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USDA Awards $25.05 Million in Partnership Agreements to Develop Risk Management Tools and Education

Location: Washington, DC


WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2005 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced awards of approximately $25.05 million in agricultural risk management partnership agreements.

"The Bush Administration is committed to providing farmers and ranchers the best and most reliable risk management tools available," said Johanns. "Through these partnerships, women, minority, limited-resource, and other traditionally underserved agricultural producers will receive assistance in understanding and using risk management tools to improve their economic viability."

The agreements provide funds for projects to develop new risk management tools for farmers and ranchers, as well as outreach and education opportunities to limited-resource and other traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers.

Community Outreach and Assistance Agreements - $6.9 million

Sixty-four competitively awarded partnerships with community-based, educational, and nonprofit organizations will use $6,970,780 million to educate women, limited-resource, and other traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers. For example, Concentric Management, Inc. will use its award of $190,000 for a project entitled Meat Goats: Alternative Livestock Production as a Tool for Risk Management. This North Carolina-based project will demonstrate successful strategies to manage and mitigate aggregate risks of farms owned and operated by women, socially disadvantaged, and other traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers and serve as a training pilot for management systems, which can be transferred to other small scale livestock operations.

Research and Development Agreements - $8.2 million

USDA awarded twenty agreements, totaling $8,238,242 million, to qualified public and private organizations for research and development of new non-insurance risk management tools. For example, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln received $1,023,038 for their project, Rangeland and Forage Geospatial Decision Support System for Drought Risk Management. This project will develop risk management tools to assist forage and rangeland producers by expanding the innovative Vegetation Drought Response Index (Veg DRI).

Education Partnership Agreements and Targeted States - $9.95 million

The Targeted States Program will use $4,400,971 to deliver crop insurance education to producers in 15 historically underserved states through cooperative agreements. Specialty crop, livestock, nursery, and horticulture producers will benefit from $5,237,680 million in education partnership agreements for forty commodity partnership programs. Small Sessions is a new category of Education Partnership Agreements this year. Thirty-two smaller projects, with a total award amount of $316,141 in amounts up to $10,000 each, are awarded for projects such as the one in Louisiana and surrounding states. This multi-state project will provide information to help producers reduce the risks of direct marketing their raw and value-added products; and a project in the Northeast will create farm to cafeteria initiatives to assist limited resource farmers to manage risk by building alternative markets.

Complete listings of the agreements can be found on the RMA website at:

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