U.S. Department Of Agriculture (USDA) - National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
02/08/18 5:00 PM ET Receipt
Grants to USA and territories nonprofits, for-profits, IHEs, and government agencies for collaborative efforts to deliver mentoring, education, and technical assistance programs to beginning ranchers and farmers. Certain applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff prior to applying. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take up to two weeks to complete.
The purpose of this program is to assist ranchers and farmers throughout the country with entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises.
Programs and services (as appropriate) include the following:
A. Basic livestock, forest management, and crop farming practices;
B. Innovative farm, ranch, and private, nonindustrial forest land transfer strategies;
C. Entrepreneurship and business training;
D. Financial and risk management training (including the acquisition and management of agricultural credit);
E. Natural resource management and planning;
F. Diversification and marketing strategies;
G. Curriculum development;
H. Mentoring, apprenticeships, and internships;
I. Resources and referral;
J. Farm financial benchmarking;
K. Assisting beginning farmers or ranchers in acquiring land from retiring farmers and ranchers;
L. Agricultural rehabilitation and vocational training for veterans;
M. Farm safety and awareness; and
N. Other similar subject areas of use to beginning farmers or ranchers.
Section 7405(d) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 3319f(d)) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to 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.
Purpose and Priorities:
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program is aligned with the USDA Research, Education, and Economics Action Plan and specifically addresses Goal 6 – Education and Science Literacy, by providing educational and training opportunities to beginning farmers and ranchers. BFRDP is aligned with the NIFA Strategic plan and specifically addresses Strategic Goal 1 (Science), by advancing our ability to fight hunger and ensure global food security.
The primary goal of BFRDP is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the U.S. and its territories to enter and/or improve their success in farming, ranching, and management of nonindustrial private forest lands, through support for projects that provide education, mentoring, and technical assistance to give beginning farmers the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations, and enhance their sustainability. The term “farmer” is used in the broadest sense and should be interpreted to include agricultural farmers, ranchers, and non-industrial private forest owners and managers. Applications from partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and school-based agricultural educational organizations (SAEOs) with expertise in new agricultural producer training and outreach will be given priority in funding.
1. Target Audience:
The target audience for BFRDP is farmers and ranchers who have not operated a farm or ranch, or have operated a farm or ranch for not more than ten (10) years. In addition, a portion of BFRDP funding is targeted set aside for projects that address the needs of two (2) subsets of beginning farmers and ranchers:
A. At least five percent (5%) of the program funds available for standard BFRDP projects will be allocated to address the needs of limited resource beginning farmers and ranchers; socially disadvantaged beginning farmers or ranchers; and/or farm workers (including immigrants) desiring to become beginning farmers or ranchers.
B. At least five percent (5%) of the program funds available for standard BFRDP projects will be allocated to address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers who are military veterans. A recipient of such a grant may coordinate with a recipient of a grant from the AgrAbility program in addressing the needs of veteran farmers and ranchers with disabilities.
Please note: Not all applications need to address the needs of these two (2) subsets of the beginning farmers and ranchers.
Priority may be given to applications that address any of the two (2) subsets, if necessary to achieve the targets, by awarding funding to the highest-ranked proposals that meet the set-aside.
A. For applications to be considered under any of the two (2) subsets, they must: Identify the target audience of any of the groups identified above and state what percentage of the project budget will be allocated to serving these group(s);
B. Explain how the beginning farmers and ranchers in the identified target audience will be recruited and provided with appropriate training, education, outreach and mentoring;
C. Provide evidence of the ability to serve the needs of the identified audience, e.g., involvement of partner(s) with expertise and a strong track record of having previously done so.
2. Priority Topics for FY 2018:
To achieve program goals, BFRDP projects will be expected to conduct training and assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers on one (1) or more of the topics listed in the RFA. Applicants should carefully consider the topics that will be addressed by the proposed project, i.e., clearly identify the topics in the project narrative, and why those topics are the most appropriate for the project’s audience. Evidence of farmer input on topic selection is very important. Applicants should make use of existing curriculum (whether USDA funded or not), including entries in the BFRDP curriculum and training clearinghouse: FarmAnswers.org. New curriculum should be proposed only if the need can be clearly justified. Applications that seek to develop coursework for credit for four-year degrees at colleges and universities are not appropriate for this program and will not be accepted for review. Applications that seek to educate students for careers in agriculture other than as farmers or ranchers will not be accepted for review.
NIFA is soliciting applications for the BFRDP under the following areas: (1) Standard Grants and/or (2) Educational Enhancement Teams (EETs).
1) Standard Grants
Both small and large standard BFRDP projects support new and established local and regional training, education, outreach and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers and ranchers, on the priority topics. They differ in their scale. Most of the funding in the BFRDP will be directed to Standard Grants. The primary goal of Standard Grants is to increase the number of beginning farmers and ranchers and enhance their success and sustainability by providing them and their families with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions. Standard Grant applications are expected to identify the audience of beginning farmers and ranchers they aim to serve; describe their characteristics and needs; demonstrate knowledge and experience in educational and assistance methods that are appropriate and effective in engaging the audience and meeting their needs; and propose an ambitious yet achievable plan of work that will accomplish meaningful and measurable success in enhancing the number and success of beginning farmers and ranchers. Most successful standard grant applicants provide training and assistance with business and financial management, as well as production and marketing topics aligned with the priority list.
Small and large standard grants will be reviewed by the same panel, but will be discussed as two (2) different groups and ranked separately within each group to provide equitable evaluation. Both large and small proposals will be evaluated using the same evaluation criteria, including priority for partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), or school-based agricultural educational organizations (SAEOs) with expertise in beginning agricultural producer training and outreach. The expectations for smaller projects, however, will be commensurate with their size (e.g., smaller audiences, more limited geographic reach, less complex collaborative arrangements) and provide an opportunity for smaller or less experienced organizations to propose projects that have smaller budgets and less complex administration.
2) Educational Enhancement Teams (EET)
The purpose of an Educational Enhancement Team (EET) grant is to enhance beginning farmer efforts based on a particular topic, region, or audience. Such applications should complement previously-funded EETs, which have addressed environmental management and leadership, regional networks, farmer-to-farmer curricula, financial management, and individual development accounts; as well as currently active EETs, which are addressing immigrant farming incubators, land access, women farmers, apprenticeships, and the Farm Beginnings curriculum. EETs should involve educational teams of experts with diverse backgrounds (e.g., NGO, CBO, SAEO, farmers, university, government) to:
(1) Identify, collect, and assess existing curricula and programs;
(2) Identify gaps and develop and deliver curricula and train-the-trainer programs to fill the identified gaps; and
(3) Collaborate with the BFRDP Clearinghouse and BFR education providers to enhance successful use of the EET curricula and programs.
GrantWatch ID#: 151418
Expected Number of Awards: 35
The maximum award for a Standard Grant is $200,000 per year, for up to three years.
The maximum award for an Educational Enhancement Team is $200,000 per year, for up to three years.
Requesting funding for any project work, Standard or EET for less than $100,000 total for a project duration is strongly discouraged.
The maximum award for a Standard Grant is three (3) years. All work must be completed within three (3) years. Extensions of time beyond the three (3) years will not be permitted.
The maximum award for an Educational Enhancement Team three (3) years. EETs are awarded for up to three (3) years, and may continue into a fourth (4th) year with a one-year no- cost extension of time.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Use the following link to attend the December 19 webinar:
Programmatic Contacts – for questions about scope, program types, narrative contents, and evaluation criteria:
Denis Ebodaghe, National Program Leader
Division of Agricultural Systems
3466 Waterfront Centre
Phone: (202) 401-4385
Fax: (202) 401-1782
Wesley R. Dean, National Program Leader
Division of Agricultural Systems
3109 Waterfront Centre
Phone: (202) 689-4286
Fax: (202) 401-1782
Desiree Rucker-Ross, Program Specialist
Division of Agricultural Systems
3463 Waterfront Centre
Phone: (202) 445-5386
Fax: (202) 401-1782
Administrative/Business Contacts – for questions about budgets, matching, and indirect costs:
Adriene Woodin, Branch Chief, Awards Management Division
2182 Waterfront Centre
Phone: (202) 401-4320
Fax: (202) 401-6271
Susan Bowman, Branch Chief, Awards Management Division
2240 Waterfront Centre
Full Address and Directions
Phone: (202) 401-4324
Fax: (202) 401-6271
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