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

Deadline: April 17, 2017

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

The FBMB program will continue to support two types of extension projects: FBMB regional or state projects and an FBMB national database. Regional or state projects feed into the national database.

The assistance provided by these programs, to the extent practicable, shall be coordinated with and delivered in cooperation with similar services or assistance by other federal agencies or programs supporting improved farm management. Priority may be given to applicants that: 1) demonstrate an ability to work directly with agricultural producers; 2) collaborate with farm management and producer associations; 3) address the farm management needs of a variety of crops and regions of the United States; and 4) use and support the national farm financial management database http://www.finbin.umn.edu/default.aspx.

Amount: A total of $1,350,000 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: http://bit.ly/2lYiDmQ

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