A market survey is being conducted to determine if there are adequate Small Business, SBA certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), Women-Owned, or Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) contractors available for a proposed project who meet the specific criteria outlined below.

This is a SOURCES SOUGHT NOTICE ONLY. This is not a solicitation Announcement or Request for Quote. It does not constitute any commitment by the Government. No award will result from this notice. The purpose is to conduct market research to gain knowledge of potentially qualified sources and to determine the capability of Small Business and/or Large Business companies to provide the supplies/services described below. Responses to this Sources Sought Notice will be used by the Government to make an appropriate acquisition decision. Department of Agriculture (ARS) requests responses from ALL socioeconomic categories in order to gain a more complete understanding of the market for these products and service.

The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) will not award a contract on the basis of responses or pay for the preparation of any information submitted. Respondents will not be notified of the results of this notice. After completing an analysis of the responses, the Government will determine whether to limit competition to 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, Women-Owned, or other small business firms, or to proceed with issuing an unrestricted solicitation, inviting full and open competition.

The NAICS code for the expected acquisition is 334516, with a Size Standard of 1,000 employees and the PSC Code is 6640. Any subsequent procurement will be conducted as a commercial item purchased in accordance with FAR Part 12 and as a Simplified Acquisition Procedure in accordance with FAR Part 13.

The Department of Agriculture (ARS) has the need for the following products:

001) Autosampler

Scope of Work:

The USDA-ARS Forage-Animal Production Research Unit (FAPRU) in Lexington, KY is seeking sources for an autosampler.


Through an improved understanding of the animal-plant interface, and the novel management strategies that result, the overall goal of this research project to improve the productivity and well-being of grazing livestock will be realized. Multidisciplinary research at the bench and on the farm will determine the mechanisms behind the interaction of detrimental fungal secondary metabolites with the host animal and resident gut microbes and how this interaction is affected by beneficial plant secondary metabolites. Research will be conducted from animal physiological, microbiological, and pasture-based perspectives to yield outcomes that aid in the understanding of complexities associated with consumption of ergot alkaloids and isoflavones. Information gained from this research will permit the development of novel mitigation strategies, selection for a genetic phenotype, and management approaches that can mitigate the effects of fescue toxicosis as well as improve nutrient efficiency and animal health. Comparison of existing and novel strategies will determine the most cost-effective strategy. The objectives will lead to improvements in growth, performance, and well-being of grazing livestock.

The item is a component (autosampler) of an existing instrument that is used to chemically analyze samples in support of project described in Scope of Work. The component will replace a 12-year-old component that currently constitutes the front end of the instrument. It is an economic advantage that the instrument components can be replaced piece-meal. It is also a productivity advantage because purchase of an entirely new instrument would necessitate re-validation of all methods currently employed on the instrument, which is a considerable expenditure of time.

Technical Requirements: 

  • Must be an autosampler.
  • Must be mechanically compatible with a Dionex HPLC system.
  • Must be compatible with Chromeleon control software, which is currently available from Thermo.
  • Must have Integrated column compartment.
  • Must have analytical scale pulled-loop sampler with sample thermostatting ranging from 8-45 °C.
  • Must be able to inject 20, 50, or 200 µL.
  • Must have less than 0.02% carryover.
  • Must have a maximum operating pressure of 62 MPa or better.
  • Must include installation.
  • Installation cannot void warranty on other components.

There is no contractor that will require access to a government facility apart from a service technician to conduct installation. Installation will have to be coordinated with location personnel. The service technician will have to complete an attestation of vaccination and agree to follow all pandemic procedures. They should contact location personnel at least one week in advance.


Travel related to installation is to be included in the purchase price.

Contractor’s Key Personnel:

The service technician. Resume is not required.

Evaluation Factors: 

Lowest price, technically acceptable. The government intends to award a firm-fixed price award based on the lowest price technically acceptable product. The lowest priced product will be evaluated first; if not found acceptable, the next lowest priced product will be evaluated, and so on until an acceptable product is identified. The government will not review higher priced products if the lowest priced product is determined to be technically acceptable. For a vendor’s products to be considered technically acceptable, they must meet all of the technical requirements identified in the solicitation.

Key Deliverables:

  • Autosampler
  • Delivery
  • Installation
  • Training/Orientation
  • Service to change source of needle wash


Delivery is to be made to the USDA-ARS FAPRU located at 100 South Limestone, N-220 Ag Sci North, University of Kentucky Campus, Lexington, KY 40506 within 90 days of award. Installation shall be scheduled with location personnel within 10 working days of product delivery. The service technician shall demonstrate functionality at the time of installation.

The vendor shall provide all items F.O.B: destination. Location of the Government site is aboard USDA-ARS Lexington, KY and will be identified in the contract. The Government anticipates award of a Firm Fixed Price contract.

Capability Statement:

Companies who have the experience, as well as an interest in doing business with ARS, should submit a Capabilities Statement which, for this notice, is not expected to be a proposal, but rather short statements regarding the company’s ability to demonstrate their expertise and experience in relation to the areas specified in this notice.

Companies should also indicate whether they are a Small Business, SBA-certified HUBZone, SBA-certified 8(a), SDVOSB, or Women-Owned Small Business.

To be eligible, all vendors must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) with a current and active registration. A DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number is required in order to register in SAM. A vendor can contact SAM by calling 1-866-606-8220 or e-mail at www.sam.gov. NO EXCEPTIONS. Vendor must include their DUNS# on their capability statements.

Finally, to be eligible, all vendors must be NDAA 889 Certified. If they do not currently have a NDAA 889 Certification, then they must complete the attached NDAA 889 Certification form and submit it to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov so that they can be added to the list of NDAA 889 Certified vendors.

Submitting a Capability Statements:

Responses should be submitted via email to aaron.dimeo@usda.gov by Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Telephone inquiries will not be accepted.


This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Respondents are also advised that under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of information or provide feedback about any of the information received.  After review of the responses received, the Government may issue a pre-solicitation synopsis and solicitation. No proprietary, sensitive, confidential or classified information shall be included with your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation.