The Southern Risk Management Education Center (SRMEC) was established at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture in 2009. It is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and is one of four regional Extension Risk Management Education Centers located throughout the country.
The Southern Center, in conjunction with the other three regional Centers, conducts the Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program. This program involves an annual competitive process and provides funding to both public and private sector organizations for educational projects designed to improve the ability of agricultural producers to manage the complex risks associated with their agribusinesses effectively. The projects supported by the program provide tools and training which enable producers to establish new risk management strategies that will strengthen the economic viability of their farm enterprises.
About ERME Results-Based Funding
Extension Risk Management Education (ERME) is delivered through four regional centers that provide grant funding and leadership within their regions. The mission of the national program is educating America’s farmers and ranchers to manage the unique risks of producing food for the world’s table.
Education efforts funded through the ERME Competitive Grants Program are producer-focused, results-based, and encourage public-private partnerships. Awards are made to projects that identify targeted results that will help participants manage risk, and then also identify how those results will be measured.
ERME has funded innovative educational projects that have generated tangible results for agricultural producers in all 50 states. Priorities of the program include commitments to funding results, providing transparent accountability, and encouraging collaboration. The accomplishments of all funded projects are available for public viewing on the ERME website.
The ERME Competitive Grants Program releases a Request for Applications (RFA) annually. Successful risk management education projects must address at least one of the following primary sources of agricultural risk: Production, Marketing, Financial, Legal and Human. Grant awards typically range in size from $5,000 to $50,000. Our projects focus on enhancing farmer behavior and knowledge through risk management education with direct engagement and interaction with growers and grower organizations.
Professional Improvement Opportunities
Each spring the SRMEC collaborates to host the Extension Risk Management Education national conference. The conference brings together public and private sector educators and other agricultural professionals, from all four regions, to share ongoing and emerging successful risk management education, including education geared specifically toward women in agriculture.
In addition to funding educational outreach projects, SRMEC annually supports and invests in activities to build capacity to understand risk management issues. These activities are grassroots, relying on guidance from our diverse advisory council and input from key agricultural industry stakeholders including the Southern Farm Management Committee.