On June 1, 2016, the Forever Green Agricultural Initiative issued a University of Minnesota internal request for proposals (RFP) for research projects that focus on the development of perennial and winter annual crops and cropping systems for addressing Minnesota agriculture’s productivity, efficiency and adaptability to variable climates. A total of 24 proposals were received.
A committee composed of eight University of Minnesota faculty members from the departments of Agronomy and Plant Genetics; Applied Economics; Horticultural Sciences; Soil, Water and Climate; and Food Science and Nutrition, served as reviewers. Two of the members of the committee are USDA employees with adjunct appointments to the University. In addition one member of the Minnesota farming community participated in the review by reading and then sending in comments for consideration. Each of the 24 proposals were reviewed and scored by each of the eight committee members, based on review criteria as stated in the RFP.
On September 9, 2016, a subset of four committee members, plus one University of Minnesota staff member and one staff member from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, met to discuss and make recommendations for funding. To address any potential conflicts of interest, any review committee member who also served as Principal Investigator or co-investigator on a proposal to this RFP were not invited to attend the discussion, nor were they allowed to make any funding recommendations. The committee presented recommendations to Greg Cuomo, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education and Don Wyse, Professor of Agronomy and Principal Investigator on the Forever Green Initiative. Associate Dean Cuomo and Professor Wyse made final funding decisions.