The Agricultural Marketing Service is seeking impartial peer reviewers to evaluate 2015 applications to the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP), which include two competitive grant programs authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill. These competitive grant programs include:
- The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), which will fund projects that to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities.
- Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), which will fund the planning or implementation of projects that assist in the development, improvement, and/or expansion of local and regional food business enterprise supply chain activities (non-direct-to-consumer). Examples include but are not limited to: food hubs, food aggregators, food distributors, food wholesalers, food processors and other value-added production enterprises, such as shared-use kitchen or kitchen incubator operations.
Prospective reviewers are expected to have knowledge of the operational aspects of direct-to-consumer and regional/local marketing venues, a background in local agriculture and agricultural retail, or farm-to-table marketing experience. Reviewers will apply their knowledge and expertise to score and comment on the grant applications.
Selected reviewers must commit approximately 4 to 6 weeks for the FMLFPP review process. Reviewers will be organized into teams of 3, including a designated leader and follow a pre-set scoring rubric. Individuals will review 15 to 20 proposals, each requiring 1 to 3 hours to complete, and participate in a group review online to reach a consensus score and develop comments for applicants.
Applicants for FMLFPP grants are not eligible to serve as reviewers. Peer reviewers will not evaluate proposals for which they – or their organizations – have a conflict of interest. Selected reviewers must sign a confidentiality agreement to refrain from sharing information about the process, the applications, and the outcomes during and after the evaluation AMS will be accepting peer reviewer applications until April 27.
If you’re interested in being a peer reviewer, please send a completed Reviewer Application Form and resume to USDALFPPQuestions@ams.usda.gov
. Indicate in the subject line of your email which program (FMPP or LFPP) that you are applying to participate in (i.e., 2015 FMPP Reviewer Application).