Risk, defined most simply as the possibility of suffering harm or loss, is part of everyday life, and risk is certainly a part of Wyoming agricultural production. While all producers believe the business to be relatively risky, many of Wyoming's beginning producers lack a complete understanding of risk and risk management principles. As a first step toward successfully managing risk, producers must understand risk.
The University of Wyoming's Cooperative Extension Service (UWCES) is partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) to deliver crop insurance education to Wyoming producers in 2005 - 2006. Wyoming’s Custom Ag Solutions (CAS) have partnered to develop and deliver risk management education to Wyoming livestock producers. The Partnership is part of RMA’s Commodity Partnerships Program and specifically targets Wyoming’s small, limited resource, and beginning livestock producers. With substantial RMA involvement, CAS is conducting research, developing content, planning and scheduling educational events, and then delivering content to targeted producers. Program content is also available on a dedicated website, WyoAgRisk.com
RMA’s stated mission is to “Promote, support, and regulate sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America’s agricultural producers.” In addition to providing formal risk management programs such as crop insurance, RMA sponsors Risk Management Education Programs to help producers become more capable risk managers.
The content provided in this booklet was developed to introduce key risk and risk management concepts that are vital for succeeding in livestock production. Beyond basic risk and risk management principles, the content includes introductions to the five commonly recognized categories of agricultural risk:
While agricultural risks can be categorized and considered independently, effective risk management requires decisions that stretch across the above categories. We therefore include a discussion of strategic risk management practices and the role of Federal risk management programs in effective risk management. We also provide tools to help livestock producers learn and execute risk management strategies and to make the content applicable to individual producers and their unique operations.
 The University of Wyoming's (College of Agriculture) Cooperative Extension Service provides lifelong learning opportunities for the people of Wyoming and empowers them to make choices that enhance their quality of life.
 The Risk Management Agency was created in 1996 to administer the Federal Crop Insurance Program and other non-insurance-related risk management and education programs. Read more at http://www.rma.usda.gov/pubs/2000/PAN-1667-02.pdf.
 CAS is a private Wyoming corporation with special expertise and training in agricultural risk management, agricultural property valuation, and technical analytics. Read more at http://www.customagsolutions.com/.
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