Thursday, December 8, 2016
AGRICULTURE & FOOD SOVEREIGNTY Grants, Loans, and Other Programs
AGRICULTURE & FOOD SOVEREIGNTY Grants, Loans, and Other Programs • Application Deadline: December 8, 2016 – Farm to School • Application Deadline: December 8, 2016 – Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program • Application Deadline: December 12, 2016 – Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program • Application Deadline: January 6, 2017 – National Advisory Council on Maternal, Infant and Fetal Nutrition News • USDA Resumes Incentives to Grow the Bioeconomy and Improve Forest Health • USDA Begins National Agricultural Conservation Survey Nominations • USDA Seeks Nominations – Grain Inspection Advisory Committee • EXTENDED Nomination Deadline: December 13, 2016 – FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers to Receive Ballots Week of Nov. 7 BUSINESS & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Grants, Loans, & Other Programs • Application Deadline: December 31, 2016 – Water & Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants • Application Deadline: December 31, 2016 – Solid Waste Management Grants • Application Deadlines: March 31, 2017 – Rural Energy for America Program CONSERVATION & FORESTRY Grants, Loans, & Other Programs • Application Deadline: January 6, 2017 – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Cooperative Weed Management Area • Application Deadline: January 9, 2017 – Conservation Innovation Grant • Application Deadline: January 23, 2017 – Wood Energy and Products Innovations • Sign-Up Deadline: February 3, 2017 – Conservation Stewardship Program 2017 Request for Proposals for Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Grants Now Accepting Proposals: November, 2016 - January 31, 2017 View the 2017 Request for Proposal here: http://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Pages/home.aspx View details about and a map of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership designated locations. New USDA Streamlined Loan Program Available For Ag Producers Agriculture Department EZ Guaranteed Loans are designed to expand both access to and lending sources for credit for beginning and small-scale farmers. (Rod Bain and Secretary Tom Vilsack). News • Conservation as a Peace Offering to WW2 Veteran • USDA, Partners Celebrate First Wood-to-Jet-Fuel Commercial Flight EDUCATION, INTERNSHIPS, & EMPLOYMENT Scholarship Application Deadline: December 31, 2016 – USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach is accepting applications for the 1890 National Scholar Program ________________________________________ AGRICULTURE & FOOD SOVEREIGNTY Grants, Loans, and Other Programs Application Deadline: December 8, 2016 – Farm to School The purpose of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is to assist eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Applications should be submitted to Grants.gov. • Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with schools or school districts to further develop and provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives. • Implementation grants are intended to help schools or school districts scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. • Planning grants are for schools or school districts just getting started on farm to school activities and are intended to help these entities organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by embedding known best practices into early design considerations. • Training grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities to support trainings that strengthen farm to school supply chains, or trainings that provide technical assistance in the area of local procurement, food safety, culinary education, and/or integration of agriculture‐based curriculum. Application Deadline: December 8, 2016 – Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. BFRDP funds three types of projects: • Standard Projects: to new and established local and regional training, education, outreach and technical assistance initiatives that address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers in selected areas • Educational Enhancement Projects: to help develop seamless beginning farmer and rancher education programs by conducting evaluation, coordination, and enhancement activities for Standard Projects and other non-funded beginning farmer programs • Curriculum and training clearinghouse: to make educational curricula and training materials available to beginning farmers and ranchers and organizations who serve them. Applications may be submitted to Grants.gov or https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program-bfrdp. Application Deadline: December 12, 2016 – Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. The program will test strategies that could contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants that would inform future efforts, and develop effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies. Applications should be submitted to Grants.gov. USDA Expands Farm Loans for Native Americans Farming and Ranching on Tribal Land 12/06/2016 02:00 PM EST LAS VEGAS, Dec. 6, 2016 – Agriculture Under Secretary Michael T. Scuse today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved and obligated the first loan under the Highly Fractionated Indian Land Loan program (HFIL). The program, made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides revolving loan funds to qualified intermediary lenders, allowing qualified tribes and individuals the ability to purchase tribal farmland that has multiple owners. Scuse made the announcement during the Intertribal Agriculture Council Membership meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. News USDA Resumes Incentives to Grow the Bioeconomy and Improve Forest Health NEWS RELEASE – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced that $1.5 million will be available in fiscal year 2017 for farmers and foresters who harvest and deliver biomass for renewable energy. The funds are from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Facilities seeking to be qualified by USDA to accept BCAP-funded biomass can begin enrollment Nov. 14 through Dec. 5, 2016. Also, between Jan. 9, 2017, through March 15, 2017, USDA will accept applications from foresters and farmers seeking incentives to remove biomass residues from fields or national forests for delivery to energy generation facilities. The retrieval payments are provided at match of $1 for $1, up to $20 per dry ton. Eligible crops include corn residue, orchard waste or diseased or insect-infested wood materials. USDA Begins National Agricultural Conservation Survey NEWS RELEASE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is surveying 16,000 farmers and ranchers across the country through February 2017 about their conservation and production practices on cultivated and non-cultivated farmland. The results of the 2016 National Resources Inventory-Conservation Effects Assessment Project (NRI-CEAP) survey will further document on-farm conservation accomplishments and develop science-based solutions that help farmers and ranchers improve the environment. Request for Nominations EXTENDED Nomination Deadline: December 13, 2016 – FSA County Committee Elections to Begin; Producers Received Ballots Week of Nov. 7 NEWS RELEASE – Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) mailed ballots to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the 2016 FSA County Committee elections on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Producers must return ballots to their local FSA offices by Dec. 13, 2016, to ensure that their vote is counted. County committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility. Nomination Deadline: January 20, 2017 - USDA Grain Inspection Advisory Committee The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is seeking nominations to serve on the USDA Grain Inspection Advisory Committee (Advisory Committee). GIPSA is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the Advisory Committee to replace seven members whose terms will expire April 2017. All nomination material can be emailed to Terri.L.Henry@usda.gov or faxed to (202) 690-2173. The deadline for submission is January 20, 2017. Candidates who wish to be considered for membership on the Advisory Committee must submit an AD-755 application form. The application form and additional information about the Advisory Committee can be found at http://www.gipsa.usda.gov/fgis/advisorycommittee.aspx. Also copies are attached of the Federal Register Notice seeking nominations and the AD-755 application form. Please feel free to share this information with others who you feel may have an interest in serving. For additional information about this Advisory Committee, contact Terri L. Henry, the Designated Federal Officer at 202-205-8281 or Terri.L.Henry@usda.gov or Randall Jones, Deputy Administrator, Federal Grain Inspection Service at 202-720-9170 or Randall.D.Jones@usda.gov. BUSINESS & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Grants, Loans, & Other Programs Application Deadline: December 31, 2016 – Water & Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants The Water & Waste Disposal Technical Assistance & Training Grants help qualified, private non-profits provide technical assistance and training to (a) identify and evaluate solutions to water and waste problems; (b) assist applicants in preparing applications for water and waste disposal loans/grants; and (c) assist associations in improving operation and maintenance of existing water and waste facilities in eligible rural areas. Application Deadline: December 31, 2016 – Solid Waste Management Grants Solid Waste Management Grants help reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources through funding for organizations that provide technical assistance or training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites. Applications may be submitted to Grants.gov. Application Deadlines: March 31, 2017 – Rural Energy for America Program NEWS RELEASE – USDA is accepting Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) applications for: 1) energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants, and 2) renewable energy system and energy efficiency guaranteed loans and grants. The application deadline for energy audit and renewable energy development assistance grants is Jan. 31, 2017. Applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency grants of $20,000 or less are no longer accepted, for the first funding cycle and March 31, 2017, for the second funding cycle. Applications for renewable energy system and energy efficiency grants of greater than $20,000 and all combination grants and guaranteed loans are due by March 31, 2017. USDA will set aside 20 percent of the funds for grants of $20,000 or less. For additional information, contact the USDA energy coordinator for your state, or see page 71689 of the October 18 Federal Register. CONSERVATION & FORESTRY Grants, Loans, & Other Programs Application Deadline: January 6, 2017 – Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Cooperative Weed Management Area The goal of this program is to detect, prevent, eradicate, and/or control invasive plant species to promote resiliency, watershed stability, and biological diversity on federal, state, or private land. Interested Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs) or Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) or similar organizations within the US Great Lakes Basin (parts of MN, WI, MI, IL, IN, OH, PA, and NY) can apply at Grants.gov. Application Deadline: January 9, 2017 – Conservation Innovation Grant Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) are competitive grants that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands. CIG uses Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, American Indian Tribes, or individuals. Producers involved in CIG funded projects must be EQIP eligible. Up to $2 million of this year’s CIG funding has been set aside for projects that benefit historically underserved and military veteran farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers and those with limited resources and organizations that include or support them. Applications should be submitted to Grants.gov. Application Deadline: January 23, 2017 – Wood Energy and Products Innovations The U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) requests proposals to substantially expand and accelerate wood energy and wood products markets throughout the United States to support forest management needs on National Forest System and other forest lands. This Request for Proposal focuses on the following priorities to: • Reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest health on National Forest System and other forest lands. • Reduce costs of forest management on all land types. • Promote economic and environmental health of communities. Funding will be awarded to two separate categories outlined as follows. • Grant Category 1: Expansion of Wood Energy Markets • Grant Category 2: Expansion of Wood Products Markets Applications should be submitted to Grants.gov. Sign-Up Deadline: February 3, 2017 – Conservation Stewardship Program NEWS RELEASE – Starting in November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will accept and process applications for enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest conservation program. Applications will be made available in local service centers. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality. News Conservation as a Peace Offering to WW2 Veteran BLOG posted by Jocelyn Benjamin, Natural Resources Conservation Service – Conservation is giving World War II veteran Gilbert Harrison a peace offering of healing, helping to balance the stresses of war. For Harrison, conserving the natural resources on his farm is an important outdoor activity. And who better to care for the land than the veterans who fought to protect it? Harrison has worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since 2012, when he received funding and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to help him install an improved irrigation system to help develop alfalfa production on his land. EDUCATION, INTERNSHIPS, & EMPLOYMENT Scholarships • Application Deadline: December 31, 2016 – USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach is accepting applications for the 1890 National Scholars ProgramThe USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between the USDA and 1890 land-grant universities. The purpose of the scholarship is to increase minorities studying agriculture, food science and natural resource sciences. Each 1890 National Scholar receives paid room and board, tuition, school fees, and books. In addition to the debt-free education, scholars also participate in summer internships with their USDA sponsoring agency. After graduation, scholars are eligible to apply for full-time middle management positions with the USDA. Click here for the application and for more information on the program. Sponsorship The 2017 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program will be held on February 20-24, 2017. The Forum provides producers, policymakers, business, government, and industry leaders with a unique opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and discuss timely issues at the forefront of America’s agriculture. In an effort to increase the present and future diversity participation at the Forum, USDA created the Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program to provide sponsorship opportunities for junior and senior undergraduate and graduate students to attend this annual event. The program is designed to expose students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural policy in today’s real world environment. It targets 30 agriculture, agricultural business, agricultural economics, communications, nutrition and food science or pre-veterinary junior or senior and graduate students. Student participants (20 undergraduate and 10 graduate) will be selected from Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture. Students will travel to the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel located in Arlington, Virginia on Monday, Feb. 20. USDA will host a briefing and discussion about career opportunities on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Students will tour the Nation’s Capital on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and attend the Forum on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23-24. The program overview and application can be found at http://www.usda.gov/oce/forum/diversity/diversity_program.htm. Undergraduate Selection Criteria: Students submit an application and one-page essay entitled “Agriculture as a Career” to their respective institution representative (i.e., academic dean or department chair). Each institution performs a “pre-selection” process by choosing the final best two essays among the applicants. Graduate Selection Criteria: Students submit an application and essay (two-page maximum) entitled “The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture Over the Next 5 Years” to their respective institution representative (i.e., academic dean or department chair). Each institution performs a “pre- selection” process by choosing the final best two essays among the applicants. Travel Itinerary and Sponsorship: Students will arrive in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 and return home on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Registration, transportation, lodging, breakfast and dinner on Feb. 21-22, and Forum Meals on February 23-24 are provided on a complimentary basis. Students are asked to bring money to pay for their baggage fees (if applicable) and meals on Monday, February 20 and lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday Feb. 21-22. The winners will be announced in January via the Forum website, press release, and blog. If you have questions, or need additional information, please contact Lisa Purnell at (410) 651-6313 or via email at email@example.com. News USDA, Partners Celebrate First Wood-to-Jet-Fuel Commercial Flight NEWS RELEASE – Alaska Airlines today landed the first commercial flight powered in part by a new renewable fuel made of wood waste salvaged from private lands in Washington, Oregon and Montana. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack greeted the passengers for flight AS-4 arriving from Seattle at Washington Reagan National Airport to highlight this breakthrough in bioenergy that supports jobs and rural economies by developing a sustainable bio-products industry in the Pacific Northwest utilizing wood harvest left-overs that would otherwise go to waste. Technology Fellows will perform innovative space technology research and will improve America’s technological competitiveness by providing the Nation with a pipeline of innovative space technologies. Applications should be submitted to Grants.gov. USDA Announces No Extra Storage Areas Needed for 2016-Crop Cotton Marketing Assistance Loan Program WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced that there is not a cotton storage deficit.