The Agricultural Marketing Service is currently seeking impartial peer reviewers to evaluate LFPP applications for the 2015 application period. LFPP, a competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill, 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. Reviewers will receive a stipend following the completion of the process.
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.