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Notice

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center; Inviting Grant Proposals for the Sheep and Goat Industry Grant Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) announces the availability of approximately $200,000 in competitive grants for product or business development, producer information or education, marketing and promotion for sheep or goats or their products, genetic retention or animal health. Funds have been made available by the Board of Directors of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) to be awarded in Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 with projects completed by the end of FY 2003. The intent is to fund a variety of Start Printed Page 54979proposals that will benefit the U.S. sheep and goat industries.

DATES:

Completed proposals must be received no later than December 31, 2001. Proposals received after that date will not be considered.

ADDRESSES:

Completed proposals and other required materials should be submitted to Jay B. Wilson, Executive Director, National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, PO Box 23483, Washington, DC 20026-3483 if using the US Postal Service or Room 2117, South Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250 if using other carriers. Telephone (202) 690-0632 or (207) 236-6567.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jay B. Wilson, Executive Director, National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, PO Box 23483, Washington, DC 20026-3483 if using the US Postal Service or Room 2117, South Agriculture Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250 if using other carriers. Telephone (202) 690-0632 or (207) 236-6567.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

General Information

The Board of Directors of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) makes this grant program of up to $200,000 available. The NSIIC is authorized under section 375 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 2008j). A fund is established in the Treasury of the United States, without fiscal year limitations, to provide funds for the enhancement and marketing of sheep or goat products in the United States. Grants are authorized by section 375(e)(3)(A) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

Projects that are submitted in the proposals should be completed in a timely fashion as provided in the proposal, but under no circumstances later than September 30, 2003. The primary objective of the Sheep and Goat Industry Grant Program (SGIG) is to fund a number of diverse projects that will benefit the U.S. sheep or goat industries through product or business development, producer information or education, marketing and promotion for sheep or goats or their products, genetic retention or animal health at the regional, national or international level. The program is administered through USDA, NSIIC.

Eligible Applicants

An Eligible entity is an organization that promotes the betterment of the United States sheep or goat industries that is: (A) A public, private, or cooperative organization; (B) an association, including a corporation not operated for profit; (C) a federally recognized Indian Tribe; or (D) a public or quasi-public agency. Eligible entities must 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. Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an organization described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 501 (c)(4)) which engages in lobbying activities, is not eligible to apply.

Use of Funds

Use of funds should directly impact the U.S. sheep or goat industries through product or business development, producer information or education, marketing and promotion for sheep or goats or their products, genetic retention, or animal health programs. Funds may not be used to: (a) Pay costs of preparing the application package; (b) pay costs incurred prior to the effective date of the grant; (c) conduct duplicative research; or (d) fund political activities. Preference will be given to proposals that have over 50 percent of the project costs in matching funds, including in kind contributions, and no proposal will be funded if the proposed overhead costs exceed 25 percent.

Available Funds and Award Limitations

The total amount of funds available for grants in FY 2002 is approximately $200,000. It is anticipated that all funds will be awarded in FY 2002 for projects that will be completed by September 30, 2003. It is expected that there will be proposals submitted that address a variety of needs related to the U.S. sheep and goat industries. Awards will be segregated so that a variety of needs will be addressed by the funded proposals. The actual number of grants funded will depend on the quality of proposals received and the amount of funding requested. A proposal may be partially funded or funded in its entirety. The maximum amount of Federal funds through this grant program awarded for any one proposal will be $50,000.

Selection Criteria

The proposal will initially be reviewed to determine whether the entity submitting the proposal meets the eligibility requirements and whether the proposal application contains the information required. After this initial evaluation, the following criteria will be used to rate and rank proposals received in response to this notice of funding availability. Failure to address any one of the criteria will disqualify the proposal. Equal weight shall be given to each of the criterion listed below and points will be awarded to each criterion on a scale of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. A score of 5 indicates that the proposal was judged to be highly relevant to the criteria and a score of 1 indicates that the proposal was judged not to sufficiently address the criteria. A proposal with an average score from the NSIIC evaluation panel of less than 2 for any one criterion will disqualify the proposal.

Each proposal criteria area will be evaluated and judged on its own merits using the following criteria:

1. Potential Industry Impact—Describe the proposed project and demonstrate how it will stimulate the U.S. sheep or goat industries. Provide a detailed analysis of the sheep or goat industry issue that is being addressed by the proposal by including the: (A) Product or group that will be impacted by the proposal (B) geographic area affected (C) target audience or end user; (D) and expected results. Is the industry issue and need well-defined? Does the proposed project provide an effective and efficient approach to resolving the identified need?

2. Industry Commitment—Describe the commitment of the producers, processor, end-users or other involved parties in participating in the proposed project. This may include, but is not limited to, individual producers, producer groups, processors, seminar participants, local organizations, local or state governments or trade associations. Is there a commitment from all who are expected to participate and benefit from the proposed project?

3. Business Soundness—Provide a timetable and objectives along with a quantifiable benchmark and expected results. Does the proposal include: (A) A clear objective; (B) well-defined tasks that will accomplish the objectives; (C) realistic benchmarks; (D) a realistic timetable for the completion of the proposed tasks? Has the business strategy been adequately developed?

4. Financial Feasibility—Provide a well-defined budget for the proposal. Are the funding requirements and budget for the project well defined and financially feasible? Are matching funds or other resources that will be used to leverage the requested funds in the proposal identified? Start Printed Page 54980

5. Management Ability—Identify the management team needed to complete the proposal objectives and describe their qualifications. Is the management team identified, and are they capable of implementing the proposal?

Selection Process

The Board of Directors of the NSIIC will evaluate proposal applications. Applications will be evaluated competitively and points awarded as specified in the Selection Criteria section of this notice. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to eligible entities. A proposal may be partially funded. After assigning points based upon those criteria, applications will be funded in rank order until all available funds have been expended. The Board of Directors reserves the right to award up to five additional points in order to provide a diversity of projects targeting various situations, geographic areas or subject matter distribution of funded projects. Projects that are approved for further processing will be subject to the grant terms that are negotiated between the applicant and the Board of Directors including, but not limited to, the amount to be funded, project goals, timetables, completion date or other terms as deemed necessary.

Proposal Submission

All proposals, except for forms, are to be submitted on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper with typing on one side of the page only. In addition, margins must be at least 1″, type must be 12 characters per inch (12 pitch or 10 point) or larger, no more than 6 lines per inch, and there should be no page reductions.

Content of a Proposal

A proposal should contain the following:

1. Form SF-424 “Application for Federal Assistance.”

2. Form SF-424A “Budget Information-Non Construction Programs.”

3. Form SF-424B “Assurances-Non Construction Programs.”

4. Table of Contents—For ease of locating information, each proposal must contain a detailed Table of Contents immediately following the required forms. The Table of Contents should include page numbers for each component of the proposal. Page numbering should begin immediately following the Table of Contents.

5. Project Summary: The proposal must contain a project summary of 1 page or less on a separate page. This page must include the title of the project and the names of the primary project contacts and the applicant organization, followed by the summary. The summary should be self-contained and should describe the overall goals and relevance of the project. The summary should also contain a listing of all organizations involved in the project. The Project Summary should immediately follow the Table of Contents.

6. Project Narrative: The narrative portion of the Project Proposal is limited to 10 pages of text and should contain the following:

a. Introduction. A clear statement of the goals and objectives of the project. The problem should be set in context of the present-day situation. Summarize the body of knowledge which substantiates the need for the proposed project.

b. Rationale and Significance. Substantiate the need for the proposed project. Describe the impact of the project on the U.S. sheep or goat industry. Describe the project's specific relationship to the segment of sheep or goat industry issue, product or market being addressed.

c. Objectives and Approach. Discuss the specific objectives to be accomplished under the project. A detailed description of the approach must include: (1) Techniques or procedures used to carry out the proposed activities and for accomplishing the objectives; (2) The results expected.

d. Time Table. Tentative schedule for conducting the major steps of the project.

e. Evaluation. Provide a plan for assessing and evaluating the accomplishments of the stated objectives during the project and describe ways to determine the effectiveness (impact) of the end results upon conclusion of the project. Awardees will be required to submit written project performance reports on a semi-annual basis.

f. Coordination and Management Plan. Describe how the project will be coordinated among various participants and the nature of the collaborations. Describe plans for management of the project to ensure its proper and efficient administration.

What To Submit

An original and 10 copies must be submitted. Each copy must be stapled in the upper left-hand corner. (DO NOT BIND). All copies of the proposal must be submitted in one package.

Other Federal Statutes and Regulations That Apply

Several Federal statutes and regulations apply to proposals considered for review and to grants awarded under this program. These include but are not limited to:

7 CFR part 1.1—USDA implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. of 1964.

7 CFR part 15a—USDA implementation of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

7 CFR part 3015—USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations.

7 CFR part 3016—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments.

7 CFR part 3017—Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (nonprocurement) and Governmentwide Requirements for drug-free workplace (grants).

7 CFR part 3018—New Restrictions on Lobbying.

7 CFR part 3019—Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations.

7 CFR part 3052—Audits of State, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.

Public Burden in This Notice

Form SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance” This form is used by applicants as a required face sheet for applications for Federal assistance.

Form SF-424A, “Budget Information-Non Construction Programs” This form must be completed by applicants to show the project's budget breakdown, both as to expense categories and the division between Federal and non-Federal sources.

Form SF-424B, “Assurances-Non Construction Programs” The applicant must complete this form to give the Federal government certain assurances that the applicant has the legal authority to apply for Federal assistance and the financial capability to pay the non-Federal share of project costs. The applicant also gives assurance it will comply with various legal and regulatory requirements as described in the form.

Reporting Requirements

Awardees will be required to submit written project performance reports on a semi-annual basis and a final report at the completion of the project. The project performance report and final report shall include, but need not be limited to: (1) A comparison of timeline, tasks and objectives outlined in the proposal as compared to the actual accomplishments; (2) If report varies from the stated objectives or they were Start Printed Page 54981not met, the reasons why established objectives were not met; (3) Problems, delays, or adverse conditions which will materially affect attainment of planned project objectives; (4) Objectives established for the next reporting period; and (5) Status of compliance with any special conditions on the use of awarded funds.

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Dated: October 26, 2001.

Jay B. Wilson,

Executive Director, National Sheep Industry Improvement Center.

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[FR Doc. 01-27396 Filed 10-30-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 135100001-P