Grant Funding Available for Risk Management Education
The four regional Extension Risk Management Education (ERME) Centers are accepting applications for the ERME Competitive Grant Program consisting of two funding opportunities: 1) Education Grants and 2) Producers Underserved by Crop Insurance Grants, with eligible applicants able to receive from $5,000 to $100,000 in grant funding. Grant applications are due on November 18, 2021. No match is required.
What is the purpose of the ERME Competitive Grant Program? The ERME provides funding for results and outcome-based risk management education projects designed to help producers learn and use tools and approaches that can reduce the adverse effects of the uncertainties of weather, yields, prices, credit, government policies, global markets and other factors, including human resources and legal issues – all of which may result in wide swings in farm income or threaten the economic viability of the farm or ranch.
While the four regional ERME centers have released Request for Applications (RFA) for these programs, this blog will focus on the RFA released by the Western Extension Risk Management Education Center (Western Center) that serves Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands. To find out more about RFAs released from the remaining ERME centers, visit this website.
What are the primary risks that projects need to address? One or more of the following five areas of risk should be addressed through project activities:
- Production Risk - Any production-related activity or event with a range of possible outcomes which could limit ag producers’ ability to achieve their financial goals is a production risk.
- Marketing Risk - Marketing is the part of a farm business that transforms production activities into financial success. Marketing risk is any market related activity or event that leads to the variability of prices ag producers receive for their products or pay for production inputs.
- Financial Risk - Financial risk encompasses those risks that threaten the financial health of the business, including: 1) Capital cost and availability; 2) Ability to meet on-time cash flow needs; 3) Ability to maintain and grow equity; and 4) Ability to absorb short-term financial shocks.
- Legal Risk - Legal risk involves commitments that have legal implications, such as production activities that fail to take appropriate safety precautions, marketing products which can involve contract laws and human issues dealing with employer/employee rules.
- Human Risk - Human risk management is the ability to keep all people who are involved in the business safe, satisfied and productive such as: a) Human health and well-being; b) Family and business relationships; c) Employee management; and d) Transition planning
What applicants are eligible? Any public or private organization that has demonstrated experience in providing agricultural education or other agriculturally related training to producers including forestland owners. This includes, but is not limited to:
- An 1862, 1890, or 1994 land grant institution, or other institutions of higher education, including community colleges, that deliver agricultural education.
- An Indian tribal community college, an Alaska Native cooperative college, an Indian tribe, or a national tribal organization
- A Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, Agricultural organizations, agencies, or other entities.
Individuals are not eligible applicants.
What projects are eligible for this program? ERME is soliciting applications under the following program areas: Education Grants and Producers Underserved by Crop Insurance Grants.
What are Education Grants? There are two eligible project types for Education Grants:
Standard Education Projects: The long-term goals for Standard Education Projects are to help producers achieve risk management results and outcomes that will improve their economic viability. Key objectives are to help producers understand the risks inherent in their operation, the methods and tools available to mitigate these risks, how to effectively use these methods and tools, and how to manage risk by implementing these methods and tools. Applications must articulate the primary source(s) of risk faced by their target audience and develop training activities that will help those producers take specific actions that generate measurable results from managing these risks. The maximum award for these projects will be $50,000 with a grant duration of 18 months. Each regional Center anticipates funding 12-15 new Standard Education Projects this year.
Exploratory Projects: These smaller, simplified grants are for the purpose of initiating new ideas through producer education programs which address farmer/rancher risk management education needs. Exploratory projects can be used to organize and host a producer education workshop or conference; or be used for development projects that lead to application for a Standard Education Project in a future year. The maximum award for these projects will be $5,000 with a grant duration of 18 months.
What are Producers Underserved by Crop Insurance Grants? The long-term goals for Producers Underserved by Crop Insurance projects are to enhance farm and ranch profitability and economic viability by enabling producers underserved by crop insurance to successfully manage one or more of the five primary sources of agricultural risk. Project results may include strategies other than crop insurance; however, the educational focus should align with enhanced understanding and use of crop insurance tools. Examples include recordkeeping, financial literacy, or marketing, as well as risk management strategies to use when a crop insurance program is not available or not applicable. A list of crop insurance educational topics can be found on page 8 of the RFA.
The maximum award for Producers Underserved by Crop Insurance Grants will be $100,000 with a grant duration of 18 months. Each regional Center anticipates funding 7-10 of these grants this year.
What are the regional priorities for the Western Center? The Western Center is particularly interested in encouraging proposals which address the following areas, broken out by project type:
- Education Projects: The regional priorities for Education Projects are resiliency management; mid to long term strategic management; and collaboration.
- Producers Underserved by Crop Insurance Projects: Priorities for these projects are record keeping to support risk management and use of crop insurance; technical assistance; and collaboration.
What is the project duration for this program? The project period for all project types is 18 months (April 1, 2022 – September 30, 2023).
ERME anticipates notifying successful and unsuccessful applicants by February 11, 2022.
Is there a cost-sharing or matching requirement for this program? This program does not allow matching support, including in-kind services.
When is the due date? Applications must be submitted to Extension Risk Management’s Results Verification System by November 18, 2021 by 5:00:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time).
The 2022 ERME Grant Program's Request for Applications can be found here.
For more information on these grants or how to apply with Morrison's assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 530-893-4764.