USDA awards $1.4 million in Arkansas for crop insurance training

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 722 views 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently invested about $3.3 million in two new partnerships that will train and equip the next generation of crop insurance agents, adjusters and outreach educators about crop insurance options.

The partnerships with the Intertribal Agriculture Council and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Southern Risk Management Education Center further efforts by USDA’s Risk Management Agency to broaden participation in crop insurance, especially among underserved producers.

“Crop insurance strengthens American agriculture, and we want to make sure all farmers, especially those traditionally left behind, are aware of the tools available to manage risk,” said RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “We have a lot of work to do to engage underserved producers in our risk management tools. These two partnerships will let us engage with communities that have historically lacked access to resources and education. Both partnerships aim to cultivate creativity and innovation as they work to empower, educate and provide outreach to underserved producers.”

About $1.4 million has been awarded to the Southern Risk Management Education Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. This partnership will strengthen outreach and technical assistance to underserved farmers and ranchers through the development of risk management program navigators. These navigators will be program specialists trained by project collaborators to provide strategic outreach and engage underserved agricultural populations about federal crop insurance.

Ronald Rainey, professor and assistant vice president at the university, says he is looking forward to the outreach opportunities their program will offer.

“The University of Arkansas’ Southern Risk Management Education Center is excited to leverage its risk management expertise and grass-roots relationships developed across the region to enhance understanding of RMA products and services. A collection of aligned project activities will intentionally seek to enhance engagement with communities and farmers who have been historically underserved by federal crop insurance,” he said.

These partners were chosen because they have a proven track record of success working with RMA and have the infrastructure needed to be successful in strengthening the education and outreach on increasing adoption of risk management tools in underserved agricultural communities. The Division of Agriculture has expertise and vast knowledge of working with underserved producers in the Southeastern region, according to USDA.