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 2022. Enactment of additional continuing resolutions or an appropriations act may affect the availability or level of funding for this program. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing potential availability of Grant Agreements for the purpose of leveraging NRCS resources, addressing local natural resource issues, encouraging collaboration and developing State- and community-level conservation leadership in Minnesota. Proposals are requested for competitive consideration for the following initiatives: Drainage Water Management Systems Demonstrations Demonstrate the use of drainage water management systems and impacts to soil health on working farm(s). Evaluate flooding impacts and climate resilience in drainage systems. Develop promotional and technical materials related to drainage water management. Host field days and events related to drainage water management systems. Grazing and Livestock Assistance Provide grazing and livestock specialist expertise to promote use of livestock as a management tool and assist customers in managing grazing systems to improve conservation. Provide grazing trainings, workshops, tours, and demonstration projects for NRCS customers. Facilitate a Working Effectively with Livestock Producers Course for NRCS employees and partners. Evaluate and provide environmental and economic outcomes of grazing systems related to soil health and wildlife habitat. Develop promotional and technical materials related to grazing management, livestock, and grasslands. Prescribed Burning Increase public awareness of the benefits of prescribed fire on the landscape. Write prescribed burn plans for implementation under NRCS programs. Provide trainings for Job Approval Authority (JAA). Identify obstacles to building prescribed fire service capacity and develop networks of burn associations. Develop promotional and technical materials related to prescribed fire. Field to Market Expansion Increase the connectivity of the consumer to the producer to improve adoption of conservation systems on the land. Increase the public and end users understanding of agriculture production and the stewardship ethic of producers through demonstration projects, field tours, symposia, and social media. Identify food deserts and provide sustainable production opportunities. Expand farmers markets and locally grown initiatives. Enable a Free Market-Based Program to Incentivize Adoption of Ecosystem Services Pilot a market-based payment and/or exchange system to encourage long term stewardship. Host a symposium to explore various systems that could be used to increase conservation adoption on agricultural and/or private forest lands. Provide outcomes-based measurements and metrics for quantification of ecosystem services. Connecting Agriculture Retailers with Conservation Delivery Increase private land conservation and encourage wide-spread adoption of conservation solutions by providing the go-between leadership of NRCS and private agricultural industry by: Integrating conservation and support of NRCS services into an agricultural retailers' networks Equipping retailers with the knowledge of NRCS programs, the ability to cooperatively work with the Agency, and assist in the implementation of conservation. Building leadership and expertise within NRCS on the services provided by farmer cooperatives and agricultural retailers. Equipping local offices with a better understanding of agronomic principals to better meet NRCS customer’s needs and provide better understanding of the economic considerations in agronomic planning. NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2022 will be $2,000,000. Minimum/Maximum individual award amounts are anticipated to be $100,000/$750,000. Proposals are requested for competitive consideration of grant agreement awards for projects between 2 and 3 years in duration. See section C.1 of this announcement for eligible applicant types. This notice identifies the objectives, eligibility criteria, and application instructions for projects. 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. For new users of Grants.gov, see Section D. for information about steps required before submitting an application via Grants.gov. Key Dates Applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on April 21, 2022. For technical issues with Grants.gov, contact Grants.gov Applicant Support at 1-800-518-4726 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 will conduct a Teams Conference call with potential applicants on March 24th from 9 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. CST. The purpose of this Teams Conference call will be to introduce, promote and encourage potential applicants to participate in the NRCS-MN initiatives set out and described in this solicitation. Questions regarding this funding opportunity will also be addressed. The Teams Conference call Phone Conference ID: 612 571 782# Printable program information materials will be available following the conference call. The agency anticipates making selections by May 6, 2022 and expects to execute awards by July 1, 2022. These dates are estimates and are subject to change.
Categories: Environment, Agriculture, Natural Resources.
Categories: Environment, Agriculture, Natural Resources.