Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program

To ensure that women, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved producers of priority commodities are provided information and training necessary to use financial management, crop insurance, marketing contracts, and other existing and emerging risk management tools.
Examples of Funded Projects

A complete listing of projects funded under this program is provided on the RMA web site, or may be obtained by contacting RMA Headquarters.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - RMA has ten Regional Offices serving potential applicants.

A listing may be obtained from the RMA web site or RMA Headquarters.


Program Accomplishments

None.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Recipients will use funds to develop and implement a community outreach program to women, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved producers of priority commodities.

Community outreach must create awareness and use of risk management tools; and educate audience on how to use risk management tools to mitigate risks associated with farming.

Applicants may propose additional use of funds that are creative and non traditional in reaching agricultural producers.

RMA will be substantially involved in the project.

Funds may not be used to plan, repair, rehabilitate, acquire or construct a building or facility including a processing facility; purchase, rent or install fixed equipment; repair or maintain privately owned vehicles; pay for preparation of the partnership agreement application; fund political activities; pay costs incurred prior to receiving a partnership agreement; or fund any activity prohibited in 7 CFR Parts 3015 and 3019, as applicable.

Indirect costs are limited to ten percent of total direct costs of the funded project.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicant Eligibility Includes educational institutions, community based organizations, associations of farmers, ranchers and other nonprofit organizations with demonstrated capabilities in developing and implementing risk management and other marketing options for priority commodities.

Individuals are not eligible applicants.

To be eligible, applicants must also be able to demonstrate that they will receive a non-financial benefit as a result of a 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 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.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Women, limited resource, traditionally under served and socially disadvantaged producers of priority commodities.

Credentials/Documentation

None.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

None required.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

All Applicants must submit applications in compliance with the criteria outlined in the Request for Applications (RFA) by the deadline specified in the Notice. Applicants are encouraged to submit completed and signed application packages using overnight mail or delivery service to ensure timely receipt by the USDA. Program application materials may be downloaded from the RMA website at: www: rma.usda.gov. Applicants may also request application materials from Marie Buchanan, Telephone: (202) 690-2686, Fax: (202) 690-2496, Email: Marie.Buchanan@usda.gov.

Award Procedures

Awards under this program will be made on a competitive basis for projects of up to one year. Each application will be reviewed and rated by a diverse panel based on the evaluation criteria contained in the RFA. Projects will be funded in final rank order until all available funds have been expended. Applicants must score at least 50 points or more to be considered for funding. The award instrument is a Partnership Agreement between the Risk Management Agency and the Applicant. No maximum or minimum funding levels have been established for individual projects or geographic locations.

Deadlines

Completed and signed application packages must be submitted by the closing date specified in the Notice. Applications received after the deadline will not be evaluated By the technical review panel.

Authorization

Federal Crop Insurance Act, as amended 7 U.S.C. 1522(d).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

All awards will be made and agreements completed no later than September 30. Applicants that are not funded will be notified within 90 days after the receipt of applications.

Appeals

Informal appeals can be addressed within 30 days from the date of notification to William Buchanan, Director, Civil Rights and Community Outreach, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC.

Renewals

The project period is one year; there are no renewals under this program. Applicants must reapply each year.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Applicants awarded partnership agreements require a match of ten (10) percent of the award amount. The applicant's contribution must be from nonfederal funds and can be cash or in-kind.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Projects will be funded for a period of up to one year from the project starting date for the activities described in the announcement.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Applicants awarded partnership agreements will be required to submit quarterly progress and financial status reports (OMB Stand Ford 269) throughout the project period, as well as a comprehensive final report and financial report not later than 90 days after the end of the project period.

Audits

Recipients are subject to audit by the Office of the Inspector General, USDA, as set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133, or in Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Records

The recipient will maintain at its place of business all records required by the partnership agreement and the respective OMB Circulars.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-4085-0-3-351.

Obigations

FY 07 $5,000,000; FY 08 est not available; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Projects funded range from $5,000 to $300,000. The average is $75,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

This program is announced as a Request for Applications in the Federal Register and the RMA web site, along with specific information on obtaining an application package.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

RMA has ten Regional Offices serving potential applicants. A listing may be obtained from the RMA web site or RMA Headquarters.

Headquarters Office

Department of Agriculture, Risk Management Agency, Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Stop 0805, Washington, DC 20250. Telephone: (202) 690-2686. E-mail: http://www.rma.usda.gov.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Criteria used by the application review panel for recommending awards are listed in the Request for Applications.



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