OREGON AGRICULTURAL OPPORTUNITIES FUND
[ED. NOTE: Standards to determine project eligibility and applicable procedures for a competitive statewide program for grants made from the Oregon Agricultural Opportunities fund.]
As used in this division of administrative rules, unless the context requires otherwise:
(1) "Agribusiness" means any business that deals with agricultural products or services.
(2) "Department" means the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
(3) "Director" means the director of the Department of Agriculture.
(4) "Rural Area" means any area within the state of Oregon except the urbanized portions of metropolitan statistical areas, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
The purpose of this division of rules is to provide criteria and procedures for administration of the Oregon Agricultural Opportunities Fund.
Eligible applicants shall include:
(1) Cities, counties, councils of government, and state agencies.
(2) Private nonprofit organizations.
(3) Consortia and combinations of the above.
Standards to Determine Project Eligibility
(1) The Director will consider applications for agricultural promotion and marketing projects which:
(a) Encourage existing Oregon agribusiness expansion;
(b) Encourage new agribusinesses to locate in Oregon;
(c) Encourage existing Oregon agribusiness expansion with emphasis on promotion of Oregon agricultural products.
(2) Each project submitted for consideration will be evaluated primarily for potential economic benefit to Oregon, based on how well the project meets the following criteria:
(a) Emphasizes agricultural development in underdeveloped rural areas of Oregon, and in those areas dependent on agriculture related industries;
(b) Ongoing and long-term benefits to the state;
(c) Assurance that each project does not supplant private investment or duplicate similar efforts underway and available elsewhere;
(d) Encourage competition in national or international markets;
(e) Assurance that each project will not require continuing subsidies;
(f) Commitment of at minimum a one to one match to the grant of which at least 25% of the match must be "cash", the remaining may be provided with "in-kind" contributions.
(3) The following expenditures are not considered as eligible for funding through the Oregon Agricultural Opportunities Fund:
(a) Existing costs of operation;
(b) Debt service or debt retirement;
(c) Projects administered or managed primarily by for-profit organizations.
(4) The Director shall consider projects for funding and shall make grant awards as he determines appropriate, provided each project approved for funding includes a marketing plan which has also been reviewed and recommended for approval by staff of the Department. The marketing plan shall include:
(a) Identification of the industries, industry segments, geographic regions or other groups and factors to be targeted by the marketing program;
(b) A listing of the themes or advertising messages to be presented to the target audiences;
(c) Identification of the means to be used to communicate information to the target groups;
(d) Summary of the market research upon which the development of the marketing plan was based;
(e) Methods to be used to test the effectiveness of the program;
(f) An expenditure and implementation plan which specifies the cost and timetable for carrying out the proposed marketing program.
(1) Application forms for the competitive statewide grants program will be made available and distributed by the Department.
(2) Each applicant shall submit its proposal for funding on the approved application form, including attachments as necessary.
Review of Applications
(1) Each application will first be screened by staff from the Department for completeness and accuracy. Applications not meeting these initial review standards may be returned for correction or completion, or may not be recommended for further consideration. In the latter case, applicants interested in reapplying will be advised on improvements essential for future proposals.
(2) During the review process, staff from the Department may engage other parties -- such as advisory committees and representatives of other state agencies -- to provide technical critiques of the proposed project and opinions on its potential economic benefits to Oregon.
(1) The Director will review the recommendations of staff as well as current information on available lottery revenues.
(2) The Director will review those proposals that have been recommended by staff from the Department and will make one of the following decisions for each proposal.
(a) Approval of project and grant award for the full amount requested;
(b) Approval of project and grant award of partial amount requested. In this instance, the Director may elect to fund a portion or a phase of a project;
(c) Deferral of proposal for further consideration based upon submission of additional information;
(d) Denial of request. Applicants whose proposals are denied may reapply at subsequent deadlines.
(3) The Director may invite applicants to make presentations on behalf of their proposals at review meetings.
(4) Any funds not allocated within the current quarter may be carried forward into the next quarter.
(5)(a) Generally, the Director will obligate only those revenues available in the current quarter and will not obligate lottery revenues from future quarters to grants under consideration;
(b) In some instances, project scope and duration may justify allocations of funds before collection. When this condition arises, the Director may make a commitment to an applicant based on forecasted and anticipated lottery revenues, provided:
(A) The commitment clearly explains that any ultimate grant award is contingent upon actual lottery collections; and
(B) The commitment provides options for both the applicant and the Director should the forecasted revenues fail to materialize. Options shall range from full award of the identified amount, a partial award based on proportions of lottery revenues (or other calculations), to cancellation of the commitment if revenues are too far below the forecasted levels.
(1) The Director and the grant recipient will enter a grant agreement that provides:
(a) Incorporation of the full proposal as an integral part of the agreement;
(b) The grant will be disbursed according to an approved payment schedule, which shall also be incorporated as an integral part of the grant agreement. Prior to each subsequent grant payment, or upon request by the Department, the grantee will submit an interim report for evaluation by the Department. This report shall include:
(A) Documentation of project results to date:
(B) Projections of short-range and long-range results;
(C) Discussion of project benefits;
(D) Estimates of final results.
(c) In the event an interim report is deemed unsatisfactory by the staff of the Department, the Director will withhold the relevant payment pending resolution of the identified deficiencies. Grantees consistently unable to meet performance standards as agreed upon will be subject to review by the Director and, if necessary, cancellation of the grant agreement.
(2) Within six months of the official close of the project, each recipient shall submit a final report to the Department. This report will provide the most current and detailed information on project benefits as compared with the original criteria.
(3) Grantees must give credit to the Department of Agriculture and the Oregon State Lottery in all project publicity.
(4) Grantees must maintain project records sufficient for monitoring by the Department.
(5) Grantees that cannot complete their projects within the contractual timelines must so inform the Department and request a formal extension to the project.
(6) Unexpended grant funds not used by the grantee will be reverted to the Oregon Agricultural Opportunities Fund for reallocation.
(7) Grantees are responsible for having their projects audited annually for program and financial compliance. Audits may coincide with the grantee's normal fiscal year audit cycle. A copy of the audit is to be forwarded to the Department of Agriculture.