Funding Now Available for Farmer Risk Management Education
On Monday, September 16, four regional Extension Risk Management Education Centers jointly issued this year’s Requests for Applications (RFA) for their competitive grants program that provides funding for farmer-based risk management education, outreach and training. The Risk Management Education program offers a funding opportunity for projects led by cooperative extension, non-profit and community-based organizations that help farm and ranch families succeed through targeted risk management strategies.
Risk management strategies may address:
- Production Risk (e.g., crop insurance, diversification)
- Marketing Risk (e.g., contract production, direct marketing, marketing plans)
- Financial Risk (e.g., financial records and analysis, value-added enterprises)
- Legal Risk (e.g., food safety liability, environmental regulations)
- Human Risk (e.g., transition and estate planning, labor retention)
This program is required by statute to place an emphasis on strategies that assist beginning, immigrant and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers; farmers or ranchers that are preparing to retire and are using transition strategies to help new farmers or ranchers get started; and new or established farmers or ranchers that are converting production and marketing systems to pursue new markets. That provision of the farm bill was championed by NSAC.
Eligible organizations have until the end of business on November 17, 2014 to submit a proposal.
The Northeast, North Central, Southern, and Western regional centers each expect to fund 15-20 projects, with a maximum possible award amount of $50,000. Projects must fall within an 18-month time frame, beginning April 1, 2015 and completed no later than September 30, 2016.
Any public or private organization with demonstrated experience in providing agricultural education or training to producers, including forestland owners, is eligible to apply. Matching support is not required for this grant. Organizations proposing a multi-regional project must submit separate applications to each appropriate regional center.
Proposals will be evaluated using six criteria: proposed results, producer demand, team/organizational capacity and collaborators, results verification, innovative approach and review of past projects, and wide application. Successful applicants will be notified by February 16, 2015.
Since its creation in 2002, the RME program has used its $5 million in annual funding to support over 1,000 risk management education projects across all 50 states. Recent projects include risk management education programing targeted to women farmers through the University of Wyoming Extension, and workshops addressing retiring and beginning farmers’ business planning needs in northern California.
For more specifics on the RFA, funding priorities, and appropriate contacts, visit the appropriate regional RME Center website.