The Maine aquaculture sector is in development, and full of beginning farmers underserved by the Federal crop insurance program. Over the past year, the Maine Aquaculture Association (MAA) has created a series of resources including benchmarking studies, business planning tools, and two risk management two-pagers, which include details on crop insurance and a guide for beginning farmers. This project has taken risk management strategies used by terrestrial farmers and adapted them to an aquatic medium. Thanks, in part, to NERME, MAA has been able to host webinars and meet with growers to distribute these resources, and discuss the risk management strategies of growers through the lens of business planning and crop insurance options.
MAA has met with over 20 growers, almost all of whom are beginning farmers, and, as requested by growers, is following up and meeting with growers as they progress through their farm’s business planning and risk management processes. Many growers have stated that this was the first time that they had thought about the business, finances, and risk associated with their farm. A number have begun to create business plans using the resources provided by MAA, along with strategies to mitigate and manage risk on their farm and in their business. Several have also started enrolling in NAP, a program of which they were previously unaware. Many growers have also utilized these meetings and resources to discuss and change business strategies and risk profiles - especially given the impact of COVID-19 on seafood markets.
|2021 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference