USDA’s Risk Management Agency has launched an online resource to aid farmers and ranchers in focusing on how to protect against downside risks, as well as how best to take advantage of upside opportunities in the market.

The new resource, which can be found at http://farm-risk-plans.usda.gov/, is a sub-site of the RMA Web site. It allows producers to complete a risk management checklist, identify their enterprise’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities and to explore a wealth of risk management information.

The new resource features four modules:

• Risk Management Planning.

• Better Marketing Planning.

• New Enterprise Planning.

• Farm Planning Library.

Each contains the best available information 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 Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis, a commonly used planning exercise in the business world, recognizing that small- to medium-sized farms must use the same tools as any other modern business.

The team that developed this project 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.USDA.gov or from the main RMA site at http://www.rma.usda.gov.