Risk management may mean many different things for your business. Insurance, crop planning, food safety, employee management, and on-farm safety may all be topics that come to mind. Farming is a risky business and you will undoubtedly face any number of challenges each year. Some will only require a bit of flexibility and creativity in the moment, but many can be prevented or addressed more easily with some advanced planning and consideration.
Thinking through these diverse issues and developing a risk management plan can be a great way to think through and plan ways to deal with issues that may come up. A risk management plan is also a great thing to share with lenders, investors, or donors to demonstrate that you have carefully thought through your business and been honest with yourself about challenges and how you will address them. Plus, a good risk management plan can offer you a lot of confidence in your ability to weather any storms that come your way – literal or otherwise! For more information on understanding your risks and developing a plan, read Module 7: Risk Management of Planning for On-Farm Success.
The USDA Economic Research Service offers an online library on risk management for farmers, including information on risk management strategies and government programs. The University of Minnesota also offers an Ag Risk and Farm Management Library with a wide array of documents and online budgets.
Of course, a key resource in risk management is the USDA Risk Management Agency. RMA offers crop insurance and other tools to help to reduce and address risks on your farm or ranch. Reach out to RMA directly or find a crop insurance agent near you.