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Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority
Agriculture Development Program

 

FY 2017-2018
APPLICATION
GUIDELINES

 

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 2, 2017

 



INTRODUCTION


The Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority (GVRMA), in cooperation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYS DAM), invites applications that will assist in the development of agriculture and agriculturally related businesses in the 9 county GVRMA region.


APPLICATION SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS


1.  Applications must conform to the format and content specified in this solicitation. 

2.  Applicants must submit two (2) copies of the application AND an electronic version of the proposal to btydings@gvrma.com. 


Envelopes must be clearly marked: "Application GVRMA Agriculture Development Program".

Applications must be submitted to:

Brendan Tydings 
Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority
900 Jefferson Road
Rochester, New York 14623


Applications must be received by the GVRMA by 3:00 p.m. EST Thursday, March 2, 2017.


Applicants, not delivery services or other intermediaries, are responsible for the timely submission of proposals. Faxed proposals will not be accepted. Applications delivered after the scheduled date and time will be returned to applicants and not considered for funding.


QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE APPLICATION GUIDELINES

All questions about this solicitation must be submitted in writing (fax or e-mail will be accepted) to:

Brendan Tydings
Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority
900 Jefferson Road
Rochester, New York 14623
Fax: (585) 427-2690
E-mail:  btydings@gvrma.com 

 

All questions must be submitted to Mr. Tydings by 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2017. Applicants must note that all clarifications are to be resolved prior to the submission of an application. A list of questions about the program which are received from potential applicants, and answers to those questions, as well as any changes, additions or deletions to this solicitation, will be posted on the GVRMA website, www.geneseevalleyregionalmarketauthority.com , along with the electronic version of this Application Guideline. Questions and responses may be posted as questions are received. All questions and answers will be posted by Thursday, February 23, 2017. Applicants are urged to check the GVRMA website frequently for notices of any changes, additions or deletions to the Application Guidelines. All questions and answers shall become a formal addendum to the Application Guidelines.


 


AWARDS


It is anticipated that awards will be made by the GVRMA Board on March 15, 2017.

.
1. GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION


1.1 Program Description


Title 4 of the NYS Public Authorities Law (NYS PAL) states that in fulfilling the Authority's mission, the GVRMA Board of Directors shall work cooperatively and in consultation with the NYS DAM to assure the proper development of agriculture and regional market facilities, in the Genesee Valley Regional Market District. In accordance with Title 4 of the NYS PAL, the GVRMA Board and the NYS DAM developed a plan for the future development and viability of agriculture and regional market facilities in the district.

 
The plan annually allocates no less than seventy-five percent of the authority's available funds for the creation, development, and enhancement of agriculture and regional market facilities, in the district. The plan addresses the following by providing funding to an eligible entity for an eligible project.


1.  Promotion and marketing of eligible agricultural products.

2.  Increase production or processing of eligible agricultural products or increase the profitability of producers of eligible agricultural products.

3.  Improve systems of production, storage, distribution and marketing, and in reaching advantageous markets.


1.2 Funding Available


There is approximately $1,050,000 available in FY 2017-2018.


The maximum amount of funding an applicant may apply for is $275,000


1.3 Match Requirements
There are no requirements for applicants to match program funds with cash or in-kind services.


2. ELIGIBILITY & SCOPE


2.1 Applicant Eligibility


Eligible applicants include:


•  Not-for-profit organizations; and

•  Educational institutions


Eligible applicants must be located in the nine county GVRMA region and / or the project must primarily benefit agricultural producers located in the nine county GVRMA region. The GVRMA region consists of the following counties: Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne, Genesee, Orleans, Steuben, Wyoming, and Yates.


2.2 Ineligible Applicants


The following entities are not eligible to apply for funding:


•  for-profit entities

 •  government entities; and

 •  individuals.



2.3 Project Eligibility


Eligible projects shall address one or more of the following:


1.  Promotion and marketing of agricultural products.

2.  Increase production or processing of agricultural products or increase the profitability of producers of agricultural products.

3.  Improve systems of production, storage, distribution and marketing, and in reaching advantageous markets.


Eligible projects shall assist in the establishment and development of agriculture and agriculturally related projects in the district, and to acquire, construct, reconstruct, improve, equip, operate and maintain adequate regional market facilities within the district for the buying and selling of agricultural products and to conduct such other business activities as reasonably are incidental to and in furtherance of the convenient, efficient, profitable and successful operation of such regional market facilities. Agriculturally related projects shall include, but not be limited to, agricultural economic development projects in the district for production, manufacturing, processing, warehousing, distribution, marketing, training, research and diagnostics related to sale of crops, livestock and livestock products as defined in section three hundred one of the agriculture and markets law.


2.6 Project Duration


Proposed projects should be completed within one year of the contract start date.


2.7 Eligible Costs


Grant funds may be used for any of the following purposes directly related to completion of an eligible project, including but not limited to:


•  Construction and renovation

•  Machinery and equipment

•  Working capital

•  Salaries and wages

•  Travel

•  Supplies and materials

•  Administration costs directly related to the GVRMA grant


Eligible costs must be directly related to the eligible project.


2.8 Ineligible Costs


Grant funds may not be used for the following, including but not limited to:


•  Purchase of a vehicle

•  Purchase of Land

•  Furniture and fixtures

•  Cell phones

•  Computer hardware and office equipment
•  Salaries and wages unrelated to the proposal

•  Indirect and overhead costs

•  Fringe benefits

•  Costs associated with preparing an application

•  Costs incurred prior to the award of a grant


3. DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS


The following documentation must be provided with the Application Form at the time of submittal.


3.1 Workers' Compensation & Disability Insurance


New York State Workers' Compensation Law sections 57 and 220 require that the Department not enter into a contract unless proof of Workers' Compensation and Disability Insurance in a form satisfactory to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board has been secured.
Please refer to the Workers' Compensation and Disability Insurance Requirements posted on the Department's website, www.agriculture.ny.gov, under the heading of this RFP or visit the New York State Workers' Compensation Board website, www.wcb.ny.gov, for more information. You may contact the Board's Bureau of Compliance with any questions related to workers' compensation or disability insurance at (866) 298-7830.


3.2 New York State Charities Bureau Registration


All not-for-profits organizations contracting with the GVRMA must be registered with the New York State Charities Bureau, unless a proper exemption is obtained. All applicants must, therefore provide either:


•  The organization's charitable registration number and written documentation from the Office of the Attorney General that the charitable organization is currently up-to-date with its Charities Registration; or
•  A statement from the applicant that the organization is exempt pursuant to one of the categories indicated on the Office of Attorney General's Request for Registration Exemption (Schedule E). The statement must identify the specific category under which the charitable organization is exempt.


To obtain written documentation of an organization's charities registration status, or if you have questions regarding the statutory requirements for registration, contact the New York State Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Charities Registration, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271-0332, or call (212) 416-8402, email charities.bureau@ag.ny.gov or visit their website at http://www.charitiesnys.com .


Eligible 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit corporations acting as the applicant must have a New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau Registration number or an Exemption Certificate issued by the New York State Attorney General Charities Bureau explaining why the organization is exempt from registering with the Charities Bureau.


4.  APPLICATION FORMAT


Submit applications using the format below. Provide all information requested. Failure to complete all parts and answer all questions may result in disqualification of the proposal.

1.  Submit two (2) hard copies of the application as well as an electronic version of the proposal to btydings@gvrma.com 
2.  Staple each copy of the application in the upper left hand comer. Do not use binders, folders, report covers, etc.

3.  Attach all attachments, drawings, photos, support letters, etc. at the end of the Application.


The GVRMA reserve the right to audit the applicant's books and records relating to the performance of the project during and up to six years after the completion of the project.


4.1 Cover Page


The Cover Page consists of a Proposal Title of no more than 10 words, and the names and contact information of the project leader and other principal partners.


4.2 Narrative


The required format is a 12-point font with I-inch margins. Number the pages in the right hand bottom comer. The Narrative may be in Word (.doc, .docx) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), but whichever format is used, the cut/paste function must be operational. The Narrative must include the following sections in order. All sections of the Narrative must be in a sentence format. Do not combine sections into a spreadsheet or table. The Narrative Section is limited to 10 pages.


A. Project Summary

A concise, stand-alone description of and justification for the project. The maximum length is 250 words.

 
B. Background and Justification

Clearly identify the project will 1) Promote and market eligible agricultural products; 2) Increase production or processing of agricultural products or increase the profitability of producers of agricultural products; 3) Improve systems of production, storage, distribution and marketing, and in reaching advantageous markets. Explain why the proposal is important and timely. Provide a brief literature review. Include data or estimates that demonstrate the extent of the problem, the number of agricultural producers or operations affected, and the potential economic impact. Indicate who will benefit and explain how they will benefit from the project.


C. Goal(s), Objectives and Work plan

 Describe the overall goal(s) in one or two sentences. List and describe the proposal objectives. Explain how each objective will be accomplished and by whom. Also include the expected completion date for each objective or list the major milestones of the project. If the proposal involves a survey, briefly discuss the nature of the questions that will be asked, the methodology to be used for data collection and analysis, and the population to be surveyed. It is not required, but if it is available, include a draft survey as an appendix. A draft survey does not count toward the 10 page Narrative maximum.


D. Project Evaluation, Outputs and Expected Outcomes

Describe what the project is expected to accomplish and how it will be evaluated while in progress and upon conclusion. Describe outputs that explain who the target audience is and what activities are to be completed. Describe expected measureable outcomes that explain what knowledge may be gained or what actions may be implemented as a result of the project. Include at least one quantitative metric that will be reported at the beginning and the end of the project to demonstrate impact.


E. Project Deliverables

List any expected deliverables that will result from the project in addition to the required final report. Examples of project deliverables include professional journal or farm press articles, Extension bulletins, and manuals. Describe how you will disseminate the project results to the target audience, stakeholders and other interested parties beyond those directly served by the project. Examples of such activities include presentations at professional conferences or producer meetings,
and publication of articles in professional journals or the agricultural press, educational brochures, .ppt presentations, survey instruments, and websites.

 

F. Budget Spreadsheet and Budget Narrative
The Budget Spreadsheet should show the relevant expenditure categories in the far left column and, proceeding across the page, there should be a column showing the dollar amount of GVRMA funds requested and separate columns showing the dollar amount for each of the entities that will provide matching resources. The Budget Narrative should explain how the dollar amounts for each category shown on the Budget Spreadsheet were derived and what they cover. All costs must be directly related to the eligible project. Following is guidance on some of the more common expenditures associated with GVRMA projects.


Salary and Wages- Show hourly rates and estimated number of

hours,FTEs or percent of time to be spent on the project, and describe the role and responsibilities of each party. If a third party will be hired after the grant is awarded but has not yet been identified, provide a brief description of the qualifications to be sought and the type of wages to be paid hourly, salaried, or graduate assistantship.
Travel- Indicate what the travel includes (mode of travel, how many people, how many days, destination, lodging, meals, etc. as applicable) and how it relates to the project goals.
Contracts- Indicate if the expense represents a flat fee for services, or an hourly rate. Indicate the actual or estimated hourly rate to be applied. list general categories of items the contract covers such as professional services, travel, lodging, administrative expenses, etc.
Administrative Costs-
Administrative costs direcly attributable to the project may be charged.

 

G. Personnel Qualifications
Provide a one- to two-page resume of relevant experience and/or qualifications of the principal investigators and for each of the other major project participants. Longer resumes will be disregarded.

 

5. FUNDING CRITERIA

 

5.1 Evaluation Factors

 

Proposals are evaluated by a team of reviewers from the GVRMA and the NYS DAM. Proposals will be evaluated on the criteria listed below.

 

•  Reasonableness of cost relative to nature of work to be performed

•  Quality of Proposal -the proposal is well-justified; the goals, objectives, and work plan are clear and appropriate; the resources in terms of personnel and time are appropriate for the project scope; and all budget items are allowable, reasonable and clearly described.

•  Program Scope - the proposal addresses 1) Promotion and marketing of agricultural products; 2) Increase production or processing of agricultural products or increase the profitability of producers of agricultural products; 3) Improve systems of production, storage, distribution and marketing, and in reaching advantageous markets.

•  Impact -  the proposal describes the potential impact it will have on target producers and agribusinesses, and the potential for the proposal to provide new knowledge and lessons learned. For small-scale or pilot proposals, the proposal includes recommendations as to how the project could be scaled up or expanded. The proposal includes at least one quantitative metric to demonstrate impact; describes appropriate deliverables in addition to the final report; and outlines a plan to disseminate project results electronically and in person to the target audience, stakeholders, and interested parties beyond those directly served by the project.


6. AWARDS


All proposals deemed eligible by the GVRMA and the NYS DAM will be evaluated according to the criteria stated in the Application Guidelines.

 
The GVRMA will send written notice to each applicant of its funding decisions. A contract defining all terms and conditions and responsibilities of the successful applicant shall be developed by the GVRMA subsequent to the awarding of funds. The contract will incorporate project details and a budget approved by the GVRMA, among its provisions. A copy of the contract template that sets forth the general terms and conditions required in all contracts awarded by the GVRMA under this program is posted on the GVRMA website at www.geneseevalleyregionalmarketauthority.com.


7. REIMBURSMENT FOR FUNDING


Once the contract is fully executed, grant funds will be disbursed on a quarterly basis. The GVRMA shall retain ten percent (10%) of the budget amount to be disbursed to the contractor until such time as the final report is accepted.


8. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS


8.1 Reimbursement Request Reports


The GVRMA will monitor contract performance. An interim progress report that summarizes work completed on the project shall accompany each quarterly payment request for project expenses. The GVRMA reserves the right to modify reporting requirements during the course of the project.


8.2 Final Report


A final report will be required within thirty (30) days following completion of the project. The final report shall include a reasonably detailed description of the work completed; an assessment of the potential for future viability of the project; and a description of problems encountered, if any, which affected completion of the project. In addition to the final report, the GVRMA reserves the right to require contractors to present the final report to the GVRMA Board of Directors.


9. LIABILITY


The GVRMA shall not be held liable for any costs incurred by any party for work performed in the preparation of and production of a proposal or for any work performed prior to the formal execution of a contract.

10.  NYS OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION & HISTORIC PRESERVATION REQUIREMENTS


Projects which include ground disturbing activities, construction of new buildings, or modification of buildings over 50 years old will be subject to further review by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). The Department reserves the right to request such additional information as is necessary to allow OPRHP to make a determination regarding the potential impacts of the project on historical sites or artifacts and possible alternatives which avoid or mitigate adverse impacts.

 
11.  NYS ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY REVIEW ACT REQUIREMENTS


Some projects may be subject to review under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The Department reserves the right to request additional information as needed to comply with SEQRA requirements.


12.  OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


The GVRMA reserves the right to:


•  reject any or all applications received with respect to this solicitation;

•  waive or modify minor irregularities in proposals received after prior notification and concurrence of the applicant;

•  utilize any or all ideas submitted in the applications received unless those ideas are covered by legal patent or proprietary rights;

•  request from an applicant additional information as deemed necessary to more fully evaluate its proposal;

•  amend the program's specifications after their release, with appropriate written notice posted on the GVRMA website;

•  select only certain portions of proposals for funding;

•  make all final decisions with respect to the amount of funding and the timing of payments to be provided to an applicant; and

•  negotiate the scope of work and terms of the budget.


All proposals submitted in response to this RFP will become the property of the GVRMA.


13.  FREEDOM OF INFORMATION


All proposals submitted and all related contracts and reports may be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law.