The Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program exists to “protect and foster the health, prosperity, and general welfare of the people of Montana” by promoting “intensive, scientific, and practical research into all phases of agricultural commodity culture, production, marketing, and the development of markets for commodities grown or produced in Montana.” MCA §80-11-502(2). Montana potato producers created the Program via an affirmative vote following the process outlined in MCA §§ 80-11-504 through 519. The Program is administered by the Montana Department of Agriculture, which receives advice from the seven-member Montana Potato Advisory Committee.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
The Montana Potato Advisory Committee invites proposals from organizations seeking funding from the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program for demonstration projects, applied research, and market development projects designed to address needs and opportunities for the Montana potato industry. Approximate total funds available for the 2021/2022 funding cycle $70,000.
The Advisory Committee will review proposals at the first regular meeting of the year. It will recommend to the Department the projects it wishes to fund and provide a suggested funding level. Recommended projects will be chosen based upon availability of funds, project type, industry need, and whether the project is new or ongoing. To qualify for consideration, proposals must have practical, near-term application that will stimulate an expanded Montana potato industry.
The Montana Potato Advisory Committee has established the following research priorities for the 2021-2022 funding cycle:
1. Management of potato viruses and their vectors;
2. Stem and tuber diseases caused by fungi and bacteria (such as blackleg, scab, soft rot and ringrot); and
3. Weeds as alternate hosts for potato pathogens.
Research proposals must be innovative. To meet this burden, the applicant must demonstrate that there is not currently any relevant research available that is applicable to Montana producers. If relevant research is available, the applicant must explain how the proposed research will build upon the previous research.
WHO MAY APPLY
Public and private entities, organizations, businesses, educational institutions, local governments, and individuals are eligible to submit proposals.
Proposals for funding will be accepted from:
-Public and Private Agencies and Organizations
-Business and Industry
If two or more individuals or organizations propose to conduct a project jointly, they should submit one application as co-applicants.
Applicants must demonstrate a proven ability to carry out all elements of the proposed project. In addition, applicants proposing to rely upon the expertise of another individual or organization to undertake any part of the project must clearly define the responsibilities of that party as well as provide evidence of their willingness and demonstrated ability to undertake that area of responsibility.
Projects that address research programs to improve the quality of seed potatoes, develop and improve control measures for diseases and pests that attack potatoes, improve potato-growing culture, dissemination of such information, or plan, and conduct publicity and sales promotion campaigns will be considered.
Projects should be undertaken in Montana. Proposals for projects to be conducted outside of Montana must present clear evidence that the Montana potato industry will benefit from the activity.
Eligible costs under the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program may include, but are not limited to:
-Salaries and Wages
-Consultant Services (professional, technical, operational)
-Advertising and Promotion
-Equipment (preferably leased versus direct acquisition)
-Supplies and Materials
-Communication (telephone, postage, printing, etc.)
Program funds cannot be used for the payment of institutional overhead or unassociated indirect costs. These costs can be used, however, in calculating the applicant match.
Under no circumstances shall funds awarded pursuant to this RFP be used for lobbying or political purposes.
In order to be considered, proposals must be responsive to the objectives identified in this RFP. Each proposal must be limited to one project or activity only, the title of which must appear on the application.
The purpose of the proposal application is to provide evaluators with a written statement containing enough information to demonstrate that the proposed activity is a sound approach to an important area of interest as outlined in the RFP, and that it merits financial support. Proposals will be judged principally on their adherence or conformity to the objectives and criteria indicated in this RFP, and the cost effectiveness of the proposed activity. The applicant may make a presentation in person at the Committee’s annual meeting. The Committee will then make a recommendation to the Department whether to fund the project and the Department will then notify the applicant within 30 days.
The Montana Potato Advisory Committee will recommend funding of successful projects through grant agreements under the Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program. Selected projects must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, licensing and regulations for funds to be awarded. Evidence of such compliance may be required.
The Department will develop a grant agreement, defining all project terms, conditions and responsibilities of the applicant. The grant agreement will, in addition, clarify all legal patents and proprietary rights that will result from the proposed activity. The grant agreement will incorporate this RFP and the successful applicant's final proposal among its provisions.
The Montana Department of Agriculture will notify each applicant whose proposal is not chosen for funding in writing within 30 days.
The Montana Department of Agriculture staff will be responsible for monitoring each funded project.
Specific terms and conditions of each funded project will be contained in the formal grant agreement.
The Committee/Department reserves the right to determine the extent of reporting requirements, subject to modification during the project. Interim reporting requirements will be based on the cost, duration and nature of the project.
A comprehensive final report will be required upon completion of the project. The final report should include:
- a comparison of actual findings and accomplishments of the project with goals and objectives described in the proposal;
- reasons for deviation from established goals of the proposal;
- a clear description of the commercial application and economic benefits, which accrued during the project;
- a description of its immediate impact;
- an estimate of its long-term commercial and economic benefits.
In addition to the final project report, the Committee reserves the right to conduct a follow-up survey of funded projects in order to determine long-term impact.
Reports must be submitted through the WebGrants system at https://funding.mt.gov/index.do
OWNERSHIP AND PUBLICATION OF MATERIALS
All information and materials generated by the proposed activity become the sole property of the State of Montana. The grant recipient will retain the right to utilize, reprint and distribute all said information and materials.
The Montana Potato Advisory Committee or the Montana Department of Agriculture will not be held liable for any costs incurred by any firm for work performed in the preparation of and production of a proposal or for any works performed prior to the formal execution of a contract.
RIGHT TO KNOW
Proposals selected for funding and all related contracts shall be subject to disclosure under the Montana Right to Know Law. Further, proposals not selected for funding will be subject to disclosure under the Right to Know Law.
The Committee and Department reserve the right to:
- Reject any or all proposals received pursuant to this RFP
- Waive or modify minor irregularities in proposals received after prior notification and concurrence of applicant
- Clarify the scope of this RFP, within the program requirements and with appropriate notice to all applicants, to best serve the interests of the state of Montana
- Amend the RFP specifications after their release, with appropriate written notice to all potential applicants
- Require a good faith effort on the part of the project sponsors to work with the Committee and the Department of Agriculture.
DEADLINES AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Proposals submitted under this RFP must be received on or before 5:00pm on October 22, 2021. Proposals must be submitted through the WebGrants system at https://funding.mt.gov/index.do
• Register Online. Before you can fill out an application, make sure that you have registered and received a username and password at https://funding.mt.gov/index.do - see attached instructions below "WebGrants Registration Instructions"
• Log In. After registering, log in with your username and password and click "Start a New Application". Then fill out the application forms provided, being sure to "Save" often to avoid losing data. Application Instructions are also provided below.
Questions about this RFP should be directed to:
Montana Potato Research & Market Development Program
Montana Department of Agriculture - ADD
PO Box 200201
Helena, Montana 59620-0201
Dani Jones (Danielle.Jones@mt.gov )