Southwest Medicinal Herbs

Risk Management Education
in Southwest Medicinal Herb Production and Marketing

Native medicinal plants of the Southwestern U.S. are under-utilized resources that offer potential monetary, socio-economic and health benefits to local growers, herbalists, and entrepreneurs. Understanding the opportunities and risks associated with collecting, growing, and marketing these traditional herbs for commercial purposes will help growers and entrepreneurs succeed in the rapidly-expanding field of plant-based medicine, while continuing to preserve time-honored herbal traditions.

This tutorial is an intensive training program on managing technical, financial and intangible risks associated with native herb production and herbal enterprises. Topics include: cultural sensitivity to native herb commercialization, Indo-Hispano herb enterprise development and management, value-added herb product development, native herb species identification, marketing and quality control, financial risk management, and native herb production models.

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National Institute of Food and Agriculture
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  • Introduction to Risk Management: View the Presentation

    This module introduces the grower to risk management principles in small-scale, traditional agricultural enterprises, and the development of a risk management plan through identification, assessment, and decision-making. Risks associated with Southwest medicinal plant collection, production and marketing are discussed, with an emphasis on the unique intangible risks of cultural sensitivity, intellectual and cultural property rights, overharvesting, and the need to develop a managed-ecosystem approach to the use of native plant resources. Review and discussion questions are offered to participants to reinforce information presented in the audio-visual presentations, to encourage the grower to follow through on practical outcomes. Supplemental materials facilitate the use of the online tutorial as an educational tool.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2010-49200-06203. Funding for this project was provided by the Washington State University Western Center for Risk Management Education, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and New Mexico State University.

Kevin A. Lombard
Assistant Professor of Horticulture
New Mexico State University
Agricultural Science Center at Farmington
PO Box 1018
Farmington, NM 87499-1018

Phone: (505) 327-7757
Fax: (505) 325-5247