USDA awarded $18.5 million in grants to help producers find new ways to manage risk in their businesses and provide outreach and educational opportunities to women, limited-resource and other underserved farmers and ranchers.

At least $9.8 million will go toward research and development of new risk management tools for underserved producers. Specialty crop producers in underserved states will benefit from $5.5 million in partnership agreements.

The rest of the grant money will go to 45 competitively awarded partnerships with community-based, educational and non-profit organizations for educational purposes. For more on the projects, funded and awarded by the Risk Management Agency, visit www.rma.usda.gov/news/2002/11/agreements.html.