The primary goal of American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment Program is to ensure improved understanding of and equitable participation in the full range of USDA programs and services among historically underserved farmers, ranchers, forest land owners and operators through supporting the organizational delivery of technical assistance projects and establishment of technical assistance networks.
Section 1006 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (hereafter referred to as the Act) (Pub. L 117-2), as amended, authorizes the United States of Agriculture (USDA), to provide funding for Cooperators to deliver technical assistance and support for economically distressed and/or underserved communities, including socially disadvantaged producers, farmers and ranchers with limited access to resources, veterans, and other key targeted individuals and communities.
USDA is authorized to support and facilitate the establishment of technical assistance projects toward this goal. Projects must provide a range of technical assistance services to underserved agricultural producers. The term “agricultural producer” is used to refer to agricultural farmers, ranchers, and private forest land owners and operators.
American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Webinars
- Watch the March 23, 2022 American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment Program webinar on the NIFA YouTube channel.
Resources and Frequently Asked Questions
Applicants must be domestic nonprofit entities or institutions for higher education (see Definitions in Part VIII, D). A letter stating the nonprofit status should be included as an attachment to Field 12, Other Attachments (Part IV.B.).
Only the applicant must meet the eligibility requirement. Project partners and collaborators need not meet the eligibility requirement. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the successful completion of the project, with the exception of individuals and non-domestic entities. Current Cooperators under Section 1006 of the Act are not eligible to apply as a lead applicant to this funding opportunity, but may serve as cooperators, collaborators and sub-contractors to lead applicants, provided their activities are new, non-duplicative activities. Individuals, non-domestic entities and private, for profit organizations are not eligible to apply to this funding opportunity.
Type of Projects
Applicants must propose a Technical Assistance Project.
Technical Assistance is defined as targeted services and support collectively designed to improve understanding of and equitable participation in the full range of USDA programs and services among underserved farmers, ranchers, forest land owners and operators through a range of activities, including but not limited to:
- strategies to identify unique needs and gaps in access, knowledge, and services;
- specialized consultation; training; coaching; capacity building; and
- mentoring focused on relevant topics including effectively accessing USDA programs and personnel, agricultural production, agriculture credit, rural development, financial literacy, risk management, mediation, cooperative development, land access.
Technical Assistance Projects must propose projects that deliver existing agriculture financial training, agriculture mediation access, outreach to USDA programs and services, agriculture cooperative development training and support, capacity building training, land access technical support, targeted support related to agriculture production, and/or agriculture credit and capital access, within a comprehensive program designed to reach targeted audiences of underserved agricultural producers.
ARPTAI Projects must focus on providing targeted support related to agriculture production, and/or agriculture credit and capital access, within a comprehensive program designed to reach targeted audiences of underserved agricultural producers through:
- delivering existing agriculture financial training,
- agriculture mediation access,
- facilitating outreach to USDA programs and services,
- agriculture cooperative development training and support,
- capacity building training, and/or
- land access technical support.
The Award Process
Awards will be made through a competitive grants process, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). All applications for funding must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov. This process requires pre-registration which can take up to one month. We encourage all potential applicants to begin the registration process as soon as possible.
Reviewers from universities, government, community-based organizations, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and from the military, veteran, and farming/agribusiness community will provide peer assessment and recommend applications for funding.
Post Award Monitoring
Projects are required to acknowledge USDA-NIFA funding in all presentations, publications, news releases, etc. Projects are required to collect and submit outcome-based data to USDA-NIFA through annual reports. The annual Project Directors and Evaluators meeting provides opportunities for networking and sharing of best practices.