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For the purpose of this program, the following definitions are applicable:

Alaska Native: is a citizen of the United States who is a person of one-fourth degree or more Alaska Indian (including Tsimshian Indians not enrolled in the Metlaktla Indian Community), Eskimo, or Aleut blood, or combination thereof. It also includes, in the absence of proof of a minimum blood quantum, any citizen of the United States who is regarded as an Alaska Native by the Native Village or Native group of which he/she claims to be a member and whose father or mother is (or if deceased, was) regarded as Native by any village or group.

Alaska Native Cooperative Colleges is any post-secondary education institution that at the time of application has an enrollment of undergraduate students that is at least 20 percent Alaska Native students.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the foundation of the Federal Register publication system. The CFR is an annual codification of the rules of each Federal agency.

Community-based organization is a nongovernmental organization with a well-defined constituency that includes all or part of a particular community, e.g., communities consisting of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Eligible Applicant is an entity that is eligible to enter into a contract under the OASDFR program to provide outreach, technical assistance, and education, and includes: 

  1. Any community-based organization, network, or coalition of community-based organizations that –
    1. has demonstrated experience in providing agricultural education or other agriculturally related services to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers;
    2. has provided to the Secretary documentary evidence of work with, and on behalf of, socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers during the 3-year period preceding the submission of an application; and
    3. is a nonprofit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  2. An 1890 institution, including Tuskegee University and West Virginia State University (as defined in the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7601)) or 1994 institution (as defined in section 532 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note)).
  3. An Indian tribal community college or an Alaska Native cooperative college.
  4. Hispanic-serving institutions (as defined in section 1404 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103)).
  5. Any other institution of higher education (as defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) that has demonstrated experience in providing agriculture education or other agriculturally related services to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in a region.
  6. An Indian tribe or a national tribal organization that has demonstrated experience in providing agriculture education or other agriculturally related services to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in a region.

Farmer/Rancher for the purposes of this RFA all references to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers include forest landowners.  Farmer/Rancher is an owner and/or operator who has a vested interest in the operation of the farm or ranch.

Hispanic serving post-secondary educational institution is a post-secondary educational institution that: (a) at the time of application, has an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students; and (b) provides assurances that not less than 50 percent of the institution’s Hispanic students are low-income individuals.

Indian Tribe or national tribal organization is any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688) (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

Indian Tribal Community College is a post-secondary education institution which: 

  1. is formally controlled, or has been officially sanctioned, or chartered, by the governing body of an Indian tribe or tribes, except no more than one such institution shall be recognized with respect to any such tribe; and
  2. includes an institution listed in the Equity in Educational Land Grant Status Act of 1994, as amended (7 U.S.C. 301 note).

Institution of Higher Education is an educational institution in any State that

  1. admits as regular students only persons having a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such a certificate;
  2. is legally authorized within such State to provide a program of education beyond secondary education;
  3. provides an educational program for which the institution awards a bachelor’s degree or provides not less than a 2-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree;
  4. is a public or other nonprofit institution; and
  5. is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association, or if not so accredited, is an institution that has been granted pre-accreditation status by such an agency or association that has been recognized by the Secretary of Education for the granting of pre-accreditation status, and the Secretary of  Education has determined that there is satisfactory assurance that the institution will meet the accreditation standards of such an agency or association within a reasonable time.

Junior or Community College is an institution of higher education: 

  1. that admits as regular students persons who are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the State in which the institution is located and who have the ability to benefit from the training offered by the institution;
  2. that does not provide an educational program for which the institution awards a bachelor’s degree (or an equivalent degree); and
  3. that
    1. provides an educational program for not less than 2 years in duration that is acceptable for full credit toward such a degree; or
    2. offers a 2-year program in engineering, mathematics, or the physical or biological sciences, designed to prepare a student to work as a technician or at the semiprofessional level in engineering, scientific, or other technological fields requiring an understanding and application of basic engineering, scientific, or mathematical principles of knowledge.

Low-income individual is an individual from a family whose taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of an amount equal to the poverty level determined using criteria of poverty established by the Bureau of the Census.

Outreach is the use of formal and informal educational and training presentations, materials, Web site materials, etc., which are designed to inform socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers about USDA programs in a linguistically appropriate manner, and to increase their participation.

Peer review is an evaluation of a proposed project for scientific or technical quality and relevance performed by experts with the scientific knowledge and technical skills to conduct the proposed work or to give expert advice on the merits of a project.

Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher is a farmer or rancher who is a member of a socially disadvantaged group.

Socially disadvantaged group is a group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudices because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. Socially disadvantaged groups include, but are not limited to, African Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Asians, and Pacific Islanders. The Secretary will determine on a case-by-case basis whether additional groups qualify under this definition, either at the Secretary’s initiative or in response to a written request with supporting explanation.

Technical Assistance is providing hands-on educational and technical assistance through workshops, site visits, and other means of contact with socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to enable them to understand the application process and to apply for, and increasingly participate in, USDA programs.

USDA Authorized Departmental Officer is the Director, OAO, who is the signatory for the award document.

USDA Programs are those programs and activities established or authorized by: the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1421 et seq.); the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.); the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (7 U.S.C. 1281 et seq.); the Soil Conservation Act; the Domestic Allotment Assistance Act; the Food Security Act of 1985; and other such acts as determined by the Director, OAO, USDA, on a case-by-case basis, either at the Director’s initiative or in response to a written request with supporting explanation for inclusion of an Act. USDA programs include, but are not limited to the: Federal Crop Insurance, Farm Loan Program, Agricultural Conservation Program, programs comprising The Environmental Conservation Acreage Reserve Program, Conservation Technical Assistance Program, Emergency Conservation Programs, Forestry Incentives Program, Great Plains Conservation Program, Integrated Farm Management Option Program, Price Support and Production Adjustment Program, Rural Environmental Conservation Program, Soil Survey Program, Water Bank Program, and Farm Loan Programs (Farm Ownership, Operating Soil and Water, Emergency Loans, and Bio-Crop Assistance Program.)