The goal of this project was to reduce risk and improve farm economic viability in the Northern California foothills. University of California Cooperative Extension provided risk management training and tools to small-scale, beginning and experienced, specialty crop and livestock producers to help them manage financial, human, and production risks for the short- and long-term.
UCCE has extensive experience delivering production, business, and risk management training. In this project, we delivered 247 hours of training through 45 events. These included one Business Planning and two Beginning Farming short courses; 28 practical livestock and crop production workshops; 6 field meetings and pasture walks; food safety, operational planning, labor, crop/livestock insurance workshops; and networking events. In-person training was supported by web-based information.
710 producers participated in direct, face-to-face training at a cost of about $69 per producer. They learned to identify, assess, and develop strategies to manage critical risks for their operations, including financial risks associated with operational scale; human risks related to operational continuity and succession; and production risks associated with water availability and climate change. Improved risk management and decision-making contributed to improved profitability and economic stability for individual producers and local agriculture as a whole.