AoR 16: Shannon Neibergs, Livestock Risk Management Tools

“If a grain farmer doesn’t have crop insurance, any lender will show him/her the door.” But ranchers have not historically used many financial risk tools such as crop insurance. Tip and Shannon Neibergs, director for the Western Center for Risk Management Education, discuss the variety of risk education products available to ranchers as well as various financial measurement and financial risk tools such as livestock insurance products. 

Transcript

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>> Welcome to the "Art of Range." A podcast focused on rangelands and the people who manage them. I'm your host Tip Hudson range and livestock specialist with Washington State University Extension. The goal of this podcast is education and conservation through conversation. Find us online at artofrange.com.

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My guest today on the show is Shannon Neibergs. Shan is a livestock economist with Washington State University Extension here in Pullman. He's also the director for the Western Center For Risk Management Education. The funding for this podcast for the initial year is coming from the Western Center For Risk Management Education. I suspect that some listeners will be unfamiliar with the regional center for risk management. Shannon, welcome to the show.

>> Thank you, Tip.

>> Can you tell us what the RME centers are and what they do.

>> They were, the RME centers were funded by the Agris Protection Act, which is federal funding. And the federal funding provides us a pool of money for the regional centers. And then I have the western center. And then the other regional centers are across the country. And so from that pool of money, we offer a grant, a competitive grant program where project directors apply to do risk management education projects.

>> To what extent are the various centers similar to each other or different? Similar in how they're funded, but different in what they do as far as outreach?

>> Very similar. We coordinate all our efforts. We have one guiding principle that was dictated down to us. Is that no one center can be more restrictive than any other center. So from that philosophy, we're very similarly managed. We all have the same objective of educating agriculture producers on the full range of risk management education topics. And so for the West that's going to range from dry land grain production all the way to irrigated horticulture production. And across the entire spectrum of agriculture producers from commercial producers all the way to specially niched marketing producers. And specialty emphasis audiences. Including Native Americans or Latino producers or women in agriculture. And beginning farmers is also another highly popular special emphasis group.

>> Are there four centers?

>> Yeah. One for each quadrant of the compass.

>> North. South. East. And west.

>> That's correct. And so for the western one, we have 13 states from the West. We're Montana to the south. And to the west, including Alaska. And Hawaii's in our region.

>> From the great plains west to the coast.

>> Right.

>> Yeah, the breadth of topics covered by the RME centers is pretty impressive. I think I've been involved with two of them. What are some of the RME-funded projects that relate to livestock production in the last little while?

>> Yeah. So we have a number of interesting grazing and livestock management projects that we funded. We funded a whole ranch planning series with Laurie Bower in the Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance. And they address holistic management principles and practices in developing ranch management plans. We funded a project in Arizona for monitoring and grazing on public lands. That was led by Doug Tolleson and Michael Crimmins at the University of Arizona. And they did monitoring and drought management and Arizona. In California we funded the California Cattlemen's a couple times. One was on ranch adaptation strategies to remain economically viable in drought. And currently they've just been recently funded on a new program to address traceability and improved recordkeeping. And you had an earlier project on repairing grazing management that was very successful. And then another one to mention was our colleague Sarah Smith out of Moses Lake with Washington State University Extension. She delivered two projects on low-stress cattle handling. So overall we've, that's just a part of our portfolio of projects that we were funded. But really have some good tools and interest in dealing with the risk management topics facing livestock producers.

>> What are some of the risk topics that seem to be the biggest concern right now?

>> Well, certainly agriculture is in a change, moving from the high price years up through 2014, 2015 into a period of low-commodity prices and high risk all across agriculture. The dairy producers. It's widely known that corn and soybean producers are having difficult times on profitability challenges. And all those risks are important and really impacting their profitability. Their financial stress. And their management.

>> It seems like the complexity of risk is one of the biggest challenges, not just the breadth of risks. And you also have interacting risks. We did a wintertime beef production workshop with University of Wyoming a couple years ago. And there was a survey that we gave to folks at that workshop. And they indicated that about half of them were uncertain of their ability to manage through the economic and social risks of ranching. I think we don't often assume the social risks as being one of the, you know, one of the dominant things. But that dovetail [inaudible] stuff that's been said by Nathan Sayre who was on the show recently. Who said that the threats against ranching today are not fundamentally ecological ones. They're mostly economic and political in nature. There was also a survey in California back in 2011 that, from which they published the results. That showed that from ranchers' perspectives the thing keep them up at night are not calf prices, but environmental regulations. Governmental policies. And the use of land. Do we still see that here?

>> That's, we definitely see all those factors intermixed with a very challenging economic environment. I think that those, all those risks are important. And I think that, as we look at grazing management systems and rangeland systems all across the West, is the economics that are driving those decisions. Economics in regards to managing the livestock and producing at a profit. The economics of the social infrastructure of rural communities. And just the overall complexity of providing food to the consumer-base, both domestically and internationally, as we supply beef and other products to the international community.

>> Yeah. We talk about trying to build up resilience. Which it's a word kind of like sustainability. It can be so overused and so vague that it begins to mean nothing. You know, both ecological and economic resilience, you and I have recently been involved with a case studies project. And some of the interaction on that project was actually the impetus to start this podcast from two different perspectives. One is that I think we realized in interviewing ranchers the real complexity of these interacting risks. And also the challenge in having mechanisms to build resilience that are kind of specific to somebody's context. It's not something that you can throw out there and do a publication that's going to be the same strategies in Idaho versus or Oregon versus New Mexico. Sort of a sidetrack. But the other reasons was that we realized most people that are in this world, whether they're ranchers or what I call natural resource professionals, tend to spend a lot of time on the road. And there's a podcast out there for everything under the sun. And I thought, well, there's got to be one for rangeland ecology and livestock production. And so I got to looking and couldn't find anything. I really couldn't find anything. So we got to thinking maybe we should build one. And maybe that would actually be more useful than just entertaining people while they're driving down the road. Maybe we can do some good with that. And maybe even more than doing good, maybe we can help people address some of these risks most effectively by covering a broad range of topics. And covering them in depth with people who really know their stuff. And that was really how we ended up starting a podcast. And I appreciate the Center For Risk Management for thinking this might be a useful way to tackle it.

>> Yeah. And that was, it was interesting all the way through. It was interesting because I remember talking with you when we were on our way to Jack's ranch about, would a podcast fit the RME funding program profile? And, truthfully, it was a little bit on the outside. It was a little bit on the frontier on developing this type of education material. Often times these projects, extension projects, we want to put people in the classroom. We want to count heads. We want to have a survey of satisfaction with the program. And we use those metrics for evaluating the impact of those programs. And so this podcast is a new technology for us that we thought would be a great avenue to invest in or to develop. Because, like you say, these topics are very educational based. They're good to develop along a conversational line. And we were real happy to make that or to fund this project, that it met the competitive guidelines and beat out other projects to be funded. And that we're moving forward with this. And we're, and how great these podcasts have been. And moving forward on developing them.

>> I hope the podcast continues to be useful. More than that for me, it really has been more fun than I expected it to be. So, again, thank you. And let's jump in a bit to talk about some of the different risks in livestock production. We've mentioned there's a complexity of topics. But I think it would be worth talking about the details of some of these. I think price is one of the more obvious ones. But the complexity of where price comes from may be something that people don't fully appreciate. What are all the range of factors that play into just the prices that are being paid for calves?

>> So price is very interesting. Price, when people ask you about, well, where's the price trend moving? Or what are the impacts on price? It really boils down to the tenets of economics of supply and demand. And so you start breaking out the impacts to those two factors. And then you'll, it will drive you to a conclusion of where the price is heading. And what are the risks on those prices? And so when you look at supply, it's, we can really see that in the cattle market as the herd liquidated in part, response to the drought, extensive drought in 2011, 2012 up to 2014. There was a herd liquidation event that decreased the cattle herd. Decreased the U.S. beef supply. And we, in turn of that decreased supply, we saw record high prices for cattle and for beef products in the meat case all the way up into 2015. And so the supply part of that was very indicative, very much supported those record high prices. And now we're rebuilding the herd. And, in fact, we're predicting record level production, beef production in 2019 and 2020. And that's on top of record high production year over year for both pork and poultry. So we're facing a market of production here where supply is year over year record high. And that has, that supply has a direct impact on the market trends looking forward.

>> It seems like following the BSE cow in 2001, that was about where the traditional ten-year cattle cycle, cattle price cycle broke down. So are we now beginning to see that return where there's a more predictable, prices go up. That stimulates people to retain animals. Build the herd back up. And then prices go back down?

>> There's been a lot of talk on the price cycles. And it's maybe good to consider it with the dairy producers. A little more easier to see the picture. And people talked about a three-year price cycle of dairy products. But that price cycle has eliminated, has been eliminated through the specialization of dairy production. And it's year over year increases in production as a response to try to manage through profitability difficulties. And so the price signals of supply expansion and contraction are not being well transmitted and responded to by the producers. In that they're committed to the production process as long as they're having some profitability or some returns to their investments that they're working through. Is that they're maintaining those production levels, and so those price cycles have really diminished.

>> So if supply goes up dramatically, as it appears to be trending. Are there any circumstances that would lead to prices still being supportive where people are not losing money?

>> That's very interesting. So then we can turn to the demand side of the equation. And very critically, the U.S. demand is very stable. We have a high economic base. We're the world's leading economy. And so our food purchasing ability in the United States is very stable. And so that adds some stability to the market. But our price variability and our price risk is increasingly being impacted by exports and export trends and world geopolitics that impact those markets. And we can see recently just everybody's been hearing on the news on the tariffs and the trade wars with China. And the multitude of market impacts that those negotiations have. But it extends beyond China. It extends to all our international trading partners and all our international competitors as we look to supply food and beef and other meat products across the world. And the export become really more important. The beef exports are 13 percent of the production level. And poultry and pork are now about 20 percent of the production level. And so, as you increasingly rely on exports, that variability in those markets in turn come back to impact our prices and our producers. And it was interesting that you mentioned Japan as well. And the BSE is that there was just the news released today where Japan has dropped its age restrictions as it's gone from post-BSE age restrictions. They've dropped that today to help ease access to the Japanese market and provide more beef products into Japan.

>> I think it was about two, either two or three years ago that I heard Randy Blach from CattleFax say that there is a pretty large population shift in China. In particular from rural areas, from the countryside into the cities. And when people get into the cities and they have a little bit more disposable income, one of the first things they do with it is purchase protein. And people like beef. Do you know if that trend has continued?

>> Yes, that trend's continued. The details of the statistics is hard to track down because of black market shipments into China of beef that's been reported. But certainly beef is, I would say, at the top of the food demand chain. Where people migrate to that if they have the ability to pay for it, and it's sourced where they can purchase it.

>> What are some of the other risks? We talked a bit about climate. To what extent does climate play into livestock production risk?

>> It's critical. I think that the production risks on rangelands are extremely severe and demanding of management efforts and attention. And a number of the podcasts in this series have addressed that climate variability. And the impacts on range conditions. And then the resulting impacts on rangeland management.

>> We're aware that it's, you know, a national and a global market. To what extent do regional cattle prices depend on or are affected by climate changes somewhere else? You know, say we have drought occurring in the South or in the great plains. Does that affect prices here?

>> It dramatically affects prices. And, in fact, it's really interesting in that beef prices were setting year over year record highs, as we talked a little bit a few minutes ago, up from 2014 to 2015. And in 2015, Australia had a drought. And they had to liquidate a large number of their cattle herd. And part of that liquidation ended up as imports in the United States. Which had, which was one of the leading indicators and contributor to the price decline that peaked in 2015 and started declining in that summertime timeframe. So, yeah, every, the drought conditions everywhere are, have relative impacts. And interesting even on looking at drought and impacts in resiliency in the United States as to what areas are more prone to drought and extended drought. And what geographic regions have some resiliency to drought impacts. And I would argue that Washington has one, has increased resiliency to drought because of its extensive irrigation system.

>> Jack Southworth talked a bit about being a low-cost producer. And I think sometimes ranchers get tired of hearing that they need to be a low-cost producer to make money. And you can probably drive that too far. But what are some, I'm aware that the RME centers have developed some tools to help people manage through risk. And help to understand your prices. I think one of the big issues in the beef production, with cow-calf producers in particular. Is that a lot of times people don't even know what their costs are. And so they don't know at the ranch level how much they're making or how much they're losing. Doug Warnock who was, who retired from WSU back in 1996, did an enterprise analysis of cow-calf production in the Kittitas Valley under irrigation using figures from 1990 through 1995. And he found that using average input cost, average price revenue or average calf revenue that the average rancher was losing about $75 per mother cow. And, you know, people often have this idea that ranchers are making money hand over fist. Because they have cheap forage, and you're letting the cow do all the work. But it's not quite that simple. What are some tools out there to understand your costs and also to manage costs?

>> Yeah, the costs are very interesting. And that's actually in the early 90s dating back to then, I worked at Texas A&M to go back to school. And I worked with Jim McGrann. And I was involved in the team that developed the standardized production analysis worksheets to directly standardize the process and estimate your cost of production. And that standardized production analysis or abbreviated SPA is supported by the NCBA. Available through different sources to get those worksheets. And what it did was it standardized how to evaluate your grazing resources. How to evaluate your winter feed costs. How to evaluate raised versus purchased livestock. And set up accounting rules along that full spectrum of ranch management. So that when you got to the bottom line, your costs per unit weight of production or cost per hundred weight of production was comparable to another rancher in Texas. Or Florida. Or Montana. And we did this all across the country. And one of the findings from that data was the most profitable ranches were also the lowest cost producers. But that, I think as you mentioned, that you can take that far too extreme. And drive a lot of fun out of ranching by trying to cut costs on every corner. I've been involved in a lot of agriculture enterprises and institutions. And I was, one of my first jobs was with an agriculture bank. We were in the farm financial crisis. And we had one person trying to minimize office supply costs. Well, that didn't make a hill of beans of difference in the long-run success of the bank. And it just wasn't worth the effort to track that down. But on ranching, the cost of production, knowing that cost of production is absolutely critical. It's the base of all your risk management tools and workshops that you can use and develop. So there are tools. There's some spreadsheets that we've developed to help you develop that cost of production. And knowing that then sets a foundation on, not only on developing your marketing plans and evaluating forward contract options or other pricing tool options. It also puts benchmarks, and you can set goals. And you can set ranch management goals and incentives and rewards for hitting different targets. And you know that you're standardized. You know that you're accounted for correctly. And you know you're going to be headed in the right direction.

>> Separate from some of the risk management education workshops and tools. There are some insurance products out there now that some people are using. It seems like this is something a little bit new to the ranching world. You know, beef producers are a notoriously independent lot and have historically looked down their nose at government programs that would help prop them up. But the insurance products are something a little bit different than just say farm subsides. How do those work in the context of livestock production? What are some of the various products out there? And how do they function?

>> Yeah. And let's first talk about motivation on programs and using some management tools and insurance tools. There's really two ways that you're going to manage risk. Ranchers have a choice. Either they can self-insure that risk. Or they can could use other tools to manage that risk. And so self-insuring risk has been very successful in agriculture if you're in the financial position to do so. If you have an equity position, a strong equity position where you could go to the bank and get a operating loan to meet a cash flow shortfall. That's perfectly fine if that's your management philosophy and your financial position that you have that cushion. But if you have some debt. You have your family living expenses are tighter. And you can't withstand a loss. You're not in the financial position to withstand a loss. Then you might be more interested in implementing some of these insurance tools to put a floor under your profitability. Or put a floor under your price that you can, you have, the offset is that you have to write a premium check. And you write a premium check, but you've established that floor. And that might preserve the long-run resiliency or viability of your operation to withstand these market, negative market impacts or drought impacts as well.

>> And does the timing of when somebody gets into some of those insurance contracts make a difference?

>> Yeah. The, couple things on the timing is that the deadlines for sign up are early. They're early relative to when you think you're going to be dealing with these management challenges. And so the different tools on the insurance, you have to be sensitive to those sign up deadlines. And be, have it in your mind. That's why it's good to talk about now well before these deadlines are hitting. And then put some management tools in place, management ideas in place that this might work for me. Do some investigation. And so when you're ready to pull the trigger, everything's been established. And so usually it's almost a year prior to the production year where these insurance tools are available. And that's from their perspective, from the insurance industry's perspective, you don't want to write a car insurance policy after you've crashed. I mean, the idea is to write it before the crash. And then you have that tool in place.

>> What are some of the specific insurance products that are available?

>> Well, for ranching there's three that I'd like to bring up. And the first one is this pasture rangeland forage insurance. And that's an insurance product that has some history on in the ranching community but has been improved and developed on. The original release of the pasture rangeland forage program had two different metrics of use. One was a green index based on satellite imagery. And one was a rainfall index. The green index was not successful. And it ran into a lot of problems. And so then the program had to overcome that negative reputation on that green index. But now the pasture rangeland forage is entirely on a rainfall index. You're insuring rainfall in certain periods of the year. And it's gaining popularity across the ranching community in different areas. As you can look at the number of policies sold and the number of acres covered under these different policies. And in some areas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Nevada. Those pasture rangeland forage is heavily purchased. And it's increasing in purchases all around the West.

>> Places that have really high variability.

>> Yes. You're insuring that variability. And you're monetizing that variability. And then if that drought occurs, you would get an indemnity check that would help you offset your forage replacement costs. Either to new pastures. New leases. New areas. Or purchased feed that you would bring in.

>> What are the kinds of insurance? You mentioned whole farm revenue insurance.

>> Yeah. Whole farm revenue insurance is another insurance product that's really gaining popularity. And what you're doing is that you're setting a floor on your Schedule F revenue. Schedule F if, just to be clear, is the tax form you file with the IRS on your farming and ranching revenues. And the bottom line on that or the revenue line on that, you can insure that revenue line based on your historic average. And what that does is that, if a drought occurs. Or price falls. A disease outbreak. And you're revenue falls below that level. You will get an indemnity check to offset some of those losses. And so that's a wide-ranging tool that's really comprehensive in nature. Because Schedule F encompasses your entire agriculture enterprise.

>> Wow, that's interesting. One of my favorite lines is It's not rocket science. It's way more complicated than that.

>> Yeah.

>> Rocket science is just math. This sounds like math plus doing a rain dance plus.

>> Yeah.

>> Sign up for some insurance. And gamble.

>> Yeah. And you're trading things off. But on the whole farm revenue insurance, the premium rate fluctuates based on if you were involved with the pasture rangeland forage program or the livestock risk protection program. Your premium rates are adjusted because you're covering your risk in other avenues. And if you just, if you didn't have pasture rangeland forage and you just used whole farm revenue. Well, all the risk is concentrated into that whole farm revenue. So your premium is going to be a little bit higher. So the challenge is to look at the portfolio of products offered. Look at what best fits your operation. And determine the mix of those products that best achieve your ranch objectives.

>> And this is all totally separate from another method of trying to manage risk that I don't really know much about. Like purchasing cattle futures.

>> Really good question.

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>> Most people do both of these things simultaneously?

>> There's a product that haven't mentioned yet. And that's livestock risk protection. And livestock risk protection is a price insurance product. And it's a price insurance product that's based on the futures market outcomes. And so what it does is it allows ranchers to, no matter what your size is, to take advantage of futures market information. And the opportunity to hedge price risk through the use of this insurance tool that simplifies it. They don't have to deal with a broker. And you don't have to deal with the large contract size that puts a lot of ranchers, that makes it infeasible to adequately manage your risk. Because the contract size is about 100 calves. And so that's a big chunk of calves for a lot of producers. And then you'd have to manage that directly with the futures market. And there's a lot of transaction costs and complexity involved with that. But that livestock risk protection makes it easy. And it's another risk management agency insurance product. You go in and decide on your coverage levels and your options. And the variable factors involved with that program that include the coverage level. The timeframe that you're covering. The level of coverage that you want to pay for. And you mix those options together to come up with a program that works for you. That best fits what, the objectives that you're trying to achieve.

>> Say 100 years ago, it seemed like there was a lot more diversification within agricultural enterprises. And then we moved much more toward specialized farmers. Where if you're a wheat farmer, you grow wheat and some rotation crop. Then guys that had cattle just had cattle. It feels like we're moving back away from that specialization to where people are diversifying a little more again inside of an operation. Do you see that with the farmers and ranchers you work with through RME?

>> There's an interesting study we did on the beef industry a few years ago. Where we, and this was for Washington. We looked at the production, cattle production trends in Washington on a county basis. And we really determined that Washington declined in cattle production at twice the national average. And so then we went back to the counties and looked where did these reductions occur? And we found that they occurred a lot in the eastern Washington dry land cropping area where traditionally they did have a cattle enterprise and a grain enterprise. And they integrated both, and they moved together. But we found that they specialized, they dropped the cattle operation because of profitability and management complexities. And now you see those farms with grazing resources looking at those resources and thinking well, how best to use that? How best to use that resource? Do I, can I lease it out? Can I, do I have any interest in producing cattle again myself? Am I interested in the cover crops and to make cover crops work? Everybody wants to get some revenue off of that by grazing the cover crop. And so it's all fitting back together with economic incentives to develop more revenue sources. And diversify those revenue sources.

>> So does that reduce risk? Or just increase the different sources of risk?

>> Yeah. That's going to be a hard question to answer on, from year to year. And I think it's going to be depending, just like this spring, on the cold spring all across the country. And the difficulty that cattlemen had in their calving operations. Where the management was, scheme was to move it back into the season a little bit to meet the forage cycle better. And the weather cycle better. And just this year alone that management strategy didn't work as well. And so I think it's year to year. And having options. And developing opportunities. And I think it just gets back to what people want to do. And how people want to address risk and meet their family goals.

>> Any other risk tools you want to talk about?

>> I think those are the main ones that are dealing with livestock. I think that it's interesting to note that difference in that. If you were getting an operating loan and you're a grain producer, the bank would send you out the door if you didn't have crop insurance backing up your production scheme. And what the livestock producers, these insurance tools for livestock producers are new. They're gaining popularity. They're not a lending requirement. So it's going to take a while to build the extent of use. But they certainly offer some tools to manage that risk. And increase the opportunity to increase your viability and resiliency over time.

>> I know the last talk, risk protection program is one that people have been using. And sometimes those programs change from year to year. Are there any recent changes to the LRP?

>> Yeah, there's been a beneficial improvement in the LRP just recently. In that they've increased the subsidy rate of the product from 13 percent up to 20 percent, depending on your choices of attributes within the LRP. But that increase in subsidy was directly geared towards helping people use this product and make it enticing to manage their risk on this with this product.

>> If you have a take-home message, is it keep records, know your costs to manage your financial risk?

>> Yeah. I think that the financial risk outlook is increasing on all aspects of world politics. Export markets. Production trends. All point to a sustained period of financial stress and marginal profitability. I had a graph in some of my workshop presentations that I put together showing the relative long-run, low returns to agriculture with intermittent spikes of profitability. Such as what we saw recently following the Renewable Fuel Act with the bump in ethanol demand. And the increase in the cattle prices that we mentioned earlier in the podcast. But, overall, the management plan and the management outlook is to be rather conservative. And be prepared to take advantages of opportunities as they arise. And so the management strategy to take would be to be conservative. Try to grow your equity. And use tools, as appropriate, to help manage your risks.

>> I think that's a good message. In the, at least in ecological terms, resiliency includes really a couple distinct concepts. One is resiliency. Which is the ability of a system, a financial system, an ecological system, whatever, to recover relatively quickly from a disturbance or a [inaudible]. There's also the concept of resistance that is a component of resiliency. Which is resisting crashing as a result of one of these risks or a disturbance in the first place. And both of those concepts are highlighted in some of these short case study documentary films that I mentioned you and I were on, a project on, we talked about the beginning of the podcast. Those case study documentary films are now published. And they're available at WSU's center for sustaining ag and natural resources website. You can probably search for it that way. You can also go to the CSANR. I think it's csanr.wsu.edu website. And find them pretty easily from there. But we will also include that link in the show notes. We have a short film on the Stingley Ranch in Central Washington, focusing on ecological resiliency. We have one on Jack Southworth, who's been on the podcast, down in Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon. And his focus is on economic resiliency and some of the things we've talked about today. And we also have a short film on the Richards Ranch in the Owyhees in southern Idaho. And theirs focuses more on social resiliency. And probably some aspects that people are not accustomed to thinking through. But which I think really make a difference, especially in rangeland-based livestock operations. So those films are out there now and available to take a look at. There're also some supporting publications that go a little bit deeper into the science behind the various resiliency strategies used by these different ranches. Those are not quite posted yet, but they will be pretty soon. Shannon, we've talked about both some educational tools to help ranchers manage risk as well as some insurance products. If people want to learn more about both of those things, which are somewhat different. Where would they go to find out that? How to get a hold of that?

>> Yeah. So the educational materials we'll make available through links in the show notes. And information there where you can gain education describing these insurance products and tools. So that you know what they are and have a firm understanding of them. But to actually execute these tools and to purchase these insurance tools, you have to go to a crop insurance agent. And the crop insurance agent is your tool, is your contact, is your point of person to get, to reach to actually execute these products. And they'll support you with other questions. And help you get to those decisions and implement those management tools.

>> Very good. Anything else you want to say on a take-home message?

>> No. Just that I appreciate the opportunity to be on this podcast. I've enjoyed listening to all the podcasts. I think it's been a fabulous project. And hope that you enjoy these as much as we have been in producing them. And look forward to more podcasts in the future.

>> Very good. Shannon, thanks for your time.

>> Certainly.

>> Thank you for listening to the "Art of Range" podcast. You can subscribe to and review the show through iTunes or your favorite podcasting app so you never miss an episode. Just search for Art of Range. If you have questions or comments for us to address in a future episode, send an e-mail to show@artofrange.com. For articles and links to resources mentioned in the podcast, please see the show notes at artofrange.com. Listener feedback is important to the success of our mission empowering rangeland managers. Please take a moment to fill out a brief survey at artofrange.com. This podcast is produced by CAHNRS Communications in the College of Agricultural, Human and National Resource Sciences at Washington State University. The project is supported by the University of Arizona. And funded by the Western Center for Risk Management Education through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

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