All Funded Projects


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  • Year(s): 2015

  • Region(s): Western ERME

  • State(s): All

  • Topic(s): All

    • Production





  • Audience Group(s): All

19 records returned

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"Ties To The Land"

Award Amount: $2,000
Institution: Forest Stewardship Foundation
Project Director: Ed Levert (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Exploratory Projects
Ties To The Land is a nation wide program developed at Oregon State University and designed to help forest landowners in succession planning.  The workshop is an interactive one day session taught by certified instructors. Our organization initiated two successful workshops in Montana in 2014 and our objective is to keep family forests intact to avoid sub-divisions and the loss of these lands to other uses.   We would like to conduct two more workshops this April, one in Bozeman and the other in Helena.  The Helena workshop would be offered in conjunction with our successful annual Forest Landowner Conference which our foundation co-sponsors with Northwest Mgt. Inc.   We expect attendance in the range of 15-25 per workshop.  Eventually we would like to see the program expanded to cover all ag producers in Montana. Less

Agritourism Intensive 2015; Managing the risks of agritourism for California farm and ranch diversification

Award Amount: $49,953
Institution: Small Farm Program, University of California
Project Director: Shermain Hardesty (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
This project uses a peer-reviewed agritourism training manual, incorporates learning from previous workshops, and partners with local producer organizations and support professionals to deliver strategies for understanding, evaluating and managing the risks of operating agritourism enterprises on small-scale farms and ranches. We will offer a series of three workshops in three different California regions. At the first workshops, 80 producers will increase their knowledge of potential enterprises, liability and market assessment, and assess the risks, costs and benefits of current or planned agritourism businesses. At the second and third workshops, 70 participants will begin drafting business, marketing and risk management plans and connecting with a supportive network of peers and advisors. Five months after the last workshop, 15 will have completed business plans, 22 will be implementing action plans, emergency plans or marketing strategies, 15 will make changes to reduce legal risk, and 15 will have ongoing networking relationships.


Assessing Needs of Women Farmers in Hawaii

Award Amount: $2,000
Institution: Oahu Resource Conservation & Development Council
Project Director: Jean Brokish (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Exploratory Projects
The Project Team will utilize an electronic survey to assess the risk management needs of women producers in Hawaii.  Questions will be designed to measure baseline understanding and utilization of risk management techniques, and which of the risk management topics are of most concern among the target audience.  Questions will also assess which factors may be limiting the profitability of women owned operations. 

Women producers from all islands in Hawaii will be notified of the survey opportunity via a combination of postcard, e-newsletters, list serves, social media, and word of mouth. 

We anticipate that approximately 30% of women producers (200) will complete the survey, and results will be used to prioritize future training opportunities, which may include field days, conferences, and / or resource publications.

Note: As an exploratory project, the proposed results are identified for the project team, and will lead to future results for producers.   Less

Building Profitable Farms and Strong Financial Management

Award Amount: $49,931
Institution: California FarmLink
Project Director: Nathan Weller (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
The Building Profitable Farms and Strong Financial Management Project focuses grower education and action on Financial Risk with subtopics that include debt and asset management, especially impacts on cash flow; business and strategic planning, including business structures; farm financial benchmarking and prudent use of credit; and financial records and analysis to support long-term success. One hundred and twenty growers will have opportunities to participate in four Preparing for Profitability Financial Clinics in three agricultural regions of California–the Central Coast, Sacramento Valley and North Coast–to understand risks inherent in credit scores, types of agricultural credit, cash flow, financial statements and debt management. Fifty growers will then work in one-on-one technical assistance meetings with FarmLink and its partners to effectively implement cash flow and sales projections, develop income statements, and manage credit history in order to access capital and achieve profitability. Less

Colville Reservation - Growing and Preserving Agriculture for a Healthy Nation

Award Amount: $13,574
Institution: WSU Colville Reservation Extension
Project Director: Linda McLean (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects

This project is a follow-up full proposal resulting from needs identified during our Exploratory RME grant. Risk management education topics that will be covered: Production Risk, d.; Marketing Risk, c. & e; Financial,  c; Human Risk, c. & d. Delivery methods will utilize hands-on workshops, experience panel interaction & facilitated discussions.  Target audience: residents of the Colville Indian Reservation, located in North Central Washington state, comprised four geographical districts, divided by three mountain passes, 1.4 million acres, is 100 miles across, and surrounded on three sides by water. Activities could consist of:  four day-long workshops focused on risk management; Experience Panel for beginning producers to engage in open discussion with experienced producers; exploration of development of a local farmers market. Expected results: producers will gain more knowledge of production/diversification options, develop marketing/business plans, resulting in more agriculture producers operating on the Colville Reservation. Expect 15 participants.




Cost and Profit Center Analysis Using QuickBooks Classes for Management Accounting, Analysis, and Benchmarking for South Central Utah Beginning and Progressing Farmers and Ranchers

Award Amount: $43,248
Institution: Snow College
Project Director: Jay Olsen (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
This project will improve management knowledge and risk management skills of participating producers by focusing on Management Accounting. Through workshops and monthly one-on-one instruction, participants will 1) identify cost and profit centers of their businesses, 2) use QuickBooks classes to assign financial transactions to their identified cost and profit centers, 3) identify useful benchmarks within their cost and profit centers for comparison to industry enterprise benchmarks, and 4) develop management strategies to reduce financial risks through cost center management and enterprise diversification. At the end of the project, 30 producers will have increased ability to assign expenses and income to the appropriate cost and profit centers. Producers will perform benchmark analysis of their cost and profit centers, develop a management strategy to improve their benchmarks, and gain skills to monitor implementation and success of the plan. One-on-one instruction will facilitate approximately 380 instructional activities during the project’s duration. Less

Education to reduce producer risks when selling timber

Award Amount: $22,742
Institution: Washington State University
Project Director: Kevin Zobrist (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
This proposal is for developing and delivering two comprehensive two-day symposia on all aspects of selling timber crops. It will address legal contracts and leases; environmental regulations; personal and business liability, and marketing plans and strategy. The symposia will include classroom sessions with
consultants, log buyers, regulators, loggers, etc., and a field trip to mills, scaling yards, and logging sites. The target audience is small forest landowners in the north Puget Sound area. Symposiums will be in King and Whatcom counties. Risk management results will include greater net timber sale returns to landowners; fewer forest practices and timber tax violations (and thus fewer landowner fines and penalties); lower liability exposure for landowners; and fewer incidents of damage to soil, aquatic resources, and
productivity as a result of poorly-planned timber sales. We expect 60 – 100 producers will achieve these results. Results will grow over time, since harvesting timber crops is infrequent.  Less

Essential Risk Management for California's Direct Marketing Farmers

Award Amount: $28,736
Institution: Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association
Project Director: Ben Palazzolo (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects

California has the most robust and heavily-regulated farmers' market system in the nation. New laws going into effect in 2015 increase the requirements and penalties on California's direct marketing farmers - including potential jail time or civil penalties.

To assist farmers in understanding and complying with these laws, this project will develop and distribute multilingual compliance guides and then train 75 specialty crop farmers on direct marketing regulations through a series of half-day workshops, repeated in three different locations around the state. Collaborative partners will assist in the guide distribution, reaching over 1,000 farmers statewide.  

To further increase the impact of this project, simple subject-specific compliance guides will be developed and two train-the-trainer sessions will be conducted with 30 farmers' market managers who agree to use the guides to then train at least 10 farmers. This will result in 300 farmers individually trained in these essential compliance issues. 




Evaluation of Online Modular Curriculum and Mentorship Training to Improve Hands-on Farm Internships.

Award Amount: $2,000
Institution: Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture
Project Director: Natalia Pinzon (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Exploratory Projects

This project will allow us to formally test and evaluate our online classroom environment so that we may reach an audience of beginning farmers and small scale producers throughout the northwest. This project will help us identify participant concerns that arise from this learning format, to assess staffing needs and other logistical issues.

Ten farms from the Northwest region have agreed to provide access to our curriculum to their farm interns, totaling up to 20 beginning farmers. The course is made up of 10 modules and runs for 6 months. Additionally, the course provides access to an online learning network where previously isolated beginning farmers can co-learn and cultivate collaborative support systems.

The course addresses several risk management areas with emphasis on transitioning to more diverse and ecological growing practices to reduce production risks, as well as reducing labor and human risks through increased mentorship capacity and on-farm relationship building.


Family Agricultural Enterprise Succession: A Management Transition Seminar

Award Amount: $16,535
Institution: Oregon State University
Project Director: Sherri Noxel (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects

Based on the 2014 workshop, this two-session series will encourage farm owners to begin transition to a new generation of farmers.  The workshop will be delivered in Medford, Oregon. It will focus on establishing goals and timetables for transferring management roles and decision making authority from the senior to the junior partners.  We will target multigenerational families that are in the process of, or beginning to plan, a succession of the farm from an older generation to a younger one. Two or more generations from businesses must attend. Families will engage in structured activities to develop necessary agreements and shared goals that will facilitate more technical legal and organizational planning often assisted by succession/estate planning consultants.


FARMING 101: Risk Management for Beginning Farmers

Award Amount: $49,969
Institution: Marin Organic
Project Director: Jeffrey Westman (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
Marin Organic will provide marketing, financial, legal, and production risk training and provide resources to build a foundation of knowledge and expertise for our target audience of beginning organic farmers and conventional farmers interested in pursuing the organic market in Marin, Sonoma, and Solano counties. Nine classroom workshops and six in-depth on-farm workshops will be conducted, and five one-on-one mentorship relationships will be developed, supported and documented. Participants will strive to become resilient and viable businesses by learning important business and marketing skills, strategic planning, and learning ways to understand and mitigate critical financial, legal and production risks to their farms. These will include timely risk management strategies related to labor and water resource issues. We estimate that 115 producers will gain new knowledge and skills that will increase their financial and legal security, and enable them to implement production and marketing practices that will develop and enhance profitability.


Financial and Legal Risk Management Education for Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers in the Salinas Valley

Award Amount: $48,680
Institution: Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association
Project Director: nathan harkleroad (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
The project addresses the longstanding and emerging risks faced by the beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers that ALBA serves. Though they possess many of the qualities necessary
to establish small, organic farms, their lack of business and regulatory experience is a hindrance to their business success. Since our founding in 2001, ALBA has repeatedly observed that record-keeping, financial management and, more recently, food safety compliance, present significant challenges to the
success and growth of beginning and socially-disadvantaged (SDA) farm businesses.

The proposed project will engage at least 75 farmers  in 2015 and 2016 by providing workshops and individual consultation sessions. The project will focus on preparing beginning and SDA farmers to complete tools and documentation which help them better manage their business and comply with food safety regulations. These include profit and loss and cash flow statements, crop plans, and the documentation and preparation necessary to obtain food safety certification. Less

Growing for Wholesale Distribution in Southwest Colorado

Award Amount: $41,717
Institution: Beth LaShell
Project Director: Beth LaShell (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
Wholesale market opportunities in the 4-Corners region are increasing with 1)Formation of SouthWest Farm Fresh- a distribution cooperative; 2)Fort Lewis College and Sodexo signing the Real Food Challenge and 3)An aggregate center in Durango serving five regional school districts. In order to meet the demands of these markets, producers must transition from small-scale direct sales to high production institutional accounts that can be challenging from a pricing standpoint. In addition to crop planing and production issues, interacting with distribution centers may require additional food safety, packaging and recordkeeping protocol. This project will address issues related to scaling up production by hosting eight open house opportunities (15 each), assisting with FTS bids (10), offering individual consultations with an advocate team (30) and providing access to personalized education from coordinator (10). To increase out of season production, we’ll host two all-day workshops (50 each) and utilize social media to share growing information. Less

Improving Small Farm Economic Viability thru Advanced Business Planning and Risk Management Education

Award Amount: $39,679
Institution: Washington State University
Project Director: Curt Moulton (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
Washington State University Extension will develop a series of 6 advanced business planning
curriculum modules addressing aspects of the 5 areas of risk management
identified by ERME and deliver them as a follow-up course to the highly
effective WSU Cultivating Success ™ Farm Business Planning and Entrepreneurship
course in 3 farming regions across Washington State. Limited resource, sustainable,
small farm and Spanish speaking producers will be the target audiences. Seventy-five
students will demonstrate their ability to understand risk management concepts
by analyzing current and planned operations, creating goals and objectives for
reducing risk and improving economic viability, developing benchmarks for
measuring progress towards goals, and incorporating this information into an
updated business plan. Industry partnerships, collaborations and use of
synchronous and asynchronous technologies will assure high quality instruction
across all sites. A post-production season survey of participating producers will
determine how the modules contributed to each operation’s economic viability.

Managing Marketing and Production Risks for Small Forest Producers in San Juan County

Award Amount: $39,912
Institution: Northwest Natural Resource Group
Project Director: Kirk Hanson (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
Thanks to support from the Risk Management Agency, NNRG has worked for the past two years with over 200 small forest producers in San Juan County, WA to address production and marketing risks. Yet key challenges remain. Producers still face high production costs and urgent risks of fire, insect, and disease due to the county’s isolated geography. Furthermore, increased enforcement of county regulations is driving producers to accelerate timber harvest projects, but producers do not have the necessary tools and training to succeed. In response, NNRG will provide 4 training sessions and 30 follow-up site visits to 80 producers across the county. Results will include 60 producers who understand how to address risks in a timber sale, and 30 producers who implement plans. The County has made strides toward establishing a vibrant local forest products economy, and this project will provide the producer education necessary to continue this transition.  Less

Navajo Farmers and Ranchers Resource Conservation Planning and Management Training Project

Award Amount: $42,535
Institution: New Mexico State University
Project Director: Michael Patrick (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects

The proposed project will seek to increase the profitability and sustainability of participating Navajo farmers and ranchers by reducing their production, price, financial, and legal risks through a series of risk management workshops; producer developed business and marketing plans; producer developed BIA/NRCS conservation plans; and technical assistance tailored to address specific producer challenges and opportunities. Four topical workshops, repeated twice in different locations to facilitate producer participation, will be held; 50-60 Navajo producers are expected to participate in the 8 workshops. Workshop risk management topics will include: Production - product & enterprise development and water use decisions; Price - direct markets and marketing plans;  Financial - financial records and analysis and planning for profit; Legal -food safety and insurance products. A project goal is to assist 40 producers complete BIA/NRCS conservation plans.



New Tropical Island Farmer Risk Management Education Series

Award Amount: $44,999
Institution: University of Guam
Project Director: Leroy Barber (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects
The New Tropical Island Farmer (NTIF) Risk Management Education Series consists of one eight-hour session on risk management for agricultural and business support professionals and a series of five farmer-focused workshops that cover financial and legal risk management topics in 15-18 hours. The target audience consists of resource-challenged, beginning, small farmers, especially those who hold Chamorro Land Trust Commission (CLTC) agricultural leases. The NTIF Series will reach 75 producer participants with the primary educational products being workshops and an updated curriculum on select risk management topics. Workshop attendees will learn about financial and legal risks, increase their knowledge of these risks, and thus prevent loss of land resulting from lease noncompliance. Less

Oregon Sheep Shearing School: Enhancing the Skills and Availability of Shearers To Improve Lamb and Wool Profitability.

Award Amount: $21,782
Institution: Washington State University Extension
Project Director: Sarah Smith (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects

The Pacific Northwest states produce 500,000 head of sheep and 3.2 million pounds of wool annually.  Flocks of all sizes are facing a critical shearer shortage, impacting wool harvest, animal production/care, and producer sustainability. Oregon’s Willamette Valley grass fields, from seed production, are a grower region for sheep production and grazing.  The expansion of sheep producers is not only limited by profitability opportunities, but is also limited by the availability of skilled and knowledgeable shearers.  WSU Extension has over 35 years of experience in offering an annual shearing school.  The long waiting list has resulted in interested students waiting 1-2 years to get into the school.  WSU and OSU Extension, Oregon Sheep Producers and Columbia Basin Sheep Producers will offer a 5-day beginner and 1-day advanced shearing school in the Willamette Valley.  Participants will learn proper shearing techniques, equipment care, animal husbandry, quality assurance issues, marketing, and basic business skills.    


Providing education and technical resources to Western Montana Growers Cooperative and other Montana Food HUBS in Group GAP Quality Management System Development

Award Amount: $40,055
Institution: Lake County Community Development Corporation
Project Director: Jan Tusick (
Funding Opportunity: Western ERME - 2015 Education Projects

In collaboration Western Montana Growers Cooperative, the Montana Food and Agriculture Development Centers and MSU Extension this project delivers the educational workshops Good Agricultural Practices for Producers Workshop at four sites in Montana. The trainings are foundations for the development of a Group GAP Quality Management System (Group GAP QMS) and will be delivered to producers who are part of group developing their Group GAP QMS. As a result of the trainings and technical assistance the producers will understand how to assess and mitigate on-farm food safety risks and will complete a farm food safety plan that will meet the needs of a Group GAP QMS. We expect each training site will have approximately 30 producers attending. We predict that 30 of those producers will be provided technical assistance in completing an on farm food safety plan and 10 will have those plans verified by a internal audit.