NEW FARM AND RANCH ONLINE PLANNING TOOL:
John Shea, 202-690-0437
WASHINGTON, Nov 4, 2008 - USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) has launched an online resource
to aid farmers and ranchers in focusing on how to protect against
down-side risks, as well as how best to take advantage of up-side opportunities in the market.
The new resource, a sub-site of the RMA Web site called Farm-Risk-Plans.RMA.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 the
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.
The Web site may be accessed at the address
http://Farm-Risk-Plans.RMA.USDA.gov, or from the main RMA site at