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John Shea, 202-690-0437

USDA Announces Funding for Risk Management Education and Outreach Partnerships

WASHINGTON, Apr 17, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced the availability of $3 million for the Risk Management Education and Outreach Partnership Program. Partnership agreements are awarded to qualified partners who will provide crop insurance education and risk management training to producers, including limited-resource, socially-disadvantaged and traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers.

"USDA is committed to diversity, inclusion and performance in everything we do," said RMA Administrator William Murphy, "And we need to continue to ensure opportunities in agriculture for all Americans. Through these partnerships, traditionally underserved agricultural producers will receive assistance in understanding and using risk management tools."

The Risk Management Education and Outreach Program is designed to help ensure that farmers and ranchers effectively manage their risk through difficult periods, helping to maintain America's robust food supply and the survival of small, limited-resource, socially-disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved farmers. RMA administers these partnership projects as well as the federal crop insurance program, with funding and authority from the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

The training will be conducted in local training sessions held throughout the nation. Applications for the Risk Management Education and Outreach Partnership Program are due on or before 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 24. All applications must be received on or before the deadline listed for the grant. Only electronic applications submitted through www.grants.gov will be accepted.

RMA helps producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk solutions. RMA's mission is to promote, support, and regulate sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America's agricultural producers.

The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural America, implement the Farm Bill, maintain a strong farm safety net, and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. A strong farm safety net is important to sustain the success of American agriculture. USDA's crop insurance program currently insures 265 million acres, 1.15 million policies, and $114 billion worth of liability on about 500,000 farms. And in response to tighter financial markets, USDA has expanded the availability of farm credit, helping struggling farmers refinance loans. In the past 3 years, USDA provided 103,000 loans to family farmers totaling $14.6 billion. Over 50 percent of the loans went to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

For more information about RMA or its programs, please visit our website, www.rma.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).