DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Program Requirements for the 2020-2021 Agriculture and Youth Organization Grant Program
[51 Pa.B. 447]
[Saturday, January 23, 2021]
The Department of Agriculture (Department) hereby provides notice of the standards and requirements for the Agriculture and Youth Organization Grant Program (Program).
The Program is established under authority of the act of July 1, 2019 (P.L. 255, No. 36) (3 Pa.C.S. §§ 10301—10307 (relating to agriculture and youth development)), referred to as the Agriculture and Youth Development Grant Program Act (act). The Program allows the Department to award direct grants and matching grants to help fund eligible projects, programs and equipment purchases conducted or made by organizations that are composed mainly of youth and are organized to promote development in the areas of agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship.
This notice establishes the policy guidelines for the Program. It establishes the process by which grant applications will be solicited and reviewed, and by which grants will be awarded, drawing on $500,000 in funding available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-2021.
For the FY 2020-2021 Program, the Department will consider a prospective applicant organization to be composed mainly of ''youth'' if most of its membership is 24 years of age or younger, and will accept applications from schools or school districts to help fund eligible projects conducted by or for the benefit of agriculture and youth organizations operated under the applicant school or school district. The Department may revise these policy guidelines in subsequent years, as the Department gains experience in administering the Program.
This document has been developed in consultation with the State Agriculture and Youth Development Board (Board).
1. Program objectives. The Program's objective is to provide grants to eligible agriculture and youth organizations to help fund projects such as educational programs, work force development programs, eligible seminars and field trips, agricultural safety training programs, capital projects, equipment purchases and special projects, as approved by the Board.
2. Definitions. The following words and phrases apply to the Program:
Agriculture and youth organization. An organization composed mainly of youth and organized to promote development in the areas of agriculture, community leadership, vocational training and peer fellowship. The term includes, but is not limited to, Pennsylvania FFA, 4-H, Ag in the Classroom, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and vocational education programs.
Board. The State Agriculture and Youth Development Board.
Department. The Department of Agriculture of the Commonwealth.
Eligible project. One or more of the following, approved by the Board:
a. A special project conducted by an agriculture and youth organization. In consideration of the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) presence in this Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Department offers that special projects may include, but are not limited to, a project addressing biosecurity and illness prevention and containment practices in agricultural and food production operations, food processing operations and charitable food distribution networks.
b. An educational or work force development program conducted by an agriculture and youth organization.
c. Educational or work force development seminars and field trips conducted by an agriculture and youth organization.
d. An agricultural safety training program conducted by an agriculture and youth organization.
e. A capital project or an equipment purchase for an agriculture and youth organization.
Program. The Agriculture and Youth Organization Grant Program.
3. Eligibility. An agriculture and youth organization may apply to the Department for a grant under the Program. For an organization to be eligible to apply, most of its membership must be 24 years of age or younger. A school or school district may apply to receive grant funds for an eligible project conducted by or for the benefit of an agriculture and youth organization that is operated under that school or school district.
4. Annual allocation limit for FY 2020-2021. The annual allocation limits for grant funds under the Program shall be as presented in section 5, on a funds-available basis.
5. Grant types. There are two different types of grants that can be awarded under the Program:
a. Direct, non-matching reimbursement grants of up to $7,500 to defray the costs of an eligible project, other than a capital project; and
b. Matching reimbursement grants of up to $25,000 to defray the costs of an eligible capital project or equipment purchase, where the grant comprises no more than 50% of the project costs.
6. Limitations on grants. The following shall apply:
a. The amount of reimbursement is based on actual eligible costs submitted by an approved applicant for an approved project during any fiscal year in which grants are offered.
b. Grant reimbursement money is limited as described in section 5.
c. Grant reimbursement money shall not be used to reimburse any portion of an in-kind contribution to an eligible project.
d. Grant money may not be used to pay or reimburse wages or salaries of grant recipient staff.
e. Grant money may not be used to reimburse any portion of the project costs which are being paid or reimbursed under another Federal or State grant program.
7. Application procedure.
a. Online Applications Only. An applicant for a grant under the Program shall be submitted through the Commonwealth's Single Application for Assistance online application system, at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us.
b. Application Window. Applications must be submitted through the Single Application for Assistance online application system between 8 a.m. on January 25, 2021, and 4:59 p.m. on March 5, 2021. Applications received outside of that application window will not be considered or reviewed.
c. Application Requirements. An application for a grant under the Program shall contain the following information:
i. The applicant's name, business address and contact information.
ii. A brief narrative explaining how the applicant is an agriculture and youth organization.
iii. A statement as to whether the applicant seeks a direct, nonmatching reimbursement grant or a matching reimbursement grant, as these are described in section 5.
iv. The details of the project or equipment purchase for which reimbursement grant money is sought, including the following:
A. A project budget.
B. A statement of the maximum amount of grant money sought for the project.
C. A project implementation schedule, a construction schedule or an equipment purchase plan, as appropriate for the project or purchase with respect to which the grant is sought.
D. A narrative identifying each entity that will assist in, participate in and benefit from the project.
E. A project completion date, which shall be no later than June 15, 2021.
v. An attestation signed by the applicant, verifying the accuracy of the information presented on the application.
8. Disposition and review of grant applications.
a. The Department will review each application, and supporting documentation submitted therewith, for completeness and accuracy, and shall determine whether the application is eligible for consideration by the Board.
b. If an application is found to be incomplete or inaccurate, the Department may request additional documentation and may discontinue further processing of the application until the requested information is received.
c. If the Department determines an application is compete, accurate and eligible for consideration by the Board, it shall submit that application for consideration by the Board at its next scheduled meeting. The Board shall consider the project, capital project or equipment purchase that is the subject of the application and shall vote to recommend approval or disapproval of the application by the Department.
d. The Department will consider the Board's recommendation and make the decision as to approval or disapproval of an application upon the recommendation of the Board.
9. Notice of disposition of application. The Department will provide the applicant e-mail notice of the disposition (approval or disapproval) of the application.
10. Agreement Required. If the Department approves a grant application, and as a precondition to the Department's release of grant moneys to a successful applicant, the Department and the applicant shall execute a Grant Agreement which describes the terms and conditions subject to which the grant is made. This Grant Agreement may be done electronically, through the Pennsylvania Single Application for Assistance.
11. Distribution of grant money. As Program grants are reimbursement grants, the Department will not issue grant money until the successful applicant delivers the following to the Department immediately following project completion, but no later than June 30, 2021:
a. A verified statement that the eligible project has been completed or implemented, or that the subject equipment has been purchased.
b. A verified statement of the project completion date or the equipment purchase date.
c. Photos of the completed or implemented project or the equipment purchased, with a narrative explanation of each photo.
d. Bills and invoices demonstrating that expenses were incurred for which reimbursement grant funds are sought.
Documents submitted to the Department under this section shall be directed to the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Market Development, Attn: Agriculture and Youth Organization Grant Program Coordinator, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9408.
12. Additional information: Additional information may be obtained from the Department by contacting Sara Gligora, (717) 798-5048, firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUSSELL C. REDDING,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-118. Filed for public inspection January 22, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]
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