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Stakeholder Input: Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

Stakeholder Listening Sessions for FY 2010 Request for Application

The 2007 Farm Bill has made available $19 million in fiscal year 2010 to fund a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) through competitive grants for regional training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives.  This grant cannot be used to purchase a farm, farm machinery or animals; for the planning, repair, rehabilitation, acquisition, or construction of a building or facility; to begin farming; or to set up Individual Development Accounts. 

NIFA is announcing the following opportunities for stakeholder input concerning the BFRDP program for FY 2010: 

Webinars

Join the webinars at: http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/nifa/

October 14, 2009;               3:00 – 4:30 p.m. 
October 15, 2009;               9.30 – 11 a.m.      

Call-in number

October 12-13, 2009;  9 am – 4 pm                                202-720-2635

Fax

October 1 – October 15, 2009                                         202-720-6071

Email comments:

                October 1 – October 15, 2009                                          bfrdp@nifa.usda.gov

                INSTRUCTIONS FOR ATTENDING THE WEB-BASED STAKEHOLEDR WORKSHOP

Date and time: October 14th 3 – 4.30 pm and October 15th 9.30 – 11 am  -  Eastern times

Equipment needed:

Your computer should have DSL / Cable line or better.  A dial up modem will not work, unfortunately

You’ll also need Flashware software on your computer, version 9 or better.  Most computers have this or it can be downloaded free

You can also check the official computer requirements A headset is best for hearing the presentations but your computer speakers will also work (may need turn up the volume)

Test in advance:

We suggest you test out your equipment anytime before the meeting by logging on to http://www.extension.iastate.edu/testconnect/

This would be the time to check the Flashware, for example, and download it if it’s not on your computer

October 14th / October 15th

Log on to  http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/nifa/  as a Guest a few minutes before the start of the session. If you are having problems, call Art Pridemore at: 202-690-1095, or John McClinton at: 202-720-8191

The session will begin with a brief presentation by the NIFA Program Directors.  We encourage you to type in questions or comments at any time during the session.  These will appear in a window alongside the slide presentation.

Public Meeting

On October 27, 2008, NIFA conducted a public meeting at the Waterfront Centre in Washington, DC to solicit comments regarding the implementing regulations to be developed for this program. Approximately 50 people attended this session from several Community Based Organizations (e.g., Land Stewardship Project, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, California Farm Link, New American Sustainable Agriculture Project, Rural Coalition, American Farm Bureau, Center for Rural Affairs, etc); Professional Organizations (FFA, NASULGC. American Forest Foundation, etc), Universities (Iowa State University, Regional Risk Management Education centers, etc), State and Federal Agencies USDA Office of Small farm Coordination, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, etc), farms and small businesses (e.g., Simple Gifts Farm,  Custom Ag Solutions, etc) and others.

Webinars

To provide more opportunities for interested stakeholders to participate internet based webinars were held on October 28th and 30th. More than 90 people attended from primarily universities and a few Community Based Organizations. The entire proceedings of the webinars are available at:

Other Input Opportunities

NIFA also received several stakeholder input through the advertised call-in number, fax and email. NIFA considered all the stakeholder input received from the public meeting, webinars as well as other written comments in developing the RFA for this program.

Response to Stakeholder Input

Based on stakeholder input farm safety and forestry, range, organic and peri-urban farming are added to the list of priorities in FY 2009. As recommended by stakeholders, evaluation criterion includes emphasis on past experience in providing education, training and mentoring to beginning farmers and ranchers; and direct interaction with farmers; definition of target audience. Interaction with FFA and other young farmer groups and the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers are encouraged. The geographical regions for educational teams are left undefined allowing for applicants to form their own teams. Following the legislation and stakeholder recommendations, priority will be given to projects that are led by or include Community Based Organizations and/or Non-Governmental Organizations.

Several of the recommendations regarding panel selections and composition of the review panel will also be addressed in conformity with the approved procedures of NIFA Competitive Grants program. In addition, there will be an ongoing process in evaluating and implementing suggestions made by stakeholders into the BFRDP program and ongoing stakeholder input will be encouraged and opportunities provided as the program moves forward. Several comments were received concerning the matching funds requirements; the BFRDP legislation will be followed as to the requirement for matching funds.

 

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