Missouri Conservation Partnership and Technical Assistance

Active
No
Status
Posted
Published Date
February 27th, 2024
Close Date
April 8th, 2024
Total Funding
$2,500,000.00
Award Ceiling
$500,000.00
Award Floor
$100,000.00
Expected No. Awards
5
Opportunity No.
USDA-NRCS-MO-MULTI-24-NOFO0001346

Agency

Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)

Eligible Applicants

Small Businesses

Funding Category

Natural Resources

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement

Opportunity Category

Discretionary

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Yes

Summary

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is seeking opportunities to partner with and support the efforts of natural resource conservation partners in Missouri through the Missouri Conservation Partnership and Technical Assistance grant. This grant aims to provide technical assistance in the delivery, development, promotion, and support of soil, water, and wildlife conservation programs to Missouri's farmers, ranchers, and landowners. The grant will focus on various technical assistance emphasis areas, including forest management planning and practice implementation, nutrient management plan development, adoption of advanced technologies and precision conservation, wildlife habitat practices, engineering technical assistance for conservation practices, area-wide planning assistance for watershed assessment, and the creation of a Soils Library database for the chemical and physical properties of Missouri soils. The grant requires applicants to demonstrate the ability to educate farmers, ranchers, and landowners in successful application of Farm Bill programs and deliver conservation planning, management, and implementation of climate smart conservation practices related to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. The grant has an estimated total program funding of $2,500,000, with an award ceiling of $500,000 and an award floor of $100,000. The expected number of awards is 5. Small businesses are eligible to apply. The application deadline is April 8, 2024, and applications must be submitted via Grants.gov by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. For more information and to participate in a webinar, interested parties can visit the Missouri NRCS website.

Description

Notice of Funding Opportunity Summary This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO) is being released prior to appropriation and/or apportionment of funds for fiscal year 2024. Enactment of additional continuing resolutions or an appropriations act may affect the availability or level of funding for this program. NRCS, an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is seeking opportunities to partner with and support the efforts of natural resource conservation partners in Missouri. The overall intent of this solicitation is to enter into partnerships to provide technical assistance in the delivery, development, promotion, and support of soil, water and wildlife conservation programs to Missouri’s farmers, ranchers, and landowners. Key technical assistance emphasis areas for FY 2024 proposals include: Forest management planning and practice implementation - Funding is intended to provide technical assistance for forest management planning and practice implementation, including but not limited to writing forest management plans that meet NRCS Conservation Activity Plan Code 106 Forest Management Plan, resulting in an increased number of Farm Bill program contracts addressing forestland resource concerns. Nutrient management plan development. Expanding the adoption of advanced technologies and precision conservation. NRCS recognizes that advanced technologies for the application and management of nutrients, including nitrogen, is a rapidly changing field and benefits Climate Smart Nutrient Management. Applicant must demonstrate the capability to develop nutrient management plans that include advanced technologies and meet NRCS Conservation Practice Standard Nutrient Management (Code 590) Technical assistance and practice implementation to increase wildlife habit practices. Specific assistance is needed for helping participants establish and manage native grasses. Engineering technical assistance for design, layout and check out of conservation practices. Funding is intended to provide training opportunities to technical service providers, qualified individuals or others who will in turn be capable of providing engineering technical assistance for the design, layout, and/or checkout of conservation practices. Additionally, funding is intended to provide direct technical assistance to producers who participate in USDA-NRCS conservation programs in accordance with NRCS conservation standards and specifications during periods of heavy workload. Proposals shall be developed and provide specific information on what training and/or direct technical assistance the proposer intends to provide along with identifying any applicable conservation practices. Area wide planning assistance for watershed assessment, including inventory and analysis of watershed data. Funding is intended to provide for qualified individuals to provide area-wide planning assistance for watershed assessment, including inventory and analysis of watershed data in support of the Public Law 83-566. This assistance will be under the oversight and direction of the NRCS Water Resources and Easements staff. This will include reviewing environmental documents, utilization of spatial databases, collection of existing data, and field assessments of watershed projects. Interaction with Watershed Sponsors and contractors will be needed to compare deliverables against invoice statements to ensure correct billing. Proposals packages shall be developed by prospective applicants to provide specific information on the timeline and the specific services the applicant intends to provide. Create a Soils Library database for the chemical and physical properties of the MO soils: Provide a Mid-Infrared spectroscopy dataset of the Missouri soils characterized during the initial soil survey mapping in the state to be used as base-line data and serve as a reference data for the future characterization analysis. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to educate farmers, ranchers, landowners, including Historically Underserved producers and groups in successful application of Farm Bill programs and deliver conservation planning, management, and implementation of climate smart conservation practices related to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. This notice identifies the objectives, eligibility criteria, and application instructions. Proposals will be screened for completeness and compliance with the provisions of this notice. Incomplete and/or noncompliant proposals will be eliminated from competition, and notification of elimination will be sent to the applicant. The Missouri State Conservationist reserves the right not to fund any or all applications. NRCS will accept applications under this notice for single or multiyear applications submitted by eligible entities. For new users of Grants.gov, see Section D. of the full Notice of Funding Opportunity for information about steps required before submitting an application via Grants.gov. Key Principles of Equity NRCS is committed to achieving equity, justice, and equal opportunity to ensure equitable access to NRCS programs and services. The term equity means the consistent and systematic treatment of all individuals in a fair, just, and impartial manner, including individuals who belong to communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Island persons and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; women and girls; LGBTQI+ persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; persons who live in United States Territories; persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality; and individuals who belong to multiple such communities. The term underserved communities refers to those populations, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied the opportunity to participate fully in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as defined in Executive Orders 13985 and 14020 Four groups are defined by USDA as “Historically Underserved,” including farmers or ranchers who are: Beginning; Socially Disadvantaged; Veterans; and Limited Resource. The term “Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher” means a participant: With direct or indirect gross farm sales not more than the current indexed value in each of the previous two years, and Who has a total household income at or below the national poverty level for a family of four, or less than 50 percent of county median household income in each of the previous two years. The term “Beginning Farmer or Rancher” means a participant who: Has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 consecutive years, and who Will materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch. In the case of a contract with an individual, individually or with the immediate family, material and substantial participation requires that the individual provide substantial day-to-day labor and management of the farm or ranch, consistent with the practices in the county or State where the farm is located. The term “Socially Disadvantaged” means an Individual or entity who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group. A socially disadvantaged group is a group whose members have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Socially disadvantaged groups consist of the following: American Indians or Alaskan Natives Asians Blacks or African Americans Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders Hispanics. · For an entity, at least 50 percent ownership in the farm business must be held by socially disadvantaged individuals Note: Gender alone is not a covered group for the purposes of NRCS conservation program authorities. The term entities reflect a broad interpretation to include partnerships, couples, legal entities, etc. The term "Veteran Farmer or Rancher" means a producer who Served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard, including the reserve component thereof; was released from service under conditions other than dishonorable; and: Has not operated a farm or ranch, or has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years; or Who first obtained status as a veteran during the most recent 10-year period. Key Dates Applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Monday, April 8, 2024. For technical issues with Grants.gov, contact Grants.gov Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726 or support@grants.gov. Awarding agency staff cannot support applicants regarding Grants.gov accounts. For inquiries specific to the content of the NFO requirements, contact the federal awarding agency contact (section G of this NFO). Please limit questions to those regarding specific information contained in this NFO (such as dates, page numbers, clarification of discrepancies, etc.). Questions related to eligibility, or the merits of a specific proposal will not be addressed. The agency anticipates making selections by May 20th, 2024 and expects to execute awards by July 1st, 2024. These dates are estimates and are subject to change. A webinar will be conducted at 9:00 a.m. Central Standard Time, on Tuesday, March 5th, 2024. A Microsoft Teams Meeting link to the webinar is shown below: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_ZWM5YWU0NGQtNzZmOC00MTNkLTlhZjItNjExODdkZDU4ZTdh%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22ed5b36e7-01ee-4ebc-867e-e03cfa0d4697%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22cd47cf8d-9f96-4309-87f4-c21c3a497296%22%7d Information on how to participate may be obtained by contacting Jenny Long or Nate Goodrich at (573)876-0901 or Jennifer.Long@usda.gov, or Nate.Goodrich@usda.gov. Webinar information will be posted to the Missouri NRCS website at: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/nrcs/missouri/grants-and-agreements. Additional questions should be directed to Jenny Long at Jennifer.Long@usda.gov and if we are able to answer your questions they will be posted under Frequently Asked Questions at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/nrcs/missouri/grants-and-agreements.

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Opportunity Lifecycle

Title
Type
Grant