State Mediation Grants
FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Agricultural Credit Act of 1987, Title V, Public Law 100-233; Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, Public Law 101-624; Agricultural Credit Improvement Act of 1992; Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act of 1994, Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, Public Law 103-354; the United States Grain Standards Act of 2000, Public Law 106-472.
To assist States in establishing and administering mediation programs and services for agricultural producers, creditors of producers (as applicable), and persons directly affected by actions of the Department of Agriculture.
Types of Assistance
Uses and Use Restrictions
Grants are to be used for the operation and administration of a State's mediation program which has been certified by the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) as meeting the requirements of Section 501 (c) of Title V of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (U.S.C. 510), as amended. A grant will not exceed 70 percent of the total fiscal year funds that a qualifying State requires to operate and administer its mediation program, or $500,000, whichever is less. Eligible costs are limited to those that are reasonable and necessary to carry out the mission of the State's mediation program and may include activities related to the intake and scheduling of cases, the provision of background and selected information regarding the mediation process, financial advisory and counseling services, and the mediation session.
Agricultural producers, creditors of producers (as applicable) and persons directly affected by actions of the Department of Agriculture.
Have a mediation program which has been certified by the Administrator of FSA, and for which certification has not been withdrawn; provide evidence to justify the estimated costs of operating and administering the State's mediation program. The Governor of a State or head of an entity designated by the Governor of a State must make a written request to FSA on or before August 1 of each year to receive a matching grant during the fiscal year commencing on October 1, of that same year. Request for certification are accepted after August 1 of each year; however, the State will be considered in order of date received for reserved grant funds. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. To be certified as a qualifying State, the mediation program of the State must mediate issues involving agricultural loans (regardless of whether the loans are made or guaranteed by the Secretary of Agriculture or made by third party); and may provide mediation services for disputes involving wetlands determinations, compliance with farm programs including conservation programs, rural water loan programs, grazing on National forest system lands, pesticides, and such other issues, under the jurisdiction of the Secretary meeting the requirements of Section 501 of Title V of the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987 (7 U.S.C. 510), as amended.
Application and Award Process
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by 7 CFR part 3016, must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Grant funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis to qualifying States. If, however, when funds for a fiscal year become available, there are not sufficient funds to give all qualifying States 70 percent of their justified estimated expenses for the fiscal year, the percentage allocation will be reduced so as to give all States the same percentage of their expenses. FSA views the use of grant funds to provide financial advisory or other services in an advocacy context to be inconsistent with the premise of a mediation program, which is to provide a neutral forum for resolution of disputes.
Contact FSA National Office for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Thirty days from receipt of a complete application package.
If a certified State mediation program is available as part of the informal appeal hearing process, the participant will be offered the right to choose such mediation.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Seventy percent of fiscal year cost of operating and administering a State's agricultural mediation program, not to exceed $500,000 annually.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
From beginning to end of the Federal government's fiscal year. Grant will be an annual grant and will run concurrently with the Federal government's fiscal year; reimbursement by Treasury check.
Post Assistance Requirements
Reports are submitted quarterly: Standard Form 269, "Financial Status Report"; Standard Form 270, "Request for Advance or Reimbursement; Standard Form 272, "Federal Cash Transactions Report"; and Program Performance Report. Qualifying States receiving grants must provide an annual performance report to the FSA Administrator by September 30 of the fiscal year including the names and addresses of all mediation participants, the disputes being mediated, and the final results of mediation.
In accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR Part 3052, which implement OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 7 CFR 3052.
Record keeping will conform to requirements of 7 CFR Part 3016.
(Grants) FY 07 $4,207,500; FY 08 est not applicable; and FY 09 est not reported.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$5,000 to $391,880.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 1946 published on August 26, 1988, 53 FR 32597.
Regional or Local Office
Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, STOP 0539, Washington, DC 20250. http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/facts/html/mediate01.htm Telephone: (202) 720-1471. Fax: (202) 690-0644. E-mail: Cbailey@wdc.fsa.usda.gov. Contact Person: Chester A. Bailey.
Web Site Address
Examples of Funded Projects
Twenty-three States having mediation programs certified by USDA have received matching grants totaling $3 million in fiscal year 2000. A $183,370 grant was received by Alabama; a $92,190 grant was received by Arizona; a $80,200 grant was received by Arkansas; a $5,000 grant was received by Florida; a $9,570 grant was received by Idaho; a $126,090 grant was received by Illinois; a $5,000 grant was received by Indiana; a $238,740 grant was received by Iowa; a $391,880 grant was received by Kansas; a $79,480 grant was received by Maryland; a $59,900 grant was received by Michigan; a $264,330 grant was received by Minnesota; a $135,120 grant was received by Nebraska; a $5,000 grant was received by Nevada; a $68,500 grant was received by New Mexico; a $355,600 grant was received by North Dakota; a $190,990 grant was received by Oklahoma; a $117,810 grant was received by South Dakota; a $278,530 grant was received by Texas; a $21,430 grant was received by Utah; a $42,220 grant was received by Washington; a $208,360 grant was received by Wisconsin; and a $40,690 grant was received by Wyoming.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Certification by the Administrator, FSA, that mediation program meets the requirements of Section 501 (c) of Title V of the Agricultural Credit Act (Public Law 100-233) as amended; application meets requirements of FSA regulations to be implemented.