FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2017
Kristina Hubbard, firstname.lastname@example.org, (406) 544-8946
RMA Announces New Cooperative Agreements for Risk Management Programs
Organic Seed Alliance to Provide Training to Farmers Across the Country
Port Townsend, WA – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently awarded 52 cooperative agreements under the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program totaling approximately $4.8 million. This includes nine first-time award recipients and 10 national projects that involve multiple RMA regions. RMA also awarded 24 cooperative agreements under the Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States Program totaling approximately $5 million.
While organic food sales continue to increase, the organic seed supply lags behind in meeting the needs of farmers. Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) has been awarded two cooperative agreements with RMA that together will provide training and resources to support organic seed producers throughout the country to help fill this gap.
The first project will help farmers reduce financial risk in commercial seed production by providing a daylong training on the economics of organic seed production at OSA’s 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference. This training will also be made available as a live webinar and recorded as an online tutorial.
The second project will train organic specialty crop growers in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota in conducting on-farm variety trials. These trainings will be a combination of on-farm intensives, conference workshops, a webinar series, and an online toolkit aimed at reducing producers’ risk of crop loss, increasing their agronomic success and crop marketability, and facilitating compliance with the National Organic Program’s organic certification requirements.
“RMA is pleased to provide this type of educational support to farmers and rural America to help mitigate risk,” says Heather Manzano, Acting Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. “These programs will provide information on Crop Insurance 101 and Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), among other programs.”
“Organic agriculture can provide benefits for farmers, consumers, and the environment, but organic farmers also face risks above and beyond the risks that all farmers face,” says Jared Zystro, OSA’s Research and Education Assistant Director. “We are honored to partner with RMA to help organic farmers reduce risk and increase their chance of success.”
RMA provides funding for organizations in the form of cooperative agreements to provide education and training nationwide. Earlier this year RMA announced the availability of funds for risk management education and training to assist producers, including limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers. The funding also targeted training for new producers and military veterans returning to farm and ranch. Our organization is a recipient of one of these cooperative agreements.
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Organic Seed Alliance advances ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world. Learn more at www.seedalliance.org.
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