Trade Act of 2002 established the Trade Adjustment Assistance
for Farmers (TAA) program which is designed to help farmers and
fishermen whose income has been negatively impacted by competition
After a commodity has been certified as TAA eligible, one of several
requirements a producer of that commodity must provide is that he
or she has met with an extension employee or agent to receive technical
The Trade Act says, in part, that: "The producer certifies that
the producer has met with an Extension Service employee or agent
to obtain, at no cost to the producer, information and technical
assistance that will assist the producer in adjusting to import
competition with respect to the adversely affected agricultural
information regarding the feasibility and desirability of substituting
1 or more alternative commodities for the adversely affected agricultural
(ii) technical assistance that will improve the competitiveness
of the production and marketing of the adversely affected agricultural
commodity by the producer, including yield and marketing improvements."
(SEC. 296, (a) (1) (D)
2003‚04, the TAA program has expanded beyond farmers and ranchers
and is working with Alaska salmon permit holders and crew members
who fished salmon in the qualifying years 2001 and 2002, and whose
income has suffered from the competition of farm-raised salmon from
A Federal/State Partnership
Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES)
has contracted with the four Extension Regional Risk Management
Education Centers to take leadership for and coordinate the Extension
technical assistance provisions of TAA within the respective regions.
The four centers are located at Texas A&M, University of Delaware,
University of Nebraska, and Washington State University.
The Western Center for Risk Management Education (WCRME), a part
of Washington State University Extension, is responsible for coordinating
TAA technical assistance in the 13 western states. The Western Center
also manages and dispenses the funding required to support TAA technical
assistance programs in the Western Extension Region.
State University Extension's WCRME has developed sub-contracts
with the Extension organization in each of the western states
for curriculum development and/or technical assistance delivery
for when producers of an eligible commodity are present in that
part of this effort, the WCRME, in cooperation with the University
of Alaska-Fairbanks and the University of Washington, has also
produced a 64-page study guide and video/CD/DVD and is providing
information and resources for business planning, business loans
and grants, training and education benefits, and other resources
available to improve fishing operations.
curriculum and video are available online at the University of
Minnesota Extension Program Web site at: www.agrisk.umn.
edu/taa/Commodities/SalmonAlaska/ and are being used
by Extension agents nationwide to support training meetings with
Alaska fishermen residing in their areas.
To reach the 1,200, some non-resident Alaska permit holders and
crew members, the WCRME is working through other extension programs
in the other 38 states where these fishermen live most of the
the WCRME collaborated with the CAHNRS Information Department
to produce a 2-hour "train the trainers" conference targeted at
extension educators in these states. The conference involved Jon
Newkirk, WCRME director, and Dennis Feiss, TAA specialist with
the WCRME, in the Information Department studio on WSU's Pullman
campus, as well as Torie Baker, of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Marine Advisory Program, who was linked via videoconferencing
from a television studio in Anchorage, Alaska.
program explained the background of the TAA program, the different
parts of the program, the resources available for extension educators
to work with salmon fishermen in their states, a basic overview
of how a session might be conducted with a single fisherman or
a group of fishermen, and details of how to complete the necessary
forms and document participation by the fishermen.
the program has trained over 1,800 salmon fishermen in Alaska
as well as another 700 living outside Alaska, 650 of whom reside
in Washington State.
Chair, Information Department