Risk management education grants go to programs with clear benefits

By MATTHEW WEAVER

Capital Press

There's not much time left for groups that are seeking grants to help farmers and ranchers learn about risk management.

The Washington State University Extension Western Management Center for Risk Management Education deadline for pre-proposals in the education grants program is 5 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The center provides funding in 13 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Islands.

Center director Jon Newkirk said projects that receive funding range from helping farmers develop marketing or succession plans to helping producers use crop insurance more effectively.

The program has also funded projects to help farmers and ranchers develop a business plan, a key criterion for lenders, Newkirk said.

The funds are provided through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

According to the center, the grants will fund projects conducted between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. Awards are typically between $5,000 and $50,000, but there is no absolute upper or lower limit.

To receive funding, applicants must be able to clearly identify the benefits to farmers and ranchers, Newkirk said.

He recommended that applicants read the resource materials on the center's Web site, and make sure they are clear about the gain for agricultural producers.

"Especially at the pre-proposal stage, that's really critical, much more important than having a well-designed program or anything else," Newkirk said.

Online

Access the Western Management Center for Risk Management Education Web site at www.westrme.wsu.edu.

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