FSIS-FERN Cooperative Agreement


FSIS FERN Food Emergency Management Program Cooperative Agreement





FSIS FERN is seeking to expand the FERN coordination of state food emergency response efforts which have direct implications upon the various emergency management agency efforts encompassing the southeastern and gulf states and commonwealth (TX, LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, NC, SC and Puerto Rico).

FERN wants to facilitate construction of a comprehensive food emergency response plan for each of these states and commonwealth utilizing a diverse emergency response and food/agro security community intended for several purposes:

1) Produce a comprehensive response plan matrix first addressing the food emergency response plan needs of each of the following states/ commonwealth:
(TX, LA, MS, AL, FL, NC, SC and Puerto Rico) incorporating the risk assessment and time consequence tools established for use in the Agriculture & Food sectors, and;

2) Demonstrate the effectiveness of these plans through state, commonwealth and regional table top exercises and a comprehensive regional functional exercise specifically targeting food defense within the region targeted.

3) Implement and assess other food & agricultural defense tools which can offer preparedness and readiness on behalf of each individual state/ commonwealth as they become available.

The goal of this FOOD EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT Cooperative Agreement is to enhance and augment the current FERN emergency preparedness and response programs and coordinated events involving regulatory, law enforcement and private food stakeholders.

This FOOD EMERGENCY RESPONSE Cooperative Agreement provides an excellent tool to coordinate the readiness and response preparedness activities between FERN, the emergency management community, the National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Teams and the private food industry.

To this end FSIS FERN has been authorized to begin the process of soliciting proposals for the coming agreement year (2009-10) from any interested state and commonwealth emergency management agency from the following locations:
(TX, LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, NC, SC and Puerto Rico).

The application process will include preparation and submission of the following for review:

1) Detailed Proposal (plans, ideas, and objectives in narrative form, including information related to industry vendor training at local, regional, and national FERN meetings.)

2) Project Description (Detailed project plans, including how the agreement will benefit both parties)

3) Completed form SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance)

4) Completed form SF-424A (Budget Information), including a list of line items

5) CV and contact information for all dedicated personnel

All initial proposals are tentative and are subject to review by a panel of experts who may make specific recommendations for modifications to the proposals in order to ensure that each of them meets the needs and requirements of FSIS FERN.

The deadline for completing and returning the above packet of material to the FSIS FERN Southeast Regional Coordination Center in Athens, Georgia or applying through Grants.gov (see below for details) is Wednesday, July 8, 200 9. This deadline is necessary in order for us to be able to complete the panel review of these initial (tentative) proposals, make any specific recommendations for modifications that may be necessary for compliance with FERN needs and requirements, and allow sufficient time for the applicant to modify and submit the final application packet prior to the Agency deadline for finalizing the 2009-10 cooperative agreements.

The Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) currently comprises 150+ federal, state, and local government regulatory laboratories with varying capacities to perform threat agent testing.

FERN has numerous cooperative agreements already in place which target state, local, and tribal FERN labs in an effort to augment the network?s microbiological, chemical, and radiological threat agent testing capacities.

These agreements focus on developing better diagnostic capabilities for threat agent testing utilizing FERN methods and improvement of laboratory capacities relating to food defense assignments and outbreak response.

In support of emergency readiness, response and recovery efforts, FERN has been an integral participant of numerous state emergency response exercises that have warranted FERN state laboratory support as provided by the 150+ state laboratories within FERN, however there remains a need for comprehensive and demonstrable food emergency response plans addressing the following systems:
Intelligence sharing and evaluation, Notification, Communication, Deployment, Sampling, Field- Diagnostics, Readiness and Response Assessment, Identification of Critical Infrastructure related to Food, Chain of Custody, Transport, Fern-lab Diagnostics, FERN Reporting, After Action Gap Analyses and Reporting on a state by state basis as well as a regionally coordinated process.

Subsequent implementation of these established food emergency response systems would occur on a regular basis on a regional scale in support of the food safety and protection efforts of the USDA and FDA, collectively FERN.

This Food Emergency Management Cooperative Agreement will augment the current FERN southeast regional coordination efforts and expand the number of comprehensive state/commonwealth food emergency response plans.

Subsequent construction of a regional food emergency response plan and its implementation will augment the FSIS FERN mission for coordination and communication of food emergency efforts on a regional scale.

This new Food Emergency Management Cooperative Agreement would support the administrative and operational costs for coordination meetings, communications, scheduling, implementation exercises and related exercise costs.

Procurement of meeting space and travel costs directly associated with such efforts must be according to state government per diem rates and reimbursement of personnel expenses.

The agreements will not support construction costs.]

Funding Level:

The FERN Training Support Cooperative Agreement Program award is expected to run from between $500,000 to $1,000,000 dollars.

The actual award will be based on the complexity and scope of the proposed Food Emergency Management Agency food emergency response plan and implementation relative to augmenting the current FSIS FERN mission.

Initial (tentative) proposals must be submitted by Wednesday, July 8, 200 9.

Evaluation Criteria:

Proposals should be clearly written to address all areas targeted in the Description comments above related to the comprehensive and demonstrable food emergency response plans that will be of direct benefit to the Food Emergency Response Network?s primary objectives of Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

Proposal submitters must include an Emergency Management Agency coordination plan which will tie in the various programs that incorporate state, federal, local and industry representation in coordination with FERN laboratory personnel, WMD-CST from each location and their respective State Emergency Responders involved with food.).

All proposals will be required to specifically identify their proposed involvement with Emergency Management Agencies and Food/Agro Security programs with an appropriate list of deliverables specifically related to food emergency preparedness, protection and response.

Included in this should be each state/commonwealth?s emergency response plan, your intended planning, collaboration and coordination with each agency from the states/ commonwealth of (TX, LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, NC, SC and Puerto Rico) and the inclusion of FERN, the National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams and the specific food industry stakeholders in support of FERN?s primary objectives.

In the proposal, please address the following:

? Description of current organizational infrastructure:
to include organizational staffing with emphasis on credentials and field of expertise.

? Cooperators must document that they possess coordination skills, including knowledge and experience conducting coordinated (multi-lateral and multi-jurisdictional) emergency response planning and exercising these plans.

Experience with the development and implementation of food defense assessment tools to be incorporated in this body of work should be specifically identified.

Furthermore, please detail any additional collaborations intended in support of your project?s description.

Where personnel costs are requested, documentation must be provided to

associate these costs with the specific deliverables.)

? Address web-based management capabilities as they relate to coordinating a Food Emergency Management Response Plan in support of the network of regional laboratory partners (i.e., Training/personnel database assets, survey capabilities, etc.).

? Address additional grants or cooperative agreements received by your organization if it enhances your capability to augment and coordinate an existing Food Emergency Management Agency Program(s).

For further information contact one of the following FERN representatives:

Dr. Tom Beacorn,


Staff Officer

Southeast Regional Coordination Center

FSIS, FERN Division

Russell Research Center

950 College Station Road

Athens, GA 30605

706-546-3426 / 706-546-3578 (Ph)

706-546-3656 (Fax)


Grants.gov Instructions:

As part of the U. S. Department of Agriculture?s implementation of E-Government under the President?s Management Agenda, the Food Safety and Inspection Service will allow the option of submitting an application electronically through the Grants.gov website at www.grants.gov.

Applicants may continue to submit hard copy applications under existing procedures indicated above.

Grants.gov is the single access point to electronically find and apply for competitive federal funding opportunities and manage grants from all federal grant-making agencies in one place.

In order to be able to submit applications through Grants.gov applicants must register and create an account in the Grants.gov system.

First time users should go to the ?Get Registered? link on the Web site and carefully read and follow the steps listed in order to apply.

Your organization will need to be registered with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR).

In order to register with the CCR, a requirement for registering with grants.gov, your organization will need a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) Number.

A DUNS number is a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company, Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).

To investigate if your organization already has a DUNS number or to obtain a DUNS number, contact Dun & Bradstreet at 1-866-705-571 1.

Also, the FSIS Food Safety Cooperative Agreements program is now listed in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance at cfda.gov and the number identifier is 1 0. 47 9. The CFDA number is requested when completing applications through grants.gov.

However, the use of the number isn?t mandatory.

Related Programs

Food Safety Cooperative Agreements

Department of Agriculture

Agency: Department of Agriculture

Office: Food Safety Inspection Service

Estimated Funding: Not Available

Who's Eligible

Obtain Full Opportunity Text:
Not Available

Additional Information of Eligibility:
State and Commonwealth Emergency Management Agencies from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Puerto Rico are eligible to apply for this Cooperative Agreement.

Full Opportunity Web Address:

Thomas Beacorn VMO-Sr. Staff Officer Phone 706-546-3426

Agency Email Description:

Agency Email:

Date Posted:

Application Due Date:

Archive Date:

Ganesh Natarajan is the Founder and Chairman of 5FWorld, a new platform for funding and developing start-ups, social enterprises and the skills eco-system in India. In the past two decades, he has built two of India’s high-growth software services companies – Aptech and Zensar – almost from scratch to global success.

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