Outreach and Education
RMA seeks to make Federal crop insurance available and accessible to as many producers as possible. By engaging with communities that have historically lacked access to resources and education, RMA identifies and addresses any obstacles to their participation in crop insurance.
Producers also need to know how to access and best utilize crop insurance and risk management tools. RMA funds education opportunities and partners with organizations nationwide to deliver risk management training to farmers and ranchers.
Through outreach and education RMA promotes the growth of the Federal crop insurance program and strengthens American agriculture.
RMA’s outreach and education activities primarily serve:
- Historically underserved and limited-resource producers
- Beginning farmers and ranchers
- Climate-smart agriculture
- Urban agriculture
- Livestock, dairy, and aquaculture producers
- Specialty crop and organic operations
- Regions with historically low participation rates in crop insurance
Every year, RMA funds partnerships, known as cooperative agreements, with nonprofits, universities, industry groups and others to deliver risk management education across the country. The training better equips producers to manage business risks. A cooperative agreement requires substantial involvement between RMA and the organization receiving funding. RMA Regional Offices provide technical assistance to funding recipients.
RMA Administrator, Marcia Bunger (center), with USDA employees visit with faculty from University of Nevada, Reno.
- RME Partnership Program 2023 Projects Announced
RMA 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.
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:
- 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.
- University of Nevada, Reno – Offers workshops on existing and emerging federal crop/livestock insurance programs in Nevada and throughout the West.
- Assistance with Cooperative Agreement Applications
RMA is offering a new service that assists entities serving underserved agricultural producers and communities with completing applications for funding opportunities.
This service can assist applicants applying for RME grant funding with:
- Formulating statements of work, performance work statements and statements of objectives.
- Completing cooperative agreement award and grant applications.
- Project management for those applicants receiving a cooperative agreement award or grant so that recipients meet all the milestones and reporting obligations, abide by proper funds management and burn-rate, and demonstrate successful execution, monitoring and controlling, and project closeout.
This service is available to underserved communities, ag-related non-profits, Tribal colleges and universities, Tribal higher education programs, 1890 Land Grant Universities, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities.
RMA encourages interested parties to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
- Grant Writing Workshops
RMA hosted two webinars covering the application process for the Risk Management Education Program. For those who were unable to attend the live webinars, here is a recording of the training.
- Nationwide Survey on USDA Programs
Producers can now take a nationwide survey to help USDA improve and increase access to its programs and services, including those offered by RMA. Learn more or take the survey.
- Outreach Activities
RMA engages with producers and grower groups at national conferences, local town halls, meetings, and listening sessions. This dialogue helps address barriers that may hinder some producers from participating in Federal crop insurance. RMA analyzes data and feedback from these interactions to improve services and insurance products.
RMA is offering virtual and in-person workshops for agricultural producers and stakeholders to learn about the latest updates and improvements to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) and the Micro Farm insurance options. WFRP and Micro Farm are two of the most comprehensive risk management options available. RMA will announce in-person events later this fall. These insurance options are especially important to specialty crop, organic, urban, and direct market producers. Learn more about the workshops.
- Previous Outreach Agreements
Since 2021, RMA has invested more than $5 million in partnerships involving more than 25 projects with dozens of awardees (and sub-awardees) to expand outreach and education on crop insurance through the Risk Management Education Partnership Program, which is authorized under Section 522(d) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. Learn more in our August 11, 2022 news release and July 29, 2021 news release.
Additionally, in 2022, RMA announced a $3.3 million in two partnerships with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) and the University of Arkansas’ Southern Risk Management Education Center. Learn more in our November 2, 2022 news release.
- Agricultural Management Assistance Program
In states where participation in Federal crop insurance has been historically low, RMA provides funding to help growers manage financial risk through diversification, marketing, or natural resource conservation practices. The Agricultural Management Assistance program, or AMA, is available in 16 states, including Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.