Developing a Training Program on Surviving Disasters Through Risk Management Preparation and Best Management Practices for Farm Families

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2024: $112,502.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2025
Grant Recipient: Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Michelle Eley
Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T
Dr. Henry English
University of Arkansas- Pine Bluff
Dr. Noel Estwick
Prairie View A&M University
Finis Stribling, III
Tennessee State University


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

More than any other type, small-scale farms are particularly
vulnerable to not having a plan to mitigate various risks and
have less access to resources to respond and recover. Therefore,
their well-being is undoubtedly influenced by the extent to which
they can bring their risks under control and make the right
decisions in challenging environments. Risks in the agricultural
sector involve things that are hard to predict, such as weather,
prices, government policies, accidents, and illness, that can
impact a person’s farm. Some risks are everyday business risks,
while other risks are brought on by changing climate effects.
There is an urgent need to build practical tools that involve
mitigating risks on small farms. The pilot project proposed in
this application seeks to strengthen the capacity of 1890
Agricultural Extension staff to deliver practical disaster
educational programs and train farmers and their families using
various participatory training methods.

Project objectives from proposal:

The primary objective is to help small and limited-resource
farmers and their families learn how to prepare for, respond to,
and mitigate the impacts of disasters through disaster risk
management planning. Focusing on this group is critical because
they are often the least prepared, lack resources, and/or need to
receive the timely assistance necessary to promote resilience.
This project will be piloted in four states, namely Texas,
Tennessee, Arkansas, and North Carolina, in partnership with
university and Extension faculty and staff at Prairie View
A&M University (PVAMU)  Tennessee State University
(TSU), University of Arkansas at Pine-Bluff (UAPB) and North
Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T).

The goals are as follows:

  • To identify the agricultural risks faced by small farms and
    ranchers, with special emphasis on those who considered to be
    socially disadvantaged, limited resource (SDLR). Concerns about
    risk vary across types of producers. Although the sources of risk
    in agriculture production have been well cited, less is known
    about what risks SDLR farmers are concerned about, what factors
    determine how those inherent risks are perceived, and how they
    choose among alternatives to reduce the effects of the diverse
    types of risk.
  • To train agents to deliver an instructional program on risk
    management for small-scale farmers, supporting them in making
    decisions in uncertain environments. The program will follow a
    train-the-trainer approach where agents will be trained in an
    instructional program on risk management and provided with tools
    to deliver this program to their respective farmers.
  • Supervise specific assignments that farmers can complete to
    determine their proficiency in the content shared during the
    training. After each workshop session, homework assignments will
    be provided to the farmer participant. Extension agents/educators
    will make regular personal contact with the participants, answer
    questions, and ensure that participants try to complete their
    homework assignments.
  • Determine appropriate government programs and other supports
    that help farmers mitigate risks in their business.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.