Doing Business With Us

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Doing Business With Us

Doing Business with the Business Center

FPAC enters into contracts, grants and agreements with Federal, State, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations to further the FPAC mission. Learn about different opportunities and how to apply for contracts, grants and agreements with the FPAC Business Center, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and/or the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

Contract Opportunities for Vendors

Several resources are available for vendors interested in doing business with the FPAC Business Center.

Solicitations for requirements over $25,000 that require advertisement can be viewed on the Beta SAM Opportunities website. To search for FPAC opportunities only, search by “12D0 - Farm Production and Conservation Business Center” under Federal Organizations. An account is not required to view opportunities.

If you are a small business, consider reviewing the small business procurement forecast which is published on the USDA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization website. Additional resources for small businesses are also available at the site.

To learn more about doing business with FPAC, contact the FPAC Small Business Specialist, Sheryl Welch, at sheryl.welch@usda.gov

Grants & Agreements Opportunities

Competitive grants and cooperative agreements are posted on Grants.Gov.

How To Apply:

The ezFedGrants is an online computer system used for managing the grant award process. Members of grant-seeking organizations use the ezFedGrants External Portal to view/apply to grant award opportunities, view grant award package documents, submit claims and reports, and more.

Types of Financial Instruments:

Contract
When the Federal government purchases or procures goods or services from a non-federal entity
Grant agreements
When the Federal government transfers anything of value from the Federal government to a non-federal entity to carry out a public purpose authorized by U.S. law
Cooperative agreements
When the Federal government transfers anything of value from the Federal government to a non-federal entity to carry out a public purpose authorized by U.S. law. It’s different from a grant agreement in that it provides for substantial involvement between the Federal awarding agency and the non-Federal entity in carrying out the activity contemplated by the award. It may not be used to procure products or services for the primary benefit of the Government. Cooperative agreements may or may not require recipient cost share, depending on program and Agency requirements.
Memoranda of agreement (also referred to as memoranda of understanding)
An agreement used to outline a cooperative arrangement between two or more entities. Although each party may expend its own resources to achieve the purpose of the agreement, a MOA does not transfer funds or anything of value between the parties.
Interagency and intra-agency agreements
Interagency is an agreement between two Federal agencies for the provision of goods or services. Intra-agency is an agreement between two organizational units of the same Federal agency for the provision of goods and services.
Non-Federal collection agreements
An agreement under which a Federal agency provides services to state or local government on a reimbursable basis under the authority of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act.
Task Agreements
An agreement structure that includes an umbrella agreement that permits task awards to be issued under it. The umbrella agreement contains the terms and conditions applicable to the task agreements.

Grants & Agreements Process

Authorities

Every Federal agency has the inherent authority to contract for goods and services it needs, provided the procurement is within the agency’s mission and not prohibited by statute. However, agencies do not have inherent authority to grant money or property to benefit a party other than the Government. Congress must specifically authorize such actions by statute, and Agencies must specify the authority applicable to each award.

Competition

USDA regulations require competition of discretionary grant and cooperative agreements. Interagency agreements, non-Federal collection agreements, and memoranda of agreements do not require competition.

Reasons for considering noncompetitive awards may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • The transaction is a nonmonetary award of property or services; • The award is less than $75,000;
  • The awards will fund continuing work already started under a previous award;
  • The award cannot be delayed due to an emergency or a substantial danger to health or safety;
  • Circumstances make it impracticable to secure competition; and
  • The award will fund a unique and innovative unsolicited application

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO)

The solicitation (an RFP or NFO) provides a description of the requirement or program and how FPAC will evaluate the offeror/applicant.

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO)

The solicitation (an RFP or NFO) provides a description of the requirement or program and how FPAC will evaluate the offeror/applicant.

The following documents are required for most applications, both competitive and non-competitive. However, some programs require additional documentation while others waive some requirements. Commonly used forms can be found on Grants.gov.

  • SF-424 Application for Federal Assistance
  • SF-424A Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs
  • Detailed budget narrative or budget justification should be included to assist in ensuring that costs are allowable, allocable, necessary, and reasonable.
  • Narrative description of the project (proposal). The narrative should clearly describe the total project to be accomplished, methodology, measurable objectives to be accomplished, time frame for completion, anticipated sub-award or subcontracting activity, and desired results.
  • SF-424B Assurances - Non-construction Programs
  • Certification Regarding Lobbying
  • SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities – If the award is more than $100,000 and if the recipient engages in lobbying activities
  • AD 3030 Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants (Only for corporate Recipients -non-profit and for-profit)
  • AD 3031 Certifications Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants (Only for corporate Recipients -non-profit and for-profit)
  • SF 3881 ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form (Only FSA agreements)
  • For agreements with recipients seeking to charge indirect costs, a current negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA) or a de minimis cost rate agreement

Application Evaluation for Competitive Agreements

Agencies must use independent reviewers to evaluate applications objectively in accordance with written criteria developed by the Agency and included in the NFO.

Negotiation

Negotiation may take place in a competitive or non-competitive environment. Permissible purposes for negotiations include, but are not necessarily limited to, project scope; project milestones and deliverables; establishing what role the Agency will play, if any; discussion and agreement on allowable costs and cost sharing; clarifications regarding reasons certain costs are included; agreement duration; reporting and payment terms; and waiving of required prior approvals.

Review of Budget and Budget Narrative for Competitive and Non-competitive Agreements

The budget is comprised of all allowable direct costs plus its allowable indirect costs, including Federal and non-Federal funds. Generally, a direct cost is any cost that can be computed and identified directly with a product, service, or activity. Indirect costs are those costs of an organization that are not readily identifiable with a particular project or program, but nevertheless are necessary to the general operation of the organization and the conduct of its activities.

Definitions

Use the Grants & Agreements Definition guide to better understand commonly used terms

For more information, contact the Grants & Agreements Division at FPAC.BC.GAD@usda.gov or the Acquisition and Procurement Division sheryl.welch@usda.gov.