Growers were eligible for assistance under TAA when it was determined the national average price for a crop declined by at least 20 percent when compared to the crop’s price during the five previous marketing years. The Maine Wild Blueberry Commission applied for assistance and was one of the few commodities to be approved in 2003. One hundred wild blueberry growers received 2.8 cents per pound for berries marked in 2002, which provided $239,228 in relief to growers who lost money on their 2002 crop. The Act required Cooperative Extension to provide an educational program to assist growers in evaluating their cropping practices and to educate then on improving efficiencies and developing alternative strategies to keep their operations economically viable. This effort was coordinated by the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education at the University of Delaware. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Blueberry Specialist developed power point presentations on ´World Trade Situation and Outlook´, ´Enterprise Budgets´, ´Production Efficiencies´, ´Improving Quality´, and Marketing Opportunities´. These presentations were combined with business and financial presentations developed by the University of Minnesota and presented as a web based course and a 120 page printed ´Wild Blueberry Technical Assistance Curriculum´. Maine Cooperative Extension county faculty assisted the blueberry specialist in presenting this program to Maine growers. This financial assistance and training provided Maine wild blueberry growers the educational resources to produce a wild blueberry crop that will be competitive with Canadian wild blueberries and cultivated blueberries produced in North America.
|Conference||2005 National Extension Risk Management Education Conference|