Assistance. No funds made
available under this solicitation shall 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, including processing
equipment;
(c) Purchase vehicles, including boats;
(d) Pay for the preparation of the grant
application;
(e) Pay expenses not directly related
to the funded Project;
(f) Fund political or lobbying
activities;
(g) Fund any activities considered
unallowable by the applicable grant cost
principles, including 2 CFR part 200,
subpart E and the Federal Acquisition
Regulation;
(h) Fund architectural work for a
specific physical facility;
(i) Fund any direct expenses for the
production of any commodity or
product to which value will be added,
including seed, rootstock, labor for
harvesting the crop, and delivery of the
commodity to a processing facility;
(j) Purchase land;
(k) Duplicate current activities or
activities paid for by another Federal
grant program;
(l) Pay costs of the Project incurred
prior to the date of award approval;
(m) Pay for assistance to any private
business enterprise that does not have at
least 51 percent ownership by those
who are either citizens of the United
States or reside in the United States
after being legally admitted for
permanent residence;
(n) Pay any judgment or debt owed to
the United States; or
(o) Pay for any goods or services from
a person who has a Conflict of Interest
with the recipient.
In addition, your application will not
be considered for funding if it does any
of the following:
Requests more than the maximum
grant amount;
Focuses assistance on only one
agriculture producer; or
Proposes ineligible costs that equal
more than 10 percent of total grant
funds requested.
We will consider your application for
funding if it includes ineligible costs of
10 percent or less of total grant funds
requested, if it is determined eligible
otherwise. However, if your application
is successful, those ineligible costs must
be removed and replaced with eligible
costs before the Agency will make the
grant award or the amount of the grant
award will be reduced accordingly. If
we cannot determine the percentage of
ineligible costs, your application will
not be considered for funding.
7. Other Submission Requirements
(a) National Environmental Policy
Act. This Notice has been reviewed in
accordance with 7 CFR part 1970,
‘‘Environmental Policies and
Procedures.’’ We have determined that
an Environmental Impact Statement is
not required because the issuance of
regulations and instructions, as well as
amendments to them, describing
administrative and financial procedures
for processing, approving, and
implementing the Agency’s financial
programs is categorically excluded in
the Agency’s National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA) regulation found at 7
CFR 1970.53(f). We have determined
that this Notice does not constitute a
major Federal action significantly
affecting the quality of the human
environment.
The Agency will review each grant
application to determine its compliance
with 7 CFR part 1970. The applicant
may be asked to provide additional
information or documentation to assist
the Agency with this determination.
(b) Civil Rights Compliance
Requirements. All grants made under
this Notice are subject to Title VI of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 as required by
the USDA (7 CFR part 15, subpart A)
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973.
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E. Application Review Information
We will review applications to
determine if they are eligible for
assistance based on requirements in this
Notice, and other applicable Federal
laws and regulations. If we determine
that your application is eligible for
assistance, your application will be
scored by a panel of USDA employees
based on the Scoring Criteria specified
in this Notice. The highest scoring
application will be funded up to the
maximum amount available. Additional
applications that cannot be fully funded
may be offered partial funding at the
Agency’s discretion.
1. Scoring Criteria
All eligible and complete applications
will be evaluated based on the following
criteria. Evaluators will base scores only
on the information provided in the
application. This is a competitive
program, so you will receive scores
based on the quality of the information
provided. Simply addressing the criteria
will not guarantee higher scores. The
total points possible for the criteria are
80.
(a) Ability to Deliver (maximum score
of 15 points). The application will be
evaluated as to whether it evidences
unique abilities to deliver Producer
Services so as to create sustainable
Value-Added ventures. Abilities that are
transferable to a wide range of
agricultural Value-Added commodities
are preferred over highly specialized
skills. Strong skills must be
accompanied by a credible and
thoughtful plan.
Points will be awarded as follows:
(i) 0 points will be awarded if you do
not substantively address the criterion.
(ii) 1–4 points will be awarded for
unique abilities, that is, abilities that are
not available through other
organizations in the Center’s service
area.
(iii) 1–4 points will be awarded for
the expected sustainability of the Value-
Added ventures supported by the
project. For example, applications that
propose to work with ventures where
the expected sustainability has been
assessed will receive more points than
applications that do not address
expected sustainability. By
sustainability, we mean that the venture
assisted will generate wealth (e.g. if the
project adds retained earnings to the
balance sheet, not just an increase in
cash flow).
(iv) 1–4 points will be awarded for the
transferability of the abilities identified.
Abilities that are transferable to a wide
range of commodities will receive more
points.
(v) 1–3 points will be awarded for
plans to accomplish work that are
thoughtful and seem reasonable. For
example, do the services the Center will
provide match the stated goals (from
Section D.2.q). Are the results
measurable and attainable within the
proposed project period?
(b) Successful Track Record
(maximum score of 15 points). The
applicant organization’s track record in
achieving Value-Added successes will
be evaluated.
Points will be awarded as follows:
(i) 0 points will be awarded if you do
not substantively address the criterion.
(ii) 1–3 points will be awarded if the
applicant has more than three years of
experience in accomplishing Value-
Added successes. More points will be
given for more years of experience,
based on the distribution of what all
eligible applicants submit. No credit
will be given for activities that did not
directly result in a Value-Added
success. Note that we consider a success
to include working with an organization
and providing coaching to indicate that
the proposed venture is not feasible.
(iii) 1–4 points will be awarded based
on the number of Value-Added
successes. More points will be given for
higher numbers, based on the
distribution of what eligible applicants
submit.
(iv) 1–4 points will be awarded based
on the significance of Value-Added
successes. More points will be given for
more significant successes, based on the
distribution of what eligible applicants
submit.
(v) 1–4 points will be awarded based
on the complexity of the role that the
applicant organization played in the
Value-Added successes.
(c) Work Plan/Budget (maximum of
15 points). We will review the work
plan for detailed actions and an
accompanying timetable for
implementing the proposed work. We
will review budgets for completeness
and the strength of non-Federal funding
commitments. Note that there is no
additional information required for this
criterion. We will use the Work Plan
and Budget Justification for our
evaluation.
Points will be awarded as follows:
(i) 0 points will be awarded if you do
not substantively address this criterion.
(ii) 1–6 points will be awarded for
work plans that describe each task,
including objectives and potential
outcomes, and how that task connects to
the goal of the project. More points will
be awarded for work plans that
completely describe tasks and show
measurable outcomes as well as for
work plans that show a cohesive plan
for the achievement of the goal(s) of the
project.
(iii) 1–3 points will be awarded for
work plans that show a reasonable and
differentiated timetable for the proposed
tasks. For example, a work plan that
shows a schedule for how a Center will
begin operation, then market its
services, and then provide its services
would be awarded more points that a
work plan that simply states all
Producer Services will be offered for 12
months. We will also consider how you
will identify customers. Applications
with a specific description of customer
identification will receive more points.
(iv) 1–3 points will be awarded for the
budget justification. More points will be
awarded for justifications that
completely describe all categories of
cost, including indirect costs. We
consider that a complete description
includes identification of key personnel
(including any contractors) and the
salaries and fringe benefits associated
with their time on the project as well as
identification of all travel events
(including who will be traveling and
what the purpose of the trip is),
individual contract amounts and
purposes, and items that are
categorized, such as computers,
printers, scanners, copiers, and other
office items.
(v) 1–3 points will be awarded for
higher quality matching funds. We
consider cash match to be of higher
quality than in-kind. Thus, we will
award more points for applications that
have a larger percentage of matching
funds coming from cash, based on the
distribution of what is submitted by
applicants.
(d) Qualifications of Key Personnel
(maximum of 15 points). Describe the
qualifications of the key personnel for
the project. Key personnel may include
employees of the Center or consultants/
contractors, but they do not include
administrative or financial staff whose
purpose is to support the administrative
requirements of the award. Your
description should include the number
of years of experience that a person has
doing the type of work that will be
assigned during the project as well as
metrics indicating the number of times
the person has provided the assistance
and the outcomes of that assistance. You
must also include the total hours that
will be contributed to the project by
each person. Points will be awarded as
follows:
(i) 0 points will be awarded if you do
not adequately address this criterion.
(ii) 1–5 points based on the
percentage of work that will be carried
out by Center employees. We will
calculate the percentage by adding the
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hours of the key personnel and dividing
the number of hours from Center
employees by the total hours.
a. 1 point for 10–20% of the work
carried out by Center employees;
b. 2 points for 21–40% of the work
carried out by Center employees;
c. 3 points for 41–60% of the work
carried out by Center employees;
d. 4 points for 61–80% of the work
carried out by Center employees; and
e. 5 points for 81–100% of the work
carried out by Center employees.
(iii) 1–10 points based on the
qualifications of the key personnel.
More points will be awarded in cases
where the key personnel are assigned to
specific tasks that match their
experience and skills.
(e) Local support (maximum of 4
points). You must show that the Center
has local support from and coordination
with other developmental organizations
in the proposed service area and with
tribal, state, and local institutions.
Support documentation should include
recognition of rural values that balance
employment opportunities with
environmental stewardship and other
rural amenities.
Points will be awarded as follows:
(i) 0 points are awarded if you do not
adequately address this criterion or if
you do not provide at least three letters
of support.
(ii) 1 point will be awarded for a
support letter from a developmental
organization in the proposed service
area that shows coordination with your
project.
(iii) 1 point will be awarded for a
support letter from a state or tribal
institution.
(iv) 1 point will be awarded for a
support letter from a local institution.
(v) 1 point will be awarded for
support that includes recognition of
rural values that balance employment
opportunities with environmental
stewardship and other rural amenities.
You may submit a maximum of 3
letters of support for this criterion (or
you may reference other letters
submitted with the application). When
awarding points for this criterion, we
will only consider support letters from
developmental organizations in the
proposed service area, and state and
local institutions. Additionally,
identical form letters signed by multiple
organizations will not be included in
the count of support letters received.
Support letters must be included as an
attachment to the application.
(f) Future support (maximum of 15
points). Describe the vision for funding
Center operations for future years,
including diversification of funding
sources and building in-house technical
assistance capacity.
Points will be awarded as follows:
(i) 0 points will be awarded if you do
not substantively address the criterion.
(ii) 1–5 points will be awarded for
applications that describe a specific
plan for obtaining future funding for the
Center. More points will be awarded for
plans that show concrete actions for at
least 3 years into the future.
(iii) 1–5 points will be awarded for
applications that show a diversification
of funding sources. Possible funding
sources include Federal awards, tribal,
state and local awards, private
donations, and pay-for-service plans.
More points will be awarded for plans
that include multiple, committed
funding sources. You may summarize
the funding sources/support in a chart
or narrative and you must include the
following information for each source:
name of the organization, the amount of
funds committed, the expected time
period for commitment, and the purpose
for which the funds can be used.
(iv) 1–5 points will be awarded for
applications that show how in-house
capacity for providing technical
assistance will be improved. More
points will be awarded for Centers that
have a specific plan for training and
hiring in-house technical assistance
experts.
2. Review and Selection Process
We will review applications to
determine if they are eligible for
assistance based on requirements in this
Notice, and other applicable Federal
laws and regulations. If we determine
that your application meets the
requirements, it will be scored by a
panel of USDA employees in
accordance with the Scoring Criteria
and point allocation specified in this
Notice. The review panel will convene
to reach a consensus on the scores for
each of the eligible applications.
Applications will be ranked solely
based on the points awarded, and they
will be funded in rank order until
available funds are expended. If an
application cannot be fully funded, we
will offer partial funding to the extent
funds are available. If the applicant
offered partial funding does not accept,
we will offer the funding to the next
highest-ranked applicant until we find
an applicant that accepts the funding or
no additional eligible applicants exist.
If your application is ranked and not
funded, it will not be carried forward
into the next competition.
F. Federal Award Administration
Information
1. Federal Award Notices
If you are selected for funding, you
will receive a signed Letter of
Conditions containing instructions on
requirements necessary to proceed with
execution and performance of the
award. If you are able to meet the
conditions of the award within the
specified time frame (typically up to 90
calendar days), we will proceed with
approving an award. If you are not able
to meet the conditions of the award, we
may terminate consideration of your
application at our discretion and choose
to award the funds to the next highest-
ranked applicant.
If you are not selected for funding,
you will be notified in writing and
informed of any review and appeal
rights. Funding of successfully appealed
applications will be limited to available
FY 2019 funding.
2. Administrative and National Policy
Requirements
Additional requirements that apply to
grantees selected for this program can be
found in 2 CFR parts 200, 215, 400, 415,
417, 418, and 421. All recipients of
Federal financial assistance are required
to report information about first-tier
subawards and executive compensation
(See 2 CFR part 170). You will be
required to have the necessary processes
and systems in place to comply with the
Federal Funding Accountability and
Transparency Act reporting
requirements (See 2 CFR 170.200(b),
unless you are exempt under 2 CFR
170.110(b)). These regulations may be
obtained at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
cfr/index.html.
The following additional
requirements apply to grantees selected
for this program:
Agency approved Grant Agreement.
Letter of Conditions.
Form RD 1940–1, ‘‘Request for
Obligation of Funds.’’
Form RD 1942–46, ‘‘Letter of Intent
to Meet Conditions.’’
Form AD–1047, ‘‘Certification
Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and
Other Responsibility Matters-Primary
Covered Transactions.’’
Form AD–1048, ‘‘Certification
Regarding Debarment, Suspension,
Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-
Lower Tier Covered Transactions.’’
Form AD–1049, ‘‘Certification
Regarding a Drug-Free Workplace
Requirement (Grants).’’
Form AD–3031, ‘‘Assurance
Regarding Felony Conviction or Tax
Delinquent Status for Corporate
Applicants.’’ Must be signed by
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corporate applicants who receive an
award under this Notice.
Form RD 400–4, ‘‘Assurance
Agreement.’’ By signing Form 400–4,
Assurance Agreement recipients affirm
that they will operate the program free
from discrimination. The recipient will
maintain the race and ethnic data on the
board members and beneficiaries of the
program. The Recipient will provide
alternative forms of communication to
persons with limited English
proficiency. The Agency will conduct
Civil Rights Compliance Reviews on
recipients to identify the collection of
racial and ethnic data on Program
beneficiaries. In addition, the
Compliance review will ensure that
equal access to the Program benefits and
activities are provided for persons with
disabilities and language barriers.
SF LLL, ‘‘Disclosure of Lobbying
Activities,’’ if applicable.
Certification of Lobbying. Your
authorized representative must sign a
certification which contains the entire
statement from 2 CFR part 418,
Appendix A.
3. Reporting
After award approval, you will be
required to provide the following:
a. A SF–425, ‘‘Federal Financial
Report,’’ and a project performance
report will be required on a quarterly
basis (due 30 calendar days after end of
each quarter) for the first year of the
project to ensure that all recipients are
able to complete start-up activities and
begin providing technical assistance.
Recipients may submit financial and
performance reports on a semi-annual
basis for the second year of the project,
provided they are on schedule for
project completion. For the purposes of
this program, quarters end on March 31,
June 30, September 30, and December
31. The project performance reports
shall include a comparison of actual
accomplishments to the objectives
established for that period;
b. Reasons why established objectives
were not met, if applicable;
c. Reasons for any problems, delays,
or adverse conditions, if any, which
have affected or will affect attainment of
overall project objectives, prevent
meeting time schedules or objectives, or
preclude the attainment of particular
objectives during established time
periods. This disclosure shall be
accompanied by a statement of the
action taken or planned to resolve the
situation; and
d. Objectives and timetable
established for the next reporting
period.
e. Provide a final project and financial
status report within 90 calendar days
after the expiration or termination of the
award.
f. Provide outcome project
performance reports and final
deliverables.
G. Agency Contacts
For general questions about this
announcement and for program
Technical Assistance, please contact
National Office staff: Gail Thuner,
Management and Program Analyst,
cpgrants@wdc.usda.gov, or call 202–
690–1376.
H. Other Information
Non-Discrimination Statement
In accordance with Federal civil
rights law and U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) civil rights
regulations and policies, the USDA, its
Agencies, offices, and employees, and
institutions participating in or
administering USDA programs are
prohibited from discriminating based on
race, color, national origin, religion, sex,
gender identity (including gender
expression), sexual orientation,
disability, age, marital status, family/
parental status, income derived from a
public assistance program, political
beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior
civil rights activity, in any program or
activity conducted or funded by USDA
(not all bases apply to all programs).
Remedies and complaint filing
deadlines vary by program or incident.
Persons with disabilities who require
alternative means of communication for
program information (e.g., Braille, large
print, audiotape, American Sign
Language, etc.) should contact the
responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET
Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and
TTY) or contact USDA through the
Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339.
Additionally, program information may
be made available in languages other
than English.
To file a program discrimination
complaint, complete the USDA Program
Discrimination Complaint Form, AD–
3027, found online at http://
www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_
cust.html and at any USDA office or
write a letter addressed to USDA and
provide in the letter all of the
information requested in the form. To
request a copy of the complaint form,
call (866) 632–9992. Submit your
completed form or letter to USDA by:
(1) mail: U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Office of the Assistant
Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400
Independence Avenue SW, Washington,
DC 20250–9410;
fax: (202) 690–7442; or
email: program.intake@usda.gov.
Bette B. Brand,
Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019–22551 Filed 10–15–19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410–XY–P
COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS
Notice of Public Meeting of the
Vermont Advisory Committee
AGENCY
: Commission on Civil Rights.
ACTION
: Announcement of meeting.
SUMMARY
: Notice is hereby given,
pursuant to the provisions of the rules
and regulations of the U.S. Commission
on Civil Rights (Commission), and the
Federal Advisory Committee Act
(FACA), that a meeting of the Vermont
Advisory Committee to the Commission
will convene by conference call at 5:00
p.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, October 16,
2019. The purpose of the meeting is to
vote on the committee’s Statement of
Concern on housing.
DATES
: Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at
5:00 p.m. EDT.
Public Call-In Information:
Conference call-in number: 1–800–367–
2403 and conference call 8242563.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Evelyn Bohor at ero@usccr.gov or by
phone at 202–376–7533.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
: Interested
members of the public may listen to the
discussion by calling the following toll-
free conference call-in number: 1–800–
367–2403 and conference call 8242563.
Please be advised that before placing
them into the conference call, the
conference call operator will ask callers
to provide their names, their
organizational affiliations (if any), and
email addresses (so that callers may be
notified of future meetings). Callers can
expect to incur charges for calls they
initiate over wireless lines, and the
Commission will not refund any
incurred charges. Callers will incur no
charge for calls they initiate over land-
line connections to the toll-free
conference call-in number.
Persons with hearing impairments
may also follow the discussion by first
calling the Federal Relay Service at 1–
800–977–8339 and providing the
operator with the toll-free conference
call-in number: 1–800–367–2403 and
conference call 8242563.
Members of the public are invited to
make statements during the open
comment period of the meeting or
submit written comments. The
comments must be received in the
regional office approximately 30 days
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khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES