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UNCE secures $332,000 in risk management grants

Posted 12/14/2010

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has been awarded $332,000 in grants for programs to help farmers and ranchers manage risk and to bring more education to women and youth working in the state’s agricultural industry.

The grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provide $85,000 for the upcoming Great Basin Women and Youth in Agriculture Conference, which is scheduled for June in Las Vegas. This conference will assist women and youth involved in agriculture from Nevada, Idaho and Utah to effectively manage financial, production, marketing, legal and human resource risks associated with the agricultural business.

Conference attendees will learn about small farm marketing, farm-to-school program opportunities and food safety issues. There will be sessions on such things as:

  • Raising produce in commercial hoop houses
  • Efficient irrigation systems
  • Business planning and recordkeeping
  • Food safety and inspection regulations
  • School and urban gardens

A separate $247,461 grant will help UNCE, in partnership with Utah State University, provide education across the state to teach socially disadvantaged, beginning or transitional farmers and ranchers about insurance and risk management, federal crop insurance and risk management education. This support will ensure that farmers and ranchers stay in business despite the challenges posed by weather, economics and the marketplace.

The money from the USDA Risk Management Agency is designed to increase the participation and skill level of Nevada agriculture producers engaged in agriculture by providing them with small business skills and the knowledge to manage an agricultural enterprise in an arid region.

"This funding will help us provide community-based educational opportunities for women and youth, small and limited-resource producers, and socially disadvantaged producers to be better managers in an inherently risky business," said Staci Emm, the Extension educator for Mineral County who, with colleagues Loretta Singletary, UNCE Northeast/Central Area director, Frank Flavin, UNCE Western Area Director and Randy Emm, Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program, was awarded the grants.

"For small and beginning farmers growing locally grown food, risk management often means understanding direct marketing including legal, financial, and food safety tools and information appropriate for the scale of their operation and the markets that they serve."

Nevada was one of 16 states awarded more than $5 million from the USDA to provide farmers with crop insurance education and information.

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