Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Terms & Conditions
All grants awarded under the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) are subject to the following program-specific terms and conditions, which will be incorporated into each grant agreement. These provisions may be revised before we issue 2020 grant agreements. For terms and conditions applicable to a grant awarded prior to 2019, refer to Attachment D of your grant agreement.
- Federal Award Requirements: This agreement is subject to 2 CFR § 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (go.usa.gov/xRUVp) and the most recent Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Grants Division General Terms and Conditions (go.usa.gov/xRUVv). Grantee is responsible for reviewing these requirements and ensuring compliance with all applicable Federal regulations. If Grantee fails to comply with the terms and conditions of the Federal award, the State may impose special award conditions.
- Financial Management: Grantees are required to meet the standards and requirements for financial management systems set forth or referenced in 2 CFR § 200.302 Financial management. The adequacy of Grantee’s financial management system is integral to their ability to account for grant expenditures and track matching resources. Grantee must use Federal funds in a responsible manner and apply adequate internal controls and cash management practices consistent with the requirements outlined in 2 CFR § 200.303. Financial management systems and records of any entity involved in the grant must be sufficiently detailed in order to prepare reports, trace funds, and demonstrate that fund management complies with Federal statutes, regulations, and both general and program-specific terms and conditions. See also “Financial Management” in the most recent General Terms and Conditions.
The State is required to notify AMS when financial management problems are discovered. Deficiencies in the Grantee’s financial management may result in the imposition of special award conditions, such as a high-risk designation or increased monitoring.
Grantee shall notify the State, no less than 60 days prior to the grant end date, if any SCBGP funds awarded under this agreement will not be expended. Timely notification of unexpended funds ensures judicious use of SCBGP funding to enhance the competitiveness of Vermont specialty crops. Failure to notify the State of unexpended grant funds may affect future award consideration.
- Cost-Share & Match: Cost-share or match refers to the portion of project costs not paid by Federal funds. Cost-share or match must be directly related to the project’s objectives and be properly documented. Grantee must maintain documentation identifying the specific contributions that constitute the cost-share or match, contribution source, and how the appropriate amount of the contribution was determined for reporting purposes. If Grantee proposed matching funds as a mechanism to ensure all SCBGP funds would solely enhance the competitiveness of eligible specialty crops, Grantee must keep adequate records to identify and document the specific contributions proposed to meet the match, the source of funding or contributions, and document how the valuation was determined. If the amount of the approved cost-share or match provided by the Grantee or by a project partner changes, Grantee must request prior written approval. (See 9. Changes Requiring Prior Written Approval below.)
- System for Award Management: Grantee is required to register with the Federal System for Award Management (SAM; https://sam.gov)—the government-wide database that includes the names of organizations and individuals that have been debarred, suspended, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded—and designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). Grantee’s SAM registration must be updated annually and be actively maintained with current information during the time in which Grantee has an active Federally-funded award. Awards will not be made to parties listed on the government-wide exclusions in SAM in accordance with OMB guidelines at 2 CFR§180.
Acknowledgement of Support: Grantees will acknowledge support from the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program in all publications or other documents produced as a result of this grant. Publications or documents subject to this provision include, but are not limited to, press releases, reports, fact sheets, presentations, and websites or webpages describing projects or programs funded in whole or in part through this grant. Additionally—
- (a) Grantees are strongly encouraged to acknowledge USDA-AMS support through oral or written presentation. If the Grantee chooses to add an acknowledgement of USDA-AMS support, it must read as follows:
“Funding for [Project or Publication] was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM190100XXXXG054. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.”
- (b) Note that USDA symbols or logos are only intended for the official use of USDA only. They are expressly excluded from use to imply endorsement of a commercial product or service. The symbol or logo may not be used by anyone outside of USDA without permission.
- (c) Grantees are strongly encouraged to share success stories, videos, pictures and other materials that highlight outcomes and accomplishments of their grant with the Vermont SCBGP Coordinator.
- Reporting: The Vermont SCBGP Coordinator will provide Grantees with templates for Annual & Final Performance Reports. View sample report templates at agriculture.vermont.gov/grants/specialtycrop. Recurring instances of late reporting may result in enforcement actions and affect future awards.
- (a) Grantee shall submit a 1st Annual Performance Report no later than December 1, 2020. Annual Performance Reports require information on activities performed, accomplishments, challenges and developments, outcome and indicator results to date, upcoming activities, project expenditures to date, and program income (if applicable).
- (b) Grantee shall submit a 2nd Annual Performance Report no later than December 1, 2021 unless this grant ends prior to November 1, 2021.
- (c) Grantee shall submit a Final Performance Report no later than thirty (30) days from the grant end date. Final Performance Reports require information on project background, objectives, accomplishments, challenges and developments, lessons learned, continuation and dissemination of results, project beneficiaries, outcome and indicator results, project expenditures, program income (if applicable), and copies of publications, documents, or other materials produced.
- Problems & Delays: If events occur between scheduled reporting dates that significantly affect the project, Grantee must inform the SCBGP Coordinator as soon as they are aware of problems, delays, or adverse conditions. Grantee must include a statement of the action taken, or contemplated, and any assistance needed to resolve the situation.
Site Visits: If a project’s grant period is greater than 12 months, a site visit will be performed. The site visit will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time after the end of the second quarter of the grant period.
- Changes Requiring Prior Written Approval: As a project progresses, budgets may need to be modified to accomplish project objectives. Grantees have some flexibility to re-budget within and between budget categories to meet unanticipated needs and to make other types of changes. However, in some cases, Grantees are required to request prior written approval from the State.
Requests for prior approval must be submitted via email to the SCBGP Coordinator, who will confirm receipt of the request, review, and communicate with the Grantee if there are questions or concerns before submitting a request to USDA-AMS. Grantee may revise the request to address questions or concerns. Contact the SCBGP Coordinator and consult “Changes Requiring Prior Written Approval” in the most recent General Terms and Conditions for additional guidance.
- (a) Change in Key Personnel/Time Devoted to the Project: Grantee must request prior written approval if there is a change in key personnel, such as the project director, or if key personnel disengage from the project for a period of more than 3 months; reduces the time devoted to managing the project by 25 percent (25%) or more; or severs his/her connection to the grant. The request must contain (1) the name of the individual being replaced and the new individual name and contact information; (2) the qualifications of the new individual; (3) the capacity in which the new individual will serve; (4) written notification from the new individual signifying his/her willingness to serve on the project; (5) any changes to the project narrative, budget and/or timeline due to the change; and (6) the effective date.
- (b) Change in Scope or Objectives: Grantee must request prior written approval when it is necessary to modify the scope or objectives of the project or program, including adding new project(s) or discontinuing project(s). Written approval is required even if there is no associated budget revision that would require prior written approval. Grantee must use the same format/template to present this information that was used in the approved application with changes noted. The request must include (1) a description of the change in the scope or objectives including any activities the new work replaces; (2) a revised narrative for the relevant portion of the approved project; (3) a description of any changes to the outcome measures; (4) a revised budget and narrative using the respective program templates; (5) any change to the approved timeline; (6) any change in matching fund source; and (6) proposed dates of implementation (MM/YYYY – MM/YYYY).
- (c) One-Time Extension: If the project cannot be completed within the time frame established in the grant agreement, Grantee may request prior written approval to extend the end date of the grant agreement (no-cost extension of time). The request must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the end date of the grant agreement. The fact that funds are expected to remain unobligated at the end of the award is not in itself sufficient justification to receive a no-cost extension of time. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis according to justification provided. Grants cannot be extended beyond 9/29/2022.
The request must include: (1) the length of additional time requested, and the new end date requested; (2) justification for the extension; and (3) a summary of progress to date in terms of the project timeline and objectives. The summary may reference the most recent Performance Report and indicate how circumstances have changed since then; (4) an estimate of the amount of remaining funds, and if applicable, the amount of matching resources yet to be expended and a description of how they will be used in the remaining time; and (5) a new timeline for completing the project.
- (d) Budget Change: Grantees have some flexibility to re-budget within and between budget categories to meet unanticipated needs and changes. Grantee should contact the SCBGP Coordinator for additional information on how this may affect the award.
- (e) Pre-Award Costs: Pre-award costs are costs incurred prior to the effective date of the Federal award in accordance with, and in anticipation of, the Federal award where such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they would have been allowable if incurred after the date of the Federal award. Grantee may incur pre-award costs up to 90 calendar days before the effective date of the Federal award. Expenses more than 90 calendar days pre-award require prior approval. These costs and associated activities must be included in the recipient’s project narrative and budget justification. All costs incurred before the award are at Grantee’s own risk. The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of an award imposes no obligation on AMS or the State of Vermont to award funds for such costs. The request for prior written approval for allowable pre-award costs must include a brief description of the pre-award activities completed and an updated budget, using the same budget format as the approved application, clearly indicating the associated dollar amount of award funds and/or the value of any matching resources expended during the pre-award period.
- (f) Contracting or Subawarding for Activities Central to the Award’s Purpose: Grantee must request prior written approval for a change that involves subawarding, transferring, or contracting out of any work under a Federal award or executing a fixed amount subaward. This provision does not apply to the acquisition of supplies, material, equipment, or general support services. The following information must be included in the request: (1) A brief description of and justification for the change; (2) a brief description of the non-Federal entity’s qualifications and how their work will fulfill the project goals; (3) if a budget modification is required, (a) a description of the proposed modification, (b) the last approved budget, and (c) an updated budget of the affected cost categories using the format of the approved application with changes noted; and (4) if the third party was not identified in the original application, a description of the third party’s qualifications, how their work will fulfill the project goals, and an itemized budget (if applicable) showing cost categories with justification.
- (g) Specific Allowable Costs Prior Approvals: Grantee must request prior written approval for allowable costs that were not included in the approved project and/or the latest budget. The request must include: (1) A description of and justification for the cost including how it furthers the objectives of the project; and (2) If applicable, a comparison between the most recent budget and the proposed budget as well as an updated budget narrative of the affected cost categories. Grantee must use the same format for presenting the budget information that was used in the approved application with changes noted. Consult “Allowable and Unallowable Costs and Activities” in the most recent General Terms and Conditions for details on these costs.
- (h) Changes to Recipient Name or Address: If Grantee is contemplating changing the name of their organization or address, they should contact the SCBGP Coordinator for instructions. Grantee is responsible for properly updating their registration within both the DUNS and SAM.gov systems. Grantee must inform the State of any pending changes in its legal status, divesture, or bankruptcy. The request must include the new name or address of the Grantee organization and the effective date of change.
- (i) Cost-Share or Match – Changes in the Amount: If the award has specific cost-sharing or matching requirements, Grantee must request prior written approval to change the amount of the approved cost-share or match or to change the amount of approved cost-sharing or match provided by a project partner or by a subrecipient. The request should use the same format for presenting the budget information that was used in the approved application and include (1) a justification for the change; (2) match contribution/commitment per year by source and total match per year (Break items down into the same categories used in the approved project budget.); (3) a description of how the required match will be met including the source of the match, the amount of the match to be provided, and the composition of the match; and (4) a description of the change that includes a comparison between the latest budget and the proposed budget as well as an updated budget narrative of affected cost categories to demonstrate that the overall required match will be met.
- Program Income: Program income, as defined in 2 CFR § 200.80, means gross income earned by the non-Federal entity that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the Federal award during the period of performance and includes, but is not limited to (1) income from fees for services performed, (2) the sale of commodities or items fabricated under an award (including items sold at cost if the cost of producing the item was funded with grant funds), and (3) registration fees for conferences, workshops, etc. Royalties or equivalent income earned from patents, inventions, trademarks, and copyrighted works are not subject to this section. The additive method (2 CFR § 200.307(e)(2)) will be used to dispose of program income. Program income generated during the grant period must be used, for the purposes and under the conditions of the Federal award, to further the objectives of the grant project. Grantee is not accountable for program income earned after the grant period.
- Procurement: Grantee may acquire commercially available goods or services in connection with a grant project. Grantee must use their own documented procurement procedures which may reflect applicable State, local, and tribal laws and regulations, provided that the procurements conform to applicable Federal law and 2 CFR § 200.318 GENERAL PROCUREMENT STANDARDS through 2 CFR § 200.326 CONTRACT PROVISIONS. Requirements of the Federal award also apply to any subcontract. Contracts made in connection with this project must contain the applicable provisions in Appendix II of 2 CFR § 200.
- Work Product Ownership: Ownership of all data, papers, reports, forms, or other materials collected or produced by the Grantee under this agreement (the "work product") shall belong to the Grantee. Upon request by the State, Grantee shall provide, free of cost, copies of all such work product no later than 30 days from the date of the request. The State shall have a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, royalty-free paid-up license to use or have used the work product for or on behalf of the State during the pendency of the agreement and thereafter. The State may provide the work product to its contractors, grantees, community partners, or to local, state, and Federal government entities for non-commercial use.
- Inventions & Patents: Title to intangible property (see 2 CFR § 200.59 Intangible Property) acquired under a Federal award vests upon acquisition in the non-Federal entity. Grantee is subject to applicable regulations governing inventions and patents, including the regulations in 37 CFR § 401, “Rights to Inventions Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms Under Government Awards, Contracts and Cooperative Agreements.” Grantee may copyright any work that is subject to copyright and was developed, or for which ownership was acquired, under a Federal award. The Federal awarding agency reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work for Federal purposes, and to authorize others to do so.
- Release of Award Information: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 1966 (5 U.S.C. 552) and the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as implemented by USDA’s regulations (7 CFR part 1, Subpart A) govern the release or withholding of information to the public in connection with this Federal award. The release of information under these laws and regulations applies only to records held by AMS and imposes no requirement on the Grantee to permit or deny public access to their records.
- Public Access to Performance Reports & Information on Report Content: Accomplishments, procedures, and other benefits resulting from the Federally-funded project may be made available publicly through online posting, as well as through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The AMS website is the primary means to distribute final results of each Federally-funded grant project, although additional proposal/project information, within the regulations, will be released under the FOIA.
Since the information may be made public, particularly the information contained in the Final Performance Reports, AMS encourages Grantees to eliminate as many grammatical and spelling errors as possible in submitted forms and materials. AMS will not edit the reports beyond checking to ensure that the content is complete, including the inclusion of activities and outcomes associated with each project. Should AMS find that the report is incomplete, the recipient will have the opportunity to revise the report and to address questions and concerns prior to the information being made available through the AMS website.
- Disparaging Language & Protected Personally Identifiable Information (PII): Grantees are prohibited from using AMS grant funds to conduct any activity that is false, misleading, or disparaging toward agricultural commodities or products or to disparage the mission, goals, and/or actions of another organization or individual in performance reports or through other means.
The term personal identifiable information (PII), as defined in OMB Memorandum M-07-16 refers to information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual. Non-PII can become PII whenever additional information is made publicly available—in any medium and from any source—that, when combined with other available information, could be used to identify an individual. Reports submitted to AMS must avoid use of Protected PII, including use of an individual's first name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of types of information, including, but not limited to, social security number, passport number, credit card numbers, clearances, bank numbers, biometrics, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, criminal, medical and financial records, educational transcripts, etc. Personal information included in the Final Report should be limited to the recipient project coordinator name and email address as well as organization name, physical address, and telephone number.
- Grant Closeout: Grantee is required to retain all records relating to this grant until December 31, 2025, or three years from the date USDA-AMS receives a final financial report from the State. Grantee remains obligated to return funds due because of later refunds, corrections, or other transactions, and the Federal government may recover amounts based on the results of an audit covering any part of the period of grant support.
- Property Management: If property (equipment or intellectual) was acquired or developed by a subrecipient through this Grant Agreement, Grantee must follow the applicable property standards found at 7 CFR § 3016.32 (equipment) and 37 CFR § 401 (intellectual property). When a Grantee no longer needs equipment with a current per unit fair market value of $5,000 or more, Grantee must contact the Vermont SCBGP for disposition instructions. When there is residual inventory of unused supplies exceeding $5,000 in total aggregate value upon termination or completion of the project, and the supplies are not needed for any other Federal award, Grantee may retain the supplies for other activities or sell them, but must, in either case, compensate the Federal Government for its share. Consult “Property Management” in the most recent General Terms and Conditions for details and contact the Vermont SCBGP for guidance
- Access to Records: As described in 2 CFR § 200.336, AMS, Inspectors General, the Comptroller General of the United States, and the State of Vermont, or any of their authorized representatives, shall have the right of access to any pertinent documents, papers, or records of recipients and subrecipients which that are pertinent to the award, in order to make audits, examinations, excerpts, and transcripts. The right also includes timely and reasonable access to the recipient’s and subrecipient’s personnel for interview and discussion related to such documents.
- Audit Requirements: Grantees (other than Federal agencies and for-profit recipients) are responsible for obtaining audits in accordance with the audit requirements of 2 CFR § 200 Subpart F – Audit Requirements, which require any non-Federal entity that expends $750,000 or more in Federal awards during their fiscal year to have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year. The audit must meet the standards specified in Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS). Grantee must follow a systematic method to ensure timely and appropriate resolution of audit findings and recommendations, whether discovered because of a Federal audit or an audit initiated by the State.
- Nondiscrimination Statement: In accordance with Federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
- Prohibition of Confidentiality Agreements: The prohibition of using funds under grants and cooperative agreements with entities that require certain internal confidentiality agreements are described below. (a) The Grantee may not require its employees, contractors, or subrecipients seeking to report fraud, waste, or abuse to sign or comply with internal confidentiality agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting them from lawfully reporting that waste, fraud, or abuse to a designated investigative or law enforcement representative of a Federal Department or Agency authorized to receive such information. (b) The Grantee must notify its employees, contractors, or subrecipients that the prohibitions and restrictions of any internal confidentiality agreements inconsistent with paragraph (a) of this award provision are no longer in effect. (c) The prohibition in paragraph (a) of this award provision does not contravene requirements applicable to any other form issued by a Federal department or Agency governing the nondisclosure of classified information. (d) If the Government determines that the Grantee is not in compliance with this award provision, it: (1) Will prohibit the recipient's use of funds under this award, in accordance with sections 743, 744 of Division E of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, (Pub. L. 114-113) or any successor provision of law; and (2) May pursue other remedies available for the Grantee's material failure to comply with award terms and conditions.
- Administrative & National Policy Requirements: Federal statutes and regulations apply to grants awarded under this program. These include, but are not limited to, those listed below.
- 2 CFR § 25 – System for Award Management and Universal Identifier Requirements. See Appendix A to §25 – Award Term for Central Contractor Registration and Universal Identifier Requirements.
- 2 CFR § 170 – Reporting Subaward and Executive Compensation Information. See Appendix A to §170 – Award Term for Reporting Subawards and Executive Compensation requirements.
- 2 CFR § 175 – Award Term for Trafficking in Persons
- 2 CFR §§ 180 and §417 – OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and USDA Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension
- 2 CFR § 182 – Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)
- 2 CFR § 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
- 2 CFR § 400 – USDA implementation of 2 CFR §200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
- 2 CFR § 415 – USDA General Program Administrative Regulations
- 2 CFR § 416 – USDA General Program Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments
- 2 CFR § 418 – USDA implementation of New Restrictions on Lobbying
- 2 CFR § 421 – USDA Implementation of Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)
- 2 CFR § 422 – Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research; Research Misconduct
- 7 CFR § 1, subpart A – USDA implementation of the Freedom of Information Act
- 7 CFR § 1(b) – USDA procedures to implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended
- 7 CFR § 3 – USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-129 regarding debt collection
- 7 CFR § 15, subpart A – USDA implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits recipients from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.)
- 8 U.S.C. Section 1324a. – Unlawful employment of aliens
- 29 U.S.C. 794 – Nondiscrimination under Federal grants and programs
- 41 U.S.C. § 22 – Interest of Member of Congress
- 41 U.S.C. § 4712 – Pilot program for enhancement of contractor protection from reprisal for disclosure of certain information
- EO 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency, take reasonable steps to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to programs in accordance with LEP Implementation Strategy for AMS’ Federally-Assisted Programs.
- 7 CFR § 331 and 9 CFR §121—USDA implementation of the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002
- 37 CFR § 401 – Rights to Inventions made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms under Government Grants, Contracts, and Cooperative Agreements
- 41 CFR §§ 301-10.131 to 301-10.143 – Use of United States Flag Air Carriers, which implements the Fly America Act (49 U.S.C. 40118). For more information see www.gsa.gov/portal/content/103191.
- 48 CFR § 25 – Foreign Acquisition, which implements the Buy American Act (41 U.S.C. Ch. 83)
- 48 CFR subpart 31.2 – Contracts with Commercial Organizations
- 44 U.S.C. 3541 et seq. (Pub. L. 107-347) – Federal Information System Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA)
- Motor Vehicle Safety – Highway Safety Act of 1966, as amended (23 U.S.C. 402 & 403); Government Organization and Employees Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 7902 (c)); Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended (29 U.S.C. 668); Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended (40 U.S.C. 101, et seq.); Increasing Seat Belt Use in the United States (EO 13043); Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving (EO 13513)
- Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, P.L. No. 112-55, Division A, Sections 738 and 739 regarding corporate felony convictions and corporate Federal tax delinquencies