Education, Training and Outreach on Risk Education

2004 Annual Report for EW03-011

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2003: $99,600.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $17,000.00
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:

Education, Training and Outreach on Risk Education


This project will develop an educational program based on a simulation game called RightRisk. RightRisk provides farmers and ranchers a chance to try managing risk in hands-on, realistic scenarios (much like Sim-city or Sim-farm). This project will develop six new, realistic risk scenarios and accompanying educational materials, then train extension personnel and others in Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, Utah and Nevada about how to use the program. The project results will be leveraged with other grants to provide several educational workshops in the six target states based on the new scenarios. All information will also be available on the website.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The goal of this project, or overarching objective, is: To build a unique, innovative, and effective risk education program for farmers and ranchers and to train extension personnel in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Arizona how to use it.

Objective 1: Build an active, hands-on, applied, and realistic learning tool / program to teach risk management. This program will include a field version of RightRisk, an internet site with many scenarios to play in RightRisk (e.g. crops, livestock, prices, yields, pests, different locations), a written, scripted educational program to accompany the field education program, and written educational materials to accompany the program.

Objective 2: Train agricultural educators how to use the educational program built in objective 1. A central base will be in Wyoming, and integrated with the Western Risk Management Library, the Western Livestock Risk and Education Coalition (the current team of cooperators in the six states) and the newly formed Western Center for Risk Management Education. The central base will house the website and educational materials. Programs in the six states will be delivered to Cooperative Extension educators, lenders, Farm Service Agency, and crop and livestock insurance professionals that can in turn offer training to farmers, ranchers, absentee landowners, and other clients.


This project calls for us to develop six new RightRisk scenarios, then provide education and training for them. In our first report, January 2004, we had developed one new scenario draft for wheat producers and nearly completed a draft of another for public lands. We provided workshops for producers, extension agents and other agricultural agents in fall and we scheduled approximately 20 more for the Spring, 2004, counting only Colorado and Wyoming. We worked with several groups to cooperatively hold these RightRisk meetings, including wheat producers, corn growers, lenders, crop insurance providers, and livestock producers.

Due to some funding glitches, we got a very late start and missed the ability to start in the fall of 2003 as we had anticipated (the project started in July 2003, but no funding was available until February 2004). We are still progressing very well, but we have asked for a no cost extension to enable us to have a little more time to provide training. We did finalize the wheat version, with crop insurance, mentioned above and even presented it to the largest single group ever for the program; over 100 people all at once. We have also completed a public lands version and fully trained people in Arizona, Utah and Montana to use the program. The public lands version was used in six workshops in May through October with eight more on the schedule in November and December of 2004. We anticipate completing the first draft of a version for sheep producers and a version addressing the new livestock revenue insurance program by January, 2005. That would bring our total to 4. Two marketing versions for grains will be completed as part of a master thesis in July, 2005. This would complete the required six new versions in the allotted time period. We would like the extra year so we can continue training people in the Fall and Spring. Continuing in the Fall would extend the contract to the 2-year window we originally planned for, since we got started. However, we can use the funding very effectively in the Spring too if we are granted the extension.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The team has met every May and September with extension educators from Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Arizona, and Nevada or Idaho. We have used these meetings to cooperatively develop the new scenarios, to train each other about how to use each scenario and to plan and coordinate training sessions around the states. In all, we have presented RightRisk eighty times since December of 2002 with thirty more presentations on the schedule over the next ten months. In 2004, fifty-eight RightRisk workshops have been or will be presented. Results will be formally evaluated in the next report when we analyze exit surveys and website use.


John Hewlett
Extension Specialist
University of Wyoming
1000 E University Ave, Dept 3354
Laramie, WY 82071-3354
Office Phone: 3077662166