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APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 10, 2011 - page 2 / 27

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM FOR FARMERS WITH DISABILITIES: STATE AND REGIONAL AGRABILITY PROJECTS

INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE: This program is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under 10.500.

DATES: Applications must be received by close of business (COB) on March 10, 2011 (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time). Applications received after this deadline will normally not be considered for funding. Comments regarding this request for applications (RFA) are requested within six months from the issuance of this notice. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

STAKEHOLDER INPUT: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is requesting comments regarding this RFA from any interested party. These comments will be considered in the development of the next RFA for the program, if applicable, and will be used to meet the requirements of section 103(c)(2) of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613(c)(2)). This section requires the Secretary to solicit and consider input on a current RFA from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, education and extension for use in formulating future RFAs for competitive programs. Written stakeholder comments on this RFA should be submitted in accordance with the deadline set forth in the DATES portion of this Notice.

Written stakeholder comments should be submitted by mail to: Policy and Oversight Branch; Office of Extramural Programs; National Institute of Food and Agriculture; USDA; STOP 2299; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20250-2299; or via e-mail to: RFA-OGFM@nifa.usda.gov .  (This e-mail address is intended only for receiving comments regarding this RFA and not requesting information or forms.) In your comments, please state that you are responding to the Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities: State and Regional AgrAbility Projects RFA.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: NIFA  requests applications for the Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities (AgrAbility)- State and Regional AgrAbility Projects for fiscal year (FY) 2011 to increase the likelihood that farmers, ranchers, farm workers, or farm family members with disabilities and their farms experience success.  NIFA seeks to expand the role of science in agriculture, environment, human nutrition and communities through focused, problem-solving research, education, and extension activities.  In providing linkages among farmers and professionals, AgrAbility seeks to strengthen rural communities by providing employment opportunities for farmers and ranchers in production agriculture or a related occupation and accessibility to appropriate assistive technology needed for work and daily living activities in sustaining their livelihood. This RFA is being released prior to the passage of an Appropriations Act for FY 2011. Enactment of additional Continuing Resolutions or an

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