Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

 

To support the nation’s beginning farmers and ranchers by making competitive grants to new and established local and regional training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives that address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.311
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: For FY 2014:

Approximately 25-30 new projects were awarded in FY 2014. Over 150 proposals were received and underwent peer review. Awards were announced in early FY’15. Fiscal Year 2015: For FY 2015:
NIFA anticipates funding approximately 30 new projects in FY2015. Over 220 proposals were received and evaluated by peer review panels. Awards will be announced in late FY 2015 or early FY 2016. Fiscal Year 2016: For FY 2016:
NIFA anticipate funding approximately 25-30 new projects in FY 2016.
Authorization
Section 7405 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, [7 U.S.C. 3319f].

, Public Law 107-171, 7 U.S.C 3319f.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The recipient must be a collaborative, State, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include: state cooperative extension service; community-based and nongovernmental organization; college or university (including institutions awarding associate degrees); or any other appropriate partner. Others may be eligible to apply. Please refer to Part III of the current BFRDP Request for Applications for complete eligibility requirements.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The recipient must be a collaborative, State, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include: state cooperative extension service; community-based and nongovernmental organization; college or university (including institutions awarding associate degrees); or any other appropriate partner. Others may be eligible to apply. Please refer to Part III of the current BFRDP Request for Applications for complete eligibility requirements.
Credentials/Documentation
Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM) - each applicant (unless excepted under 2 CFR § 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR § 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. It also must state that the Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

Applicants must furnish the information required in the request for applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following:

Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, “Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.”. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
All RFAs are published on the Agency’s website and Grants.gov. Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.
Award Procedure
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA.

Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors:
(a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities;
(b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields;
(c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs;
(d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations;
(e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and
(f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application.

Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the RFA.

2 CFR Part 200 – Subpart C and Appendix I apply to this program.

2 CFR Part 400 applies to this program.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
:094 Deadlines:
Dates for specific deadlines are announced in the RFA each fiscal year.

:095 Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
From 30 to 180 days.
Appeals
2 CFR Part 200 – Subparts D & E apply to this program.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Within guidelines established for the program as described in the RFAs.
How may assistance be used?
Competitive grants are made to support:
(A) mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships;
(B) resources and referral;
(C) assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring
farmers and ranchers;
(D) innovative farm and ranch transfer strategies;
(E) entrepreneurship and business training;
(F) model land leasing contracts;
(G) financial management training;.
(H) whole farm planning;
(I) conservation assistance;
(J) risk management education;
(K) diversification and marketing strategies;
(L) curriculum development;
(M) understanding the impact of concentration and globalization;
(N) basic livestock and crop farming practices;
(O) the acquisition and management of agricultural credit;
(P) environmental compliance;
(Q) information processing; and
(R) other similar subject areas of use to beginning farmers or ranchers.

In addition, cooperative agreements may be awarded to establish Education Teams:
(1) In General:
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall establish beginning farmer and rancher education teams to develop curricula and conduct educational programs and workshops for beginning farmers or ranchers in diverse geographical areas of the United States.

(2) Curriculum:
In promoting the development of curricula, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, include modules tailored to specific audiences of beginning farmers or ranchers, based on crop or regional diversity.

(3) Composition:
In establishing an education team for a specific program or workshop, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable:
(A) obtain the short-term services of specialists with knowledge and expertise in programs serving beginning farmers or ranchers; and

(B) use officers and employees of the Department with direct experience in programs of the Department that may be taught as part of the curriculum for the program or workshop.

(4) Cooperation:
(A) In General:
In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall cooperate, to the maximum extent practicable, with:
(i) State cooperative extension services;
(ii) Federal and State agencies;
(iii) community-based and nongovernmental organizations;
(iv) colleges and universities (including an institution awarding an associate’s degree) or foundations maintained by a college or university; and
(v) other appropriate partners, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Cooperative Agreement:
Notwithstanding chapter 63 of title 31, United States Code, the Secretary may enter into a cooperative agreement to reflect the terms of any cooperation under subparagraph (A).

An award also may be made to establish a Curriculum and Training Clearinghouse.
The Secretary shall establish an online clearinghouse that makes available to beginning farmers or ranchers education curricula and training materials and programs, which may include online courses for direct use by beginning farmers or ranchers.

Set-Aside:
Not less than 25 percent of funds used to carry out this subsection for a fiscal year shall be used to support programs and services that address the needs of:
(A) limited resource beginning farmers or ranchers (as defined by the Secretary);
(B) socially disadvantaged beginning farmers or ranchers (as defined in section 355(e) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 2003(e)); and
(C) farmworkers desiring to become farmers or ranchers. Set-Aside:
Not less than 25 percent of funds used to carry out this subsection for a fiscal year shall be used to support programs and services that address the needs of:
(A) limited resource beginning farmers or ranchers (as defined by the Secretary);
(B) socially disadvantaged beginning farmers or ranchers (as defined in section 355(e) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 2003(e)); and
(C) farmworkers desiring to become farmers or ranchers.

Prohibition:
A grant made under this subsection may not be used for the planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of a building or facility.

Indirect Costs (Federal Budget):
Grants:  Not to exceed 22% of Federal Funds Awarded

Cooperative Agreements (if only CCC funding made available under section 7405 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002): Full Negotiated Rate.

Cooperative Agreements (if any discretionary funding made available in the annual appropriations): Not to exceed 10% of total direct cost of agreement if made to a nonprofit institution (including an educational institution)

Full Negotiated Rate if made to an entity other than a nonprofit institution

Special Note on Indirect Costs as in-kind matching contributions:
Indirect costs may be claimed under the Federal portion of the award budget or, alternatively, indirect costs may be claimed as a matching contribution (if no indirect costs are requested under the Federal portion of the award budget). However, unless explicitly authorized in the RFA, indirect costs may not be claimed on both the Federal portion of the award budget and as a matching contribution, unless the total claimed on both the Federal portion of the award budget and as a matching contribution does not exceed the maximum allowed indirect costs or the institution’s negotiated indirect cost rate, whichever is less. An awardee may split the allocation between the Federal and non-Federal portions of the budget only if the total amount of indirect costs charged to the project does not exceed the maximum allowed indirect costs or the institution’s negotiated indirect cost rate, whichever is less. For example, if an awardees' indirect costs are capped at 30 percent pursuant to FY 2012 appropriated funds, Section 720 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 (Division A of Pub. L. 112-55), the awardee may request 15 percent of the indirect costs on both the Federal portion of the award and as a matching contribution. Or, the awardee may request any similar percentage that, when combined, does not exceed the maximum indirect cost rate of 30 percent.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Grantees are to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. NIFA uses the SF-425, Federal Financial Report to monitor cash. (Pertinent details regarding Progress Reports are provided above.). Quarterly “Reports of Federal Cash Transactions” (SF-272) are required by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (www.dpm.psc.gov) and are submitted online through the DHHS Payment Management System (PMS) website. If you become delinquent in these reports, you will not be able to access your funds.

A final “Financial Status Report” (SF-269) or "Federal Financial Report" (SF-425) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 2 CFR 3430.55 (also refer to Section 3015.82 of the Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations).

Awards Management Division (AMD)
Office of Grants and Financial Management (OGFM)
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986. (Pertinent details regarding Performance Monitoring Reports are provided above.).
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Subpart F—Audit Requirements nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more during the non-Federal entity’s fiscal year in Federal awards must have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of this part. A non-Federal entity that expends less than $750,000 during the non-Federal entity’s fiscal year in Federal awards is exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in § 200.503. Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO).

This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Records
In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, § 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.

2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D applies to this program.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 25.%. Funds are awarded competitively. No formula grants are awarded under Section 7405 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, [7 U.S.C. 3319f].

To be eligible to receive a grant under this program, a recipient must provide a match in the form of cash or in-kind contributions in an amount equal to 25 percent of the funds provided by the grant.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The term of a competitive grant under this program may not exceed three (3) years.

2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D applies to this program. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Production and Sustainablity, Division of Agricultural Systems, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 2240 , Washington, District of Columbia 20250-2240 Email: Policy@nifa.usda.gov Phone: (202) 401-0151 Fax: (202) 401-5179
Website Address
http://nifa.usda.gov/program/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-0502-0-1-352.
Obligations
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 14 $19,091,723; FY 15 est $17,598,784; and FY 16 est $19,091,723 - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislative authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.

NOTE:
Funding for this Farm Bill mandatory program is authorized for FYs 2014 through FY 2018..
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Minimum and maximum amounts of funding per grant are established by the annual program announcement or RFA.

However, the amount of the competitive grants shall not exceed $ 250,000 for each year.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
The following federal statutes and regulations represent general administrative requirements which apply to NIFA federal assistance programs. These include, but are not limited to the ones listed below.

2 CFR Part 25 - Universal Identifier and Central Contractor Registration

2 CFR Part 170 - Reporting Subaward and Executive Compensation Information

2 CFR Part 175 - Award Term for Trafficking in Persons

2 CFR Part 180 and Part 417 - OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and USDA Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension

2 CFR Part 182 - Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)

2 CFR Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

2 CFR Part 400 – USDA implementation of 2 CFR Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

2 CFR Part 415 - General Program Administrative Regulations

2 CFR Part 416 – USDA General Program Administrative Regulations for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments

2 CFR Part 417 - Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension

2 CFR Part 418 - New Restrictions on Lobbying

2 CFR Part 421 - Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)

2 CFR Part 422—Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research; Research Misconduct.

7 CFR Part 1, subpart A—USDA implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and 7 CFR Part 3404, Public Information.

7 CFR Part 1c—USDA Implementation of the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects

7 CFR Part 3—USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-129 regarding debt collection

7 CFR Part 15, subpart A—USDA implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended

7 CFR Part 331 and 9 CFR Part 121—USDA implementation of the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002

7 CFR Part 3407—USDA procedures to implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended

7 CFR Part 3418—Stakeholder Input Requirements for Recipients of Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Formula Funds

7 CFR Part 3419—Matching Funds Requirement for Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds at 1890 Land–Grant Institutions, Including Tuskegee University, and at 1862 Land–Grant Institutions in Insular Areas

7 CFR Part 3430—Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Financial Assistance Programs--General Award Administrative Provisions

7 CFR Part 3434—Hispanic–Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities Certification Process

29 U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR Part 15b (USDA implementation of statute) —prohibiting discrimination based upon physical or mental handicap in federally-assisted programs

35 U.S.C. 200 et seq. —Bayh Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic nonprofit organizations, including universities, in federally-assisted programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR Part 401)

44 U.S.C. 3551-3558 (Pub. L. 113–283) - Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA). Applies to awardees if it will collect, store, process, transmit, or use information on behalf of NIFA.

Executive Order 13513, Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging while Driving (Oct. 1, 2009).

NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide—a compendium of basic NIFA policies and procedures that apply to all NIFA awards, unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary.

In addition, the following represent Program-Specific requirements:

7 CFR Part 3400 – Special Research Grants Program (for CFDA 10.200)

7 CFR Part 3401—Rangeland Research Grants Program (CFDA 10.200)

7 CFR Part 3402—Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program (CFDA 10.210).

7 CFR Part 3403—Small Business Innovation Research Grants Program (CFDA 10.212)

7 CFR Part 3405—Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (CFDA 10.217)

7 CFR Part 3406—1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants Program (CFDA 10.216)

7 CFR Part 3415 – Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (CFDA 10.219)

7 CFR Part 3431—Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (CFDA 10.313)


Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: For FY 2014:
64 projects funded in prior years are still underway and producing results, including those described above under FY 2013, plus a comprehensive clearinghouse at www.start2farm.gov, which includes projects, organizations, curriculum and other resources for beginning farmers and ranchers and for organizations and programs that serve them. Fiscal Year 2015: For FY 2015:
33 projects that began in 2012 are in their third and final year, with final results to be reported in early FY’16. Examples include:

A collaborative effort of 22 organizations in 14 states that use the farmer-to-farmer “Farm Beginnings” curriculum, to share approaches to training and program evaluation, in order to strengthen each others’ results.

An urban agriculture training project in Chicago that provided workshops and short courses to nearly 500 people and trained over 100 youth; an intercultural training collaborative serving Latino and Hmong immigrants in Minneapolis; and projects serving women farmers in Iowa, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania. Fiscal Year 2016: For FY 2016:
39 projects funded in early 2015 (with FY’14 funds) will be completing their first year, including a new national beginning farmer curriculum and training clearinghouse that will replace start2farm.gov with a more comprehensive resource, farmanswers.gov

Other projects include a dairy grazing apprenticeship program, developed with BFRDP support in Wisconsin, that is expanding to Missouri and then nationally; a program to teach new organic farmers, particularly military veterans, in Delaware; and a program that will continue and expand the successful “Armed to Farm” program for military veterans to learn poultry, livestock, and agroforestry practices.

 


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