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Impact

Producers More Confident in Management Decisions Because of ‘Ag Decision Maker’

Farmers, financial lenders, farm managers and agriculture instructors understand that having current, unbiased agricultural economics and business information is important to making sound farm management decisions. Knowing where to go in a rapidly changing agricultural environment to access up-to-date information that includes new and emerging issues is critical to their success. And they want resources available quickly and easily.

Extension’s Response

Ag Decision MakerA team of Iowa State University economics faculty, researchers, and extension farm management specialists provide current agricultural economics and business research through the Ag Decision Maker website at www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm. Nine farm management specialists located around the state are in constant contact with clientele and know what issues are relevant to them. They bring this insight to the team and work with campus specialists to create relevant Ag Decision Maker materials.

Visitors accessing materials posted on the site make it one of the most frequently visited ISU Extension websites. Ag Decision Maker showcases new and emerging issues within farm management to provide up-to-date information from agricultural economists at Iowa State and other Midwest universities and institutions. 

The Ag Decision Maker website offers a wide range of business information on marketing, leasing, land values, legal issues, costs and returns, new business development, and many other topics. The site provides assistance through a six-page newsletter, more than 430 information files and decision tools, teaching activities, presentations, and listing of statewide meetings.

Results

Ag Decision Maker materials are used by agriculture professionals with their customers and clients, as well as by farmers directly. The unbiased research-based information provided through Ag Decision Maker reaches the agricultural sector of the economy on a daily basis. The Ag Decision Maker website currently has more than 3,200 visitors per day, and an average of 65,000 unique users each month. These visitors spend a total of 500 hours on the site every day. Of visitors who visit more than once, the average number of visits is five to six times each month.

Over 5,000 individuals have signed up to receive notice of web updates each month. Ag Decision Maker clients find the information useful, timely and confidence building. They frequently make comments similar to the following:

“I understand the options so much better than I did and feel much more prepared to meet with the renter this evening.”

“I’ve been working on production to prepare for rent contract negotiations and really appreciate the Crop Production Cost Budget spreadsheets for both conventional and organic, and all the information on Ag Decision Maker.”

“Your information from Ag Decision Maker made us look considerably more learned than we actually are.”

For more information about young dairy producer peer groups contact:

Ann Johanns, agdm@iastate.edu, 641-732-5574
An Ag Decision Maker specialist, www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/help.html

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