16 U.S. Code § 3842 - Delivery of technical assistance
(a) Definition of eligible participant
In this section, the term “eligible participant” means a producer, landowner, or entity that is participating in, or seeking to participate in, programs for which the producer, landowner, or entity is otherwise eligible to participate in under this chapter or the agricultural management assistance program under section 1524 of title 7.
(b) Purpose of technical assistance
The purpose of technical assistance authorized by this section is to provide eligible participants with consistent, science-based, site-specific practices designed to achieve conservation objectives on land active in agricultural, forestry, or related uses.
(c) Provision of technical assistance
The Secretary shall provide technical assistance under this chapter to an eligible participant—
(d) Non-Federal assistance
The Secretary may request the services of, and enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with, other agencies within the Department or non-Federal entities to assist the Secretary in providing technical assistance necessary to assist in implementing conservation programs under this chapter.
(e) Certification of third-party providers
The purpose of the third-party provider program is to increase the availability and range of technical expertise available to eligible participants to plan and implement conservation measures.
Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, the Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to carry out this section.
In promulgating such regulations, the Secretary, to the maximum extent practicable, shall—
(A) ensure that persons with expertise in the technical aspects of conservation planning, watershed planning, and environmental engineering, including commercial entities, nonprofit entities, State or local governments or agencies, and other Federal agencies, are eligible to become approved providers of the technical assistance;
(B) provide national criteria for the certification of third party  providers; and
Effective for fiscal year 2008 and each subsequent fiscal year, funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation made available to carry out technical assistance for each of the programs specified in section 3841 of this title shall be available for the provision of technical assistance from third-party providers under this section.
(2) Term of agreement
An agreement with a third-party provider under this section shall have a term that—
(A) at a minimum, is equal to the period beginning on the date on which the agreement is entered into and ending on the date that is 1 year after the date on which all activities performed pursuant to the agreement have been completed;
(3) Review of certification requirements
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, the Secretary shall—
(4) Eligible activities
(A) Inclusion of activities
The Secretary may include as activities eligible for payments to a third party  provider—
(i) technical services provided directly to eligible participants, such as conservation planning, education and outreach, and assistance with design and implementation of conservation practices; and
The Secretary shall not designate as an activity eligible for payments to a third party  provider any service that is provided by a business, or equivalent, in connection with conducting business and that is customarily provided at no cost.
(g) Availability of technical services
(1) In general
(2) Technical service contracts
In any case in which financial assistance is not provided under a program referred to in paragraph (1), the Secretary may enter into a technical service contract with the eligible participant for the purposes of assisting in the planning, design, or installation of an eligible practice.
(h) Review of conservation practice standards
(1) Review required
The Secretary shall—
(A) review conservation practice standards, including engineering design specifications, in effect on the date of the enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008;
(B) ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, the completeness and relevance of the standards to local agricultural, forestry, and natural resource needs, including specialty crops, native and managed pollinators, bioenergy crop production, forestry, and such other needs as are determined by the Secretary; and
In conducting the review under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with eligible participants, crop consultants, cooperative extension and land grant universities, nongovernmental organizations, and other qualified entities.
(i) Addressing concerns of specialty crop, organic, and precision agriculture producers
(1) In general
The Secretary shall—
(A) to the maximum extent practicable, fully incorporate specialty crop production, organic crop production, and precision agriculture into the conservation practice standards; and
(2) Availability of adequate technical assistance
(A) In general
The Secretary shall ensure that adequate technical assistance is available for the implementation of conservation practices by producers involved with organic, specialty crop production, or precision agriculture through Federal conservation programs.
In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall develop—
(i) programs that meet specific needs of producers involved with organic, specialty crop production or precision agriculture through cooperative agreements with other agencies and nongovernmental organizations; and
 So in original. Probably should be “third-party”.
Source(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, § 1242, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, § 2701,May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 279; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, § 2706,May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1074; Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a), title II, § 2706,June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1802; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, § 2713(c),Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 772.)
References in Text
This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a), (c), (d), and (g)(1), was in the original “this title”, meaning title XII of Pub. L. 99–198, which enacted this chapter and former section 2005a of this title and amended sections 590g, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009 of this title, sections 4207 and 4209 of Title 7, Agriculture, and provisions set out as a note under section 1981 of Title 7.
The date of the enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, referred to in subsecs. (e)(2), (f)(3), and (h)(1)(A), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–246, which was approved June 18, 2008.
Pub. L. 110–234and Pub. L. 110–246made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234were repealed by section 4(a) ofPub. L. 110–246.
Section 2701 ofPub. L. 107–171, which directed that subtitle E of the Food Security Act of 1985 be amended by striking section 1242 and adding a new section 1242 (this section), was executed by striking section 1242 of subtitle E of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 and adding the new section 1242 in lieu thereof, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
A prior section 3842,Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, § 1242, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, § 341,Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1008, related to use of other agencies, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 107–171, title II, § 2701,May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 278. See Codification note above.
Another prior section 3842,Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, § 1242,Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1515, related to use of other agencies, prior to the general amendment of this subchapter by Pub. L. 104–127.
2014—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 113–79substituted “specialty” for “speciality” in heading.
2008—Pub. L. 110–246, § 2706, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to: in subsec. (a), provision of technical assistance to an eligible producer directly or through an approved third party; and, in subsec. (b), establishment of a system to certify third-party providers, transition provisions for persons that had provided assistance before May 13, 2002, and cooperative agreements or contracts with non-Federal entities.
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment