The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it is awarding about $6.5 million to 22 organizations to educate underserved, small-scale, and organic producers on farm risk management and climate-smart farm practices. The funding from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) provides assistance through its Risk Management Education (RME) partnerships for organizations, such as nonprofits and land grant universities, to develop training and resources for producers about risk management options.
“This funding and these partnerships are integral to our outreach efforts in communities that historically have not had access to training about risk management options. Our Risk Management Education partnerships are part of USDA’s broader efforts to ensure equity and access to programs,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger while visiting the University of Nevada, Reno, a 2023 RME recipient. “As a farmer, I know first-hand that agriculture is a risky business. We need to work with growers, and livestock producers to provide them training and resources about risk management options and how to apply them to their farming businesses.”
This almost $6.5 million investment builds on the $6.5 million that RMA has already provided in partnerships since 2021. RMA advertised available funding in January 2023, and this year’s recipients include nonprofits, historically black colleges and universities, and university extensions, among others.
The University of Nevada, Reno will use funds to provide risk management education to producers throughout Nevada. “Our relationship with the Risk Management Agency is critical in identifying producers risk management needs and then working with RMA to address those needs is the key to success for Nevada producers,” said Staci Emm, professor and Extension educator at the University’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources. “Increasing knowledge in risk management insurance products and programs gives Nevada producers more management options.”
In addition to the University of Nevada, Reno other recipients include:
- AgriLogic Consulting, LLC – Provides a risk management overview at the Farmer Veteran Coalition annual meeting and nine webinar sessions on risk management topics.
- Annie’s Project – Concentrates on reaching women who are involved in urban agriculture, traditional commodities, underserved commodities and specialty crops to teach risk management.
- Center for Rural Affairs – Develops educational materials in English and Spanish on crop insurance options for organic and specialty crop operations.
- Clemson University – Supports production risk management by increasing crop insurance and participation in USDA Farm Service Agency disaster programs and reducing premiums through risk pooling.
- Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology – Educates producers how to mitigate risks and manage decisions about enterprise diversification, climate-smart conservation methods, and effective business and marketing practices.
- Custom Ag Solutions – Provides a digital learning platform, including a simulator that teaches youth about risk management and business considerations for owning and operating a farm or ranch. Provides training for crop insurance professionals.
- Daitaas, LLC – The program, launching as a pilot called T.E.A.M. (Technology Empowerment Action Measurement), educates, measures and optimizes financial management on a farm-by-farm and ranch-by-ranch basis.
- Farmer Campus – Continue building courses, resources and a network to help with wildfire risk management in California. Farmer Campus was a previous awardee, working on on-farm climate and wildfire resilience in the West.
- Iowa Organic Organization – Provides underserved Iowa farmers with education and technical support to manage organic production risks.
- Iroquois Indian Tribal Confederacy, Inc. – Promotes risk management tools and SWOT analysis in crop risk management.
- Michigan Food & Farming Systems – Delivers curriculum for Farm Business Management for the Global Majority training to new-to-early-stage socially disadvantaged producers in Michigan.
- Montana State University – Develops new risk management delivery tools through the climate hub partnership, to prepare farmers and ranchers to adapt to extreme weather.
- Napa Valley Grapegrowers – Provides climate risk management education in English and Spanish to Napa winegrape producers.
- National Crop Insurance Services – Teaches participants about features of Whole Farm Revenue Protection and Micro Farm insurance options and provides risk management and marketing plans for limited resource and underserved producers.
- North-South Institute – Continues the expansion of risk management education to small-scale specialty crop and underserved producers in Florida using selected insurance and non-insurance-based tools.
- RMA SE Ambassador – Cultivates relationships within the agriculture communities to champion outreach to the traditionally underserved producers throughout the Southeastern United States.
- Rural South Institute – Promotes crop insurance and risk management education opportunities among producers of color. Provides financial and marketing education and on-farm demonstrations to promote climate-smart agriculture and conservation practices.
- Seven Rivers Resource and Conservation Development Council – Assists beginning and limited-resource specialty crop and livestock producers on financial literacy, heirs property and estate planning, and the Micro Farm Program policy.
- Society for Range Management – Delivers in-person and virtual training on market risk management and available risk management tools for cattle producers.
- The Gleaning Network of Texas – Offers in-person workshops on risk management assistance to North Texas farmers, focusing on specialty crop growers.
- University of Connecticut – Offers workshops on how crop insurance can minimize the impact of crop loss and its effect on the financial health of a business.