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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program

Deadline: April 20, 2018

The goal of the Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program (FBMB) program is to support the intellectual talent and collaborative efforts to maintain the national, publicly available farm financial management database needed to meet the challenges facing the nation’s agriculture and food systems. Meeting these challenges will require innovative approaches that foster multi-disciplinary projects. This means that farm management producers must be educated and prepared to work effectively across disciplines in order to work to solve agricultural and educational challenges. The FBMB program engages producers in improving the United States farm management knowledge and skills by encompassing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences. FBMB supports social and behavioral science disciplines, as well as leadership skills development opportunities.

Applicants should address one or more of the following objectives:

  • Maintain and expand the already established national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management for producers of a variety of crops and livestock throughout multiple regions of the United States
  • Establish or expand collaborative farm management and producer association partnerships with the existing national farm financial management and benchmarking database to improve the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers

In addition, the FBMB program anticipates funding projects that demonstrate one or more of the following measures:

  • Advancing data gathering and conducting research on cost of production, farm profitability factors, and farm policy
  • Developing or expanding cooperation and data sharing among existing farm management associations and business management education programs across the nation to convert their financial analysis activities to a uniform system
  • Providing training, assistance, and software to states with farm management associations to facilitate uniform financial procedures and software
  • Improving the profitability and competitiveness of small and medium-sized farms and ranches by providing access to high quality, uniform farm business management benchmarking information
  • Improving producers’ abilities to successfully manage their agricultural operations through periods of high risk, volatility, and financial stress

Project and grant types include:

1. Extension projects: Single-function Extension Projects conduct programs and activities that deliver science-based knowledge and informal educational programs to people, enabling them to make practical decisions. Program delivery may range from community-based to national audiences and use communication methods from face-to-face to electronic or combinations thereof. Extension projects may also include related matters such as certification programs, in-service training, client recruitment and services, curriculum development, instructional materials and equipment, and innovative instructional methodologies appropriate to informal educational programs. Extension projects address one or more of the following key strategic actions:

  • Support informal education to increase food and agricultural literacy of youth and adults
  • Promote science-based agricultural literacy by increasing understanding and use of food and agricultural science data, information, and programs
  • Build science-based capability in people to engage audiences and enable informed decision making
  • Develop new applications of instructional tools and curriculum structures that increase technical competency and ensure global competitiveness
  • Offer non-formal learning programs that increase accessibility to new audiences at the rate at which new ideas and technologies are tested and/or developed at the community-scale
  • Develop programs that increase public knowledge and citizen engagement leading to actions that protect or enhance the nations’ food supply, agricultural productivity, environmental quality, community vitality, and/or public health and well-being

2. Regular Grants: Regular grants support targeted original scientific research, education/teaching, extension, or integrated Projects. An eligible, individual institution, independent branch campus, or branch institution of a state system may submit a grant application for project activities to be undertaken principally on behalf of its own students or faculty, and to be managed primarily by its own personnel. The applicant executes the project without the requirement of sharing grant funds with other project partners.

Amount: A total of $1,300,000 is available to fund four to six grants ranging from $100,000-$500,000. A 100% match is required. The project period is up to three years.

Eligibility: State agricultural experiment stations; colleges and universities; university research foundations; other research institutions and organizations; federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals; or any group consisting of two or more of these eligible entities. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=300977

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