PART I—FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION
A. Legislative Authority and Background
The AgrAbility program is authorized under the Smith-Lever Act of May 8, 1914, as amended (7 U.S.C. 341 et seq.) and in Section 1680 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 5933), as amended. Section 7403 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008 (P.L. 110-246) amends section 3(d) of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 [7 U.S.C. 343(d)] regarding eligibility. The AgrAbility program is funded through the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (P.L. 111-80). Beginning in FY 1995, the eligibility to compete for AgrAbility funding was broadened to include 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, including Tuskegee University and West Virginia State University at any appropriated level. Beginning in FY 2009, the eligibility to compete for AgrAbility funding was further broadened to include the University of the District of Columbia.
B. Purpose and Priorities
AgrAbility increases the likelihood that individuals with disabilities and their families engaged in production agriculture (AgrAbility’s customers) become more successful. The program supports cooperative projects in which State Cooperative Extension Services (CES) based at either 1862 or 1890 Land-Grant Universities or the University of the District of Columbia subcontract to private, non-profit disability organizations. Measures of success may include improvements in customers’ financial stability or access to life activities and in the capacity of the states and regions to deliver services this population requires in a timely and satisfying manner.
To address the specialized needs of AgrAbility’s customers, the program builds service capacity on national, regional, state, and local levels through education and networking. In the absence of capacity, projects provide assistance to customers. The primary function of the National AgrAbility Project is to support the state and regional projects in developing their capacity to meet these objectives. AgrAbility Projects use marketing activities to direct the public to initiatives in these three priority areas, described below:
Education comprises AgrAbility’s long-term investment strategy. The program has particular interest in funding educational activities with the following elements to develop human capital:
(a) Within the context of production agriculture, learning objectives focus on accommodating disabilities and avoiding secondary injuries in persons with disabilities to ensure sustainable agriculture systems;
(b) Audience includes health, farm, community and government service providers;
(c) Delivery formats include eXtension, authoring or adapting printable resources, live presentations taught in-person or remotely, and recorded presentations that may encourage audience interaction;
(d) Opportunities to engage secondary higher education faculty and students through interdisciplinary practices and special projects; and