• Nicole Cook

New "MyFaRM" program offers free risk management education for farmers

Updated: Oct 7


Image is MYFARM Risk Management logo

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This November, a new initiative called “MyFaRM” (Mastering Farm Risk Management) will deliver free risk management education to farmers about how to develop risk management plans that address all 5 risk areas (financial, human, legal, marketing and production). Keep reading for more information about the program and how to sign up.

The MyFaRM program will offer three “tracks” of learning opportunities for farmers. All for free!

First, farmers who commit to being in the “core group” meaning they commit to attending a minimum of 8 of the entire series of 11 in-person classes, including the kickoff class and all of the Financial Risk classes, will be able to take advantage of all of the following benefits, and they’ll finish the course with a five-year risk management plan that they developed for their individual farms:

  • Scholarships to attend the (virtual) UMES Hemp Conference on Nov. 5

  • Scholarships to attend the UMES 17th Annual Small Farm Conference on Nov. 6 (in-person) and Nov. 7 (virtual)

  • MyFaRM Kickoff Class: Nov. 6 from 2-4PM at UMES Henson Center Ballroom (required for “core group”)

  • 1st Class - MyFaRM Financial Risk Class: Nov. 17 from 3-6PM at UMES Henson Center Ballroom (required for “core group”)

  • 2nd Class - MyFaRM Financial Risk Class: Dec. 8 from 2-5PM at UMES Henson Center Ballroom (required for “core group”)

  • 3rd Class - MyFaRM Financial Risk Class: Dec. 15 from 3-6PM at UMES Henson Center Ballroom (required for “core group”)

  • 4th Class - MyFaRM Legal Risk Class: Jan. 7 from 3-6PM at UMES Henson Center Ballroom

  • 5th Class - MyFaRM Legal Risk Class: Jan. 21 from 3-6PM at UMES Henson Center Ballroom

  • 6th Class - MyFaRM Human Risk Class: Feb. 9 from 3-6PM at UMES Henson Center Ballroom

  • 7th Class - MyFaRM Production Risk Class: Mar. 8 from 9AM – Noon at UMES Henson Center Ballroom

  • Greenhouse & Transplant Production Workshop by Jay Martin – Mar. 31 from 9AM-12PM at Provident Farm in Bivalve, MD

  • 8th Class - MyFaRM Production Risk Class: April 7 from 9AM-12PM at UMES Demonstration Farm

  • 9th Class - MyFaRM Marketing Risk Class: May 11 from 3-6PM at UMES Henson Center

  • 10th Class - MyFaRM Marketing Risk Class: This last class of the marketing risk series will coincide with the 2021 Small Farm Marketing Bus Tour. Farmers enrolled in the “core group” and those enrolled in the Marketing Risk classes will receive a scholarship to attend the bus tour.

  • Scholarships to attend demonstration courses offered by the UMES Extension Small Farm Program throughout the summer and fall of 2021

  • Scholarships to attend UMES’ 18th Annual Small Farm Conference in November 2021

The second group of farmers are farmers who aren’t enrolled in the "core group," but who would like to attend the series of risk classes most pertinent to their farming operation. For example, farmers who would like to attend the 3 classes on Financial Risk. We do ask that these farmers commit to attending all of the classes in the respective risk area. For example, they should plan to attend all 3 Financial Risk classes. There is no limit, however, to the number of risk areas that farmers can sign up for. For example, a farmer could choose to attend all 3 Financial Risk classes and both of the Marketing Risk classes.

The grant team is also working with an international video production company, The Carlin Company in Marion Station, to create a 10-part series of online, self-guided educational webinars based on the in-person classes. The online courses, which offer the third learning “track,” will be available for free on the UMES Extension’s Small Farm Program and ALEI websites.

MyFaRM instructors include experienced educators from the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI), UMES Extension, the University of Maryland Extension, Virginia State University, the Maryland Agricultural & Resource-Based Industry Corporation, MidAtlantic Farm Credit and other industry experts. Farmers with experience in diversifying their farms and developing niche markets for their products will also be presenters.

There will be a 30 minute break in the middle of each class with refreshments provided, and all in-person classes and events will require everyone to adhere to public health requirements.

Click here to register for the MyFaRM classes.


For more information about the MyFaRM program, contact Nicole Cook at nlcook@umes.edu or by calling 410-651-6182.

The MyFaRM (Mastering Farm Risk Management) project is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under award number 2018-70027-28588.


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