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Integrated Risk Management Education and Information for Agricultural Managers and Educators in the Western United States

March 18, 2002 (Chicago) The agricultural business environment has become more complex and challenging to agricultural managers. Without a clear picture of the direction in which the 2002 farm policy might be headed, producers are faced with shorter decision times in responding to changes in not only national agricultural policy, but also the structure of output and product markets, the technology and industrial organization of the agricultural production, and the structure and regulation of input markets. Additional complication arise by the increase of regional issues such as; controlling pest populations and resistance, management of nutrient and pesticide runoff, water and groundwater management, BT crop buffers, genetic drift, and tracking and coordinating response to disease.

Farm and ranch managers are also uncertain about the potential and means for achieving diversification benefits by incorporating enterprises and distribution channels into their operations that are outside of traditional production agriculture which may help in the viability and sustainability of the family operation. A final, but very important source of future uncertainly faced by agricultural producers is labor. The western United States depends more heavily on hired employees than in the rest of the nation.

With this in mind, Farm Foundation is partnering with the Western Management and Marketing Extension Committee (WMMEC) to 1) develop education materials on the management of risks pertinent to agriculture in the western United States; 2) develop a risk information delivery system; and 3) provide education on risk management to managers and extension educators in the agricultural sector.




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