I recently had the pleasure of visiting Arkansas and meeting with several stakeholders.  The highlight of the trip was a stop at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and now an official Risk Management Education partner of the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

At the school we announced that RMA is funding 16 new Risk Management Education projects, which begin this month.  We are investing more than $2 million to deliver valuable training to farmers and ranchers in every region of the country.

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RMA meeting with faculty of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff


The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff received $100,000 from RMA this year to deliver production, financial, legal, and marketing risk education to socially disadvantaged and limited resource producers in 21 counties in eastern Arkansas and seven counties in southwest Arkansas.

“I was very glad to know that RMA funded our project because it will give us an opportunity to provide risk management education to underserved producers,” Dr. Henry English, director of the university’s Small Farm Program told me.  “In most cases underserved producers do not have access to risk management education.”

An agronomist by training, Dr. English now leads a program that covers many areas of farming, including risk management education.  He has taught at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for approximately 30 years.

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RMA leaders discuss risk management education and how to best reach historically underserved communities Pine Bluff, Arkansas, August 11, 2022

“The students will have an opportunity to attend all risk management workshops and the student workers will examine and review crop insurance materials that will be sent to farmers,” Dr. English explained.  “The attendees will have a better understanding of crop insurance and how record keeping affects the entire risk management area.”

RMA has many projects geared toward assisting historically underserved communities in the South, with other projects in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.  Total combined funding for projects in this region total roughly $1.2 million. 

I want to thank Dr. Henry English and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and RMA’s Jackson Regional Office team for coordinating a great trip this week.  I learned so much, and nothing beats seeing the impact of our efforts up close. 

Our other Regional Offices will be working with partners, like the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, for the next 12 months on similar training opportunities.  I am grateful for all their hard work and dedication.

– Marcia

Marcia Bunger

Marcia Bunger is the Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). Prior to her appointment, she served as a County Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency. A native South Dakotan, Bunger is also the owner and operator of a 2000-acre farm, a cum laude graduate of Augustana College, and the first member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and first woman to serve as RMA Administrator.