7 CFR 1580.302 - Technical assistance and services.
(a) Initial Technical Assistance: A producer covered by a certification who has been determined by FSA to meet the requirements of § 1580.301 of this part, is eligible to receive Initial Technical Assistance through NIFA to be completed within 180 days of petition certification. Such assistance shall include information regarding:
(1) Improving the yield and marketing of that agricultural commodity, and
(2) The feasibility and desirability, of substituting one or more agricultural commodities for that agricultural commodity.
(b) Intensive Technical Assistance: Upon completion of Initial Technical Assistance, a producer is eligible to participate in Intensive Technical Assistance. Intensive Technical Assistance shall consist of:
(1) A series of courses to further assist the producer in improving the competitiveness of producing the agricultural commodity certified under § 1580.203 of this part, or another agricultural commodity, and
(2) Assistance in developing an initial business plan based on the courses completed under paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) During Intensive Technical Assistance: NIFA shall deliver and the producer shall be required to attend a series of Intensive Technical Assistance workshops relevant to the circumstances of the producer.
(d) Initial Business Plan: Upon completion of the Initial and Intensive Technical Assistance, the producer shall be required to develop an Initial Business Plan recommended by NIFA and approved by the Administrator (FAS) before receiving an adjustment assistance payment. The Initial Business Plan will:
(1) Reflect the skills gained by the producer through the courses described in paragraph (c) of this section; and
(2) Demonstrate how the producer will apply those skills to the circumstances of the producer.
(e) Upon approval of the Initial Business Plan, the producer will receive an amount not to exceed $4,000 to implement the Initial Business Plan or develop a Long-Term Business Adjustment Plan.
(f) A producer who completes the Intensive Technical Assistance and whose Initial Business Plan has been approved shall be eligible, in addition to the amount under paragraph (e) of this section, for assistance in developing a Long-Term Business Adjustment Plan.
(g) Long-Term Business Adjustment Plan: The Long-Term Business Adjustment Plan shall:
(1) Include steps reasonably calculated to materially contribute to the economic adjustment of the producer to changing market conditions;
(2) Take into consideration the interests of the workers employed by the producer; and
(3) Demonstrate that the producer will have sufficient resources to implement the business plan.
(h) Upon recommendation by NIFA and approval of the producer's Long-Term Business Adjustment Plan by the Administrator (FAS), the producer shall be entitled to receive an amount not to exceed $8,000 to implement their Long-Term Business Adjustment Plan.
(i) The Initial Business Plan and Long-Term Business Adjustment Plan must be completed and approved within 36 months after a petition is certified.
(j) A producer shall not receive a combined total of more than $12,000 for the Initial Business Plan and the Long Term Business Adjustment Plan in the 36-month period following petition certification.
(k) The Administrator (FAS) may authorize supplemental assistance necessary to defray reasonable transportation and subsistence expenses incurred by a producer in connection with the initial technical assistance, if such initial technical assistance is provided at facilities that are not within normal commuting distance of the regular place of residence of the producer. NIFA and FSA will work with the producer and the Administrator (FAS) to facilitate application for and proper payment of reasonable allowable supplemental expenses. The Administrator (FAS) will not authorize payments to a producer:
(1) For subsistence expenses that exceed the lesser of:
(i) The actual per diem expenses for subsistence incurred by a producer; or
(ii) The prevailing per diem allowance rate authorized under Federal travel regulations; or
(2) For travel expenses that exceed the prevailing mileage rate authorized under the Federal travel regulations.