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Extension Risk Management Education (ERME) Competitive Grants Program

Grants to USA Educational Institutions and Tribal
Organizations to Address and Manage Risks in Agriculture

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center

Deadline Date:

11/16/17 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $2,000 and grants of up to $50,000 to USA higher education institutions and tribal organizations in eligible states to address and manage risk factors which negatively impact the agriculture industry. Eligible applicants are those with a demonstrated capacity to develop and deliver results and outcome-based risk management education and training programs to agricultural producers and their families.

Eligible states include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Projects funded under this announcement will be required to verify and document the results/outcomes of participating producers, including but not limited to: increase in economic viability; increase in profitability of farm and ranch operations; and/or the adoption of tools and strategies that measurably reduces any agricultural risk associated with production, marketing, financial, legal and human risk.

Risk Management Education Objectives - Risk management involves taking a deliberate and knowledgeable approach to dealing with one or more of the five primary sources of risk:

- Production Risk – Any production-related activity or event with a range of possible outcomes which could limit ag producers’ ability to achieve their financial goals is a production risk.
- Marketing Risk – Marketing is the part of a farm business that transforms production activities into financial success. Marketing risk is any market related activity or event that leads to the variability of prices ag producers receive for their products or pay for production inputs.
- Financial Risk – Financial risk encompasses those risks that threaten the financial health of the business, including: 1) Capital cost and availability; 2) Ability to meet on-time cash flow needs; 3) Ability to maintain and grow equity; and 4) Ability to absorb short-term financial shocks.
- Legal Risk – Legal risk involves commitments that have legal implications, such as production activities that fail to take appropriate safety precautions, marketing products which can involve contract laws and human issues dealing with employer/employee rules.
- Human Risk – Human risk management is the ability to keep all people who are involved in the business safe, satisfied and productive such as: 1) Human health and well-being; 2) Family and business relationships; 3) Employee management; and 4) Transition planning.

The Advisory Council encourages proposals geared toward factors that negatively impact farm profitability. Education programs that build business knowledge and resiliency to mitigate the effects of family emergencies, natural disasters (including extreme weather and climate change), regulations, economic conditions, and other unpredictable events are priority topics.

Specific topic areas might include the following:

1) Sustainability Within Farm Families – topics might include developing shared family goals, interpersonal communication among family members, conflict resolution, quality of life, and disability provisions for family members.
2) Leadership Training for Developing Farm Managers – topics might include assisting retiring farmers in sharing production and management practices with next generation farmers, understanding and executing successful record-keeping practices to maintain farm crop production histories, and asset protection through liability and crop insurance, business structure, wills and trusts and legal protections.
3) Lease and Land Tenure Agreements – access to farmland is an important aspect of farm management, which impacts the profitability of all farms. This priority topic might include projects directed toward small/beginning farmers and mid-size operators who wish to keep their land in agriculture.
4) Recordkeeping – crop insurance and production records are just some of the data that farmers need to maintain for regulation compliance, farm bill programs, loan requests, and good business management. Projects in this priority area might include topics addressing all areas of risk, such as, but not limited to: interpreting financial reports; understanding the data available through precision ag technology and software; and crop insurance reporting.
5) Urban Agriculture – the Northeast region, which includes many major metropolitan areas, is experiencing an increase in urban agriculture operations. Projects addressing this priority area might include topics such as: the basics (how-to); limitations and regulations; production method options and best practices; identifying appropriate markets and effective marketing approaches; and determining which (specialty) crops to produce.
6) Disease and Invasive Species – these types of risks may not be widespread, but could be very costly or even financially devastating to an operation, for example Dickeya Blackleg in potatoes and Palmer Amaranth in soybeans. Projects in this priority area should focus on education regarding preventative measures.

Applications will be accepted in the following two categories:
1. 2018 Education Projects ($50,000 maximum)

2. 2018 Exploratory Projects ($2,000 maximum)
This category is for projects proposed by first time applicants. The projects must be designed to deliver risk management education programming at the local level to a well-defined audience. Applications must be made by a project director with educational responsibilities in the county or local area where the program is to be delivered. The applicant must not have received previous funding from the ERME Competitive Grants Program; however, former applicants who were not funded are welcome to apply.

Only five Exploratory Project awards will be available in 2018. Applicants might submit project ideas that are truly exploratory in nature, and if successful, could be delivered in a more comprehensive manner in the future. These applications may demonstrate planning, development, or piloting efforts. The Northeast Center recognizes that, in some cases, piloting new programs, planning feasible program strategies, and building collaborative stakeholder groups may be necessary before effective risk management education programs can be proposed and delivered to producers. The Exploratory Project category will utilize an abbreviated application in the RVS.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162559

Number of Grants:

Approximately 60

Estimated Size of Grant:

- 2018 Education Projects: $50,000 maximum
- 2018 Exploratory Projects: $2,000 maximum

Term of Contract:

Awards will fund 18-month projects conducted between April 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center serves Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Eligible organizations are any public or private organization that has demonstrated experience in providing agricultural education or other agriculturally related training to producers including forestland owners.

This includes, but is not limited to:

-An 1862, 1890, or a 1994 land grant institutions, or other institutions of higher education, including community colleges, that deliver agricultural education.

-An Indian tribal community college, an Alaska Native cooperative college, an Indian tribe, or a national tribal organization.

-A Hispanic-serving institution of higher education, Agricultural organizations, agencies, or other entities.

For Exploratory/Local Level Grants, the applicant must not have received previous funding from the Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program; however, former applicants who were not funded are welcome to apply.

Individuals are not eligible applicants.

Unallowable costs:

- Alcoholic beverages
- Entertainment costs
- Promotional give away items such as tote bags, coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc.
- Incentives such as gift certificates, cash, etc. given to entice participation in meetings, surveys, and other events.
- Rent for grantee owned facilities
- Award ceremonies
- Receptions
- Proposal writing costs
- Meals – Meals are allowable when they are part of the cost of meetings and conferences, the primary purpose of which is the dissemination of technical information.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be submitted to Extension Risk Management’s Results Verification System (RVS) website by close of business on November 16, 2017. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered for funding.

ERME does not allow matching support for this program.

- Application deadline: November 16, 2017
- Applicant notification: February 12, 2018
- Project period for successful applicants begins: April 1, 2018

The Exploratory/Local Level grant category will utilize an abbreviated application. If approved, the applicant will be contacted and provided instructions for separately submitting a brief budget and budget narrative for the project.

Proposal resources:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Contacts by Region:

Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
2301 South University Ave
Little Rock, AR 72204

Erica B. Fields

Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center
University of Delaware
112 Townsend Hall
Newark, DE 19716-2130

Susan Olson

North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
303 Filley Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583

Christine Lockert

Western Extension Risk Management Education Center
Washington State University Extension
222 N. Havana
Spokane, WA 99202

Jo Ann Warner

Heather Schriver

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Connecticut;   Delaware;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New York City;   New York;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   Vermont;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia