; Successfully Promoting Farm Risk Management to Women, Hispanic and Beginning Farmers in Pennsylvania | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Successfully Promoting Farm Risk Management to Women, Hispanic and Beginning Farmers in Pennsylvania

Winifred McGee, Lynn Kime, and Joel Shannon


Many educational meetings for new and beginning farmers focus on production, marketing/sales and anticipated revenue. When, or if, crop insurance and risk management are addressed, the needed multi-year financial and production historical records to purchase coverage may cause participants to put these Whole Farm and NAP “on the back burner,” rather than actively planning when and how they will begin use. In a similar way, women and minority producers of specialty crops may not understand how current activities can lead to a successful risk mitigation portfolio, including risk reduction and insurance coverage, in the future. From October 2016 to September 2017, a Penn State Extension team conducted a USDA Risk Management Education Partnerships grant project, instructing Spanish-language, women, and start-up farmers to proactively address risk management through strategic business planning to increase profitability, sustainability, and quality of life in agriculture. This program focused on Crop Insurance and Risk Management strategies and tools most appropriate to producers of specialty crops (vegetables, fruits, honey, herbs, and value added food products) not covered in the Federal Crop Insurance Plan. Although a significant number of contacts was made at trade shows, the greatest practice change occurs when a farmer attends a workshop.

In the fall of 2017, a survey of workshop attendees for this project was conducted to determine practice change. A representative sample (N = 175) was invited to participate in on-line and telephone surveys, with a 54% response rate (n = 94); 67% of the respondents indicated taking three or more specific risk management actions as a result of workshop attendance (some reporting as many as sixteen actions).

This poster will share significant impacts of this educational program that were discovered through the survey, and provide ideas about how this might be replicated in other states. Copies of the 8 Insurance Fact Sheets that were generated in this project will also be distributed.