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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 23-1428



Pennsylvania Potato Research Board; Grant Solicitation and Application Procedures

[53 Pa.B. 6562]
[Saturday, October 21, 2023]

 The Pennsylvania Potato Research Program Board (Board) annually, or more frequently as the availability of fund permits, solicits applications for grants to conduct research projects to increase the quality, profitability, production and sale of potatoes, enhance the potato industry and benefit potato producers of this Commonwealth.

 The Board was established by the Department of Agriculture (Department) under 3 Pa.C.S. Chapter 45 (relating to Agricultural Commodities Marketing Act) (ACMA). Its composition, funding and duties were subsequently described by a program notice at 47 Pa.B. 3497 (June 24, 2017).

 The Board makes awards of grants from its own funds generated by the methods set forth in the ACMA.

 This notice establishes the procedures by which grant applications will be solicited, reviewed and grants awarded.

 1. Grant solicitation. The Board will be accepting grant applications for the purposes, in the form and according to the schedule set forth herein, for a period of not less than 30 days beginning on the date of publication of this notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Additional publication and dissemination of this notice shall be made to applicants who have previously submitted grant applications to, or received grants from, the Board, State universities and State-supported universities located in this Commonwealth, universities with colleges of agricultural science located in this Commonwealth and individuals or entities who have requested notification from the Department or the Board of grant availability.

 2. Process overview. The Board will employ the review process described as follows to select projects to fund by making a grant from its ACMA funds. In the event of an ACMA-funded grant, the terms and conditions of the grant will be governed by a grant agreement between the Board and the applicant which shall be tendered to the applicant for signature, returnable in no more than 30 days.

 3. Application deadlines. Applicants should submit a project proposal and grant application, in the form set forth in paragraph 4 of this notice, to the Board by 4 p.m. on Friday, January 5, 2024. Proposals should be sent electronically to and 14 hard copies must be hand-delivered or sent by United States Mail and postmarked on or before the same date. Applications should be addressed and delivered to the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Market Development, Attn: Agricultural Commodity Board Grant Program, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408.

 4. Format of the project proposal and grant application. The project proposal and grant application shall be formatted as follows:

 a. A cover page, titled Pennsylvania Potato Research Program—Project Proposal and Grant Application, providing: the title of the proposed project; the name and address of the applicant; the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the applicant's principal contact person for matters relating to the application; and the total maximum grant amount sought for the proposed project or program.

 b. Section 1, titled Statement of Purpose, explaining or presenting: the purpose for which the grant funds would be utilized; details of the proposed project, including a statement of expected impact of outcomes, staffing for the project, and objectives and methodologies; and whether, how and to what anticipated extent the proposed research project increases the quality, profitability or production and sale of potatoes, enhances the potato industry and benefits potato producers of this Commonwealth.

 c. Section 2, titled Statement of Need, explaining the need for the grant funds sought and identifying the presence of any additional funding partners and the extent of that funding.

 d. Section 3, titled Budget, presenting a detailed budget for the proposed project or program, including an itemized breakdown of: all personnel by name devoted to the project, their professional qualifications, the amount of time calculated by hours and the tasks to be performed by each of the named personnel; each and every item of direct expense to be incurred in the project separately set forth, including all purchases of consumable or nonconsumable goods or equipment, listing the disposition of all nonconsumable goods or equipment upon completion of the project; all travel by dates, purpose, destination, mode of transportation and rate; a full breakdown of other costs, if any, and the method used to calculate those costs. See also paragraph 8.

 e. Section 4, titled Criteria for Measuring Outcomes, shall identify expected measurable outcomes and the outcome measures. Include a narrative describing data collection to inform the outcome measures. This section must be clear and unambiguous as it will inform expectations of progress reports and final reports.

 f. Section 5, titled Industry Involvement, describing the extent of any support, participation and funding from this Commonwealth's potato industry, including any written confirmation of that support, participation or funding.

 5. Term of grants. Applications should be submitted for projects to begin on or after April 1, 2024. Anticipated completion dates will be dictated by the project scope and parameters and may exceed 12 months from commencement if the project so warrants. The Board may award grant funding for multiyear projects or extensions of an ongoing project, if the Board identifies that a multiyear term or an extension advances the grant's objectives. Requests for extensions of ongoing projects shall be made, evaluated and processed in accordance with all the requirements of this notice. Progress reports are to be delivered by e-mail to no later than October 1, and April 1, every year for the duration of the project or as requested by the Board. Final reports and invoices should be submitted within 90 days of contract end date. Failure to meet these deadlines constitutes a breach of the grant agreement, may result in nonpayment of invoices and could jeopardize future grant awards.

 6. Notice of award. Applicants shall be notified by e-mail of the decision on their grant applications by the Board. Best efforts will be made to do so within 60 days of the application deadline.

 7. Grant agreement. With the e-mailed grant award notice, the Board will provide applicants with a grant agreement for execution and return within 30 days. The Board will obtain the required signatures on the grant agreement and return a copy to the applicant. Work may be reimbursed for services performed before the date the final signature is applied to the grant agreement as long as the activity is documented in the original proposal set forth in the contract. However, the Board is under no obligation to reimburse for services unless a proposed grant has been approved. Among the terms of the grant agreement shall be a requirement that the grant recipient provide the Board full and complete access to all records relating to the performance of the project and submit information as the Board may require.

 8. Grant agreement available. The Board grant agreement is available by contacting the Department instead of attachment to this notice. This grant agreement is the contract that will govern all grants awarded under this grant solicitation. The essential terms are non-negotiable; therefore, applicants may wish to carefully review the grant agreement to ensure that proposed projects are compliant with agreement requirements. Applicants who are unable to agree to the terms and conditions should not submit an application. For questions regarding the grant agreement, contact Patrick Andrews at (717) 772-1429.

 9. Nonmatching cost-reimbursement grant and indirect costs cap. Grants made hereunder do not require the applicant to secure or devote a matching sum to the project. Payment of grant funds will occur on a reimbursement basis only. Grant awards will not include an allowance for indirect costs, if any, in excess of 10%.

 10. Evaluation and awards. The Board reserves the right to request modifications or clarifications, or both, of grant applications, including, but not limited to, additional detail of purpose, reduced or modified budgets and the like. Following the deadline for submission of grant applications, the Board will evaluate each complete and timely filed grant application received and the Board will determine in its sole discretion which projects to fund. The Board will vote on these recommendations at a public meeting and the Department grant administration staff will directly contact those applicants whose applications are approved. The Department will notify applicants whose projects were not funded as well and may provide additional information regarding how to improve future proposals.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-1428. Filed for public inspection October 20, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]

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