Targeting Producersí Educational Needs Results in Increased Attendance and Participation at Extension meeting

Jim Fawcett, Extension Field Agronomist

Fiscal Year Submitted:

POW Number & Title:
100 Corn & Soybean Production

Title of Success Story:
Targeting Producers’ Educational Needs Results in Increased Attendance and Participation at Extension meeting

Problem Statement:
Agriculture is rapidly changing, with new technologies and new markets being introduced every year. Crop producers must keep up with the changing technologies in order to stay competitive. One limitation with traditional winter crop production programs is that it is not possible to offer all topics of interest to crop producers and agribusiness professionals in the area. Because producers have many educational opportunities to choose from it is important to structure and position Extension programs to meet and exceed their educational needs.

Programmatic Response:
A Crop Advantage Series conference was conducted in Cedar Rapids in January, 2010 to offer a wide choice of workshops to teach crop producers, as well as businesses that serve crop producers, about applying research related to crop production and protection. The conference was moved to a later date than in previous years to allow Kirkwood Community College students to attend. Participants could choose three workshops to attend from the twelve that were offered. Topics offered included pest management, no-till soybean production, strip till with RTK guidance, grain storage, fertilizer recommendations, marketing crops, and global warming.

Despite poor weather, the attendance was the highest ever at a Crop Advantage Series meeting in this location with close to 300 participating, including 70 students. Rich Crow, Kirkwood Community College Crops Instructor, indicated that the student feedback was very positive and they also enjoyed visiting with Palle Pedersen after the conference. Ninety-four per cent of participants rated the meeting as good or excellent. The average economic value placed on the information received by attendees was about $8 per acre. A total of half a million acres is being managed by those completing the survey (N=71). This suggests an economic impact of about $4 million.

Comments received included:

“The info from Alison and Palle in particular will save me thousands of dollars this coming year. It's remarkable how much we learn at this conference that a farmer would never hear from a seed dealer or agronomy salesman.”
“Everything was good. Can’t wait until next year.”
“Very well put on and organized.”


100 Corn & Soybean Production


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