The Extension Risk Management Education Program was established under Section 133 of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000. The act annually provides funding to USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) and to NIFA. Through the Extension Risk Management Education (ERME) Program, NIFA develops and provides agricultural risk management education for farmers and ranchers in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
The ERME Program's objective is to educate agricultural producers on the full range of risk management strategies. The program provides funding for results and outcome-based risk management education projects designed to help producers learn and use tools and approaches that can reduce the adverse effects of the uncertainties of weather, yields, prices, credit, government policies, global markets and other factors, including human resources and legal issues – all of which may result in wide swings in farm income or threaten the economic viability of the farm or ranch.
Regional Extension Risk Management Education Centers
The program operates through four regional Extension Risk Management Education Centers, with support from the Digital ERME Center. The Centers annually conduct the ERME Competitive Grants Program which provides funding to educators who have the expertise to develop and deliver risk mitigation programming that addresses one or more of the five primary areas of agricultural risk: production; marketing; financial; legal; and human. Project proposals must clearly identify what the risk management results/outcomes will be for producers, and how they will improve the producers’ economic viability.
Each ERME Center maintains an Advisory Council, whose members are experts qualified by training and/or experience in various aspects of agricultural risk management. The advisory councils provide guidance on regional priorities and areas of emphasis for each Center's annual Request for Applications (RFA). The councils also serve as the review panels for proposals submitted to the ERME Competitive Grants Program, and provide funding recommendations to the respective Center Directors.
Eligibility for ERME Grant Funds
Any public or private entity able to demonstrate the capacity to provide highly professional agricultural risk management education programs for producers is eligible to apply. These include but are not limited to: farm organizations, land-grant universities, Cooperative Extension Services, lenders, consultants, other colleges and universities, and other public or private risk management service providers. For specific information regarding the ERME Grants Program, please see the Regional Center websites listed below under “Points of Contact”.
ERME Resource Materials
Extensive risk management education resources are available through two websites: the Ag Risk & Farm Management Library and the national ERME Program website. The resources may be queried to provide valuable information for all ERME stakeholders including producers, educators, the USDA and members of Congress.
The Ag Risk & Farm Management Library organizes thousands of materials to help agricultural producers and professionals quickly find the information they need on risk management, marketing, financial management and more. The materials may be searched by topic or in multiple other ways by utilizing the available advanced search option.
The Final Reports for all completed ERME projects become public documents and are available for viewing on the ERME Program website. The reports include project results/outcomes and a wealth of education materials that were developed and/or utilized by the projects. The reports may be searched by year, region, state or topic.
Annual ERME National Conference
The annual Extension Risk Management Education National Conference is designed to provide public and private sector educators, crop insurance agents, lenders, and members of local and state governments with the opportunity to learn about ongoing and emerging successful risk management education efforts for all types of agricultural producers and their families.
The conference includes 3 General Session speakers, 4 Professional Development Sessions, 30-40 Concurrent Session presentations, and approximately 30 Poster presentations. This event has become an important central networking point for leaders in agricultural risk management education. Full conference proceedings are published each year on the ERME Program website.
Points of Contact
Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center
Laurie Wolinski, Director
North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center
Bradley Lubben, Director
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center
Ron Rainey, Director
University of Arkansas, Little Rock and Fayetteville, AR
Western Extension Risk Management Education Center
Shannon Neibergs, Director
Jo Ann Warner, Associate Director
Washington State University, Pullman and Spokane, WA
Digital Extension Risk Management Education Center
Kevin Klair, Director
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN