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USDA RMA launches online market planning tool

Agriculture.com Staff 11/14/2008 @ 9:53am

USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) has launched an online resource to aid farmers and ranchers in focusing on how to protect against downside risks, as well as how best to take advantage of upside opportunities in the market, according to a USDA report.

The new resource, a sub-site of the RMA's Web site called Farm-Risk-Plans.USDA.gov, allows producers to complete a risk management checklist, identify their enterprise's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and explore a wealth of risk management information.

The new resource features four modules: Risk Management Planning, Better Marketing Planning, New Enterprise Planning, and Farm Planning Library. Each contains the best available information, consolidating resources from leading Land Grant Universities and government agencies.

Producers are able to complete two exercises online which give them a novel look at their risk management situation. First is the Risk Management Checklist, a three-page list of questions to stimulate conversation among the family or leadership team of any farm or ranch operation.

The second is a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis, a commonly used planning exercise in the business world, recognizing that small- to medium-sized farms are serious businesses which must use the same tools as any other modern business.

The team that developed this project together over the past year includes farmers, Extension educators, and risk management education consultants, as well as the head of the National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas and RMA professionals.

USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) has launched an online resource to aid farmers and ranchers in focusing on how to protect against downside risks, as well as how best to take advantage of upside opportunities in the market, according to a USDA report.

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