Impact of Ag Decision Maker

Ron Hook, Kelvin Leibold, Robert Tigner, Tom Olsen, Steve Johnson, Craig Chase, Tim Eggers, Bob Wells, Jim Jensen, Don Hofstrand, William Edwards, Mike Duffy, Ann Johanns; Extension Economists, Farm Management Field Staff, Extension Program Specialists

Situation:

Ag Decision Maker is a subject matter development and delivery mechanism for providing timely and relevant information to agricultural decision makers.  The web site provides timely material covering a wide variety of farm management subject matter. Interactive tools allow users to apply the information to their own individual operations. To meet immediate demands, pages focused on current outlook as well as Farm Bill information have been added in recent months.

Objective:

Increase material available on Ag Decision Maker. Gain knowledge and insight from AgDM users on how they learned about AgDM, the materials they use and where they would like to see more information added. Increase usage and visibility of the Ag Decision Maker program.

Activities/Output:

We have continued to expand the amount of agricultural business subject matter on Ag Decision Maker.  120 subject matter files were added or updated in the past year. Over 100 Decision Tools are maintained on the Ag Decision Maker web site. Ag Decision Maker was included on the program at women’s conferences around the state as well. In recent months, pages dedicated to Farm Bill information and Current Profitability and Outlook Information have been added to the web site.

In January 2009, users spent 890 hours per day on the Ag Decision Maker Web site.  This is an expansion of 47 percent over January 2008 last year and almost a 100 percent increase from two years ago.  In January of 2009, there was an average of 37 users on the site at any point in time (24 hours per day, seven days per week).  This is an increase from 26 during January of 2008 and 19 during January of 2007. 

A survey of Ag Decision Maker users was completed in early 2009. The on-line survey was sent to individuals who requested their e-mail addresses be included on the notification list. The 166 responses were composed mostly of ag lenders (25%), farmers (20%), extension (17%), and agri-business (11%).

Outcome Statement:

The majority of these users (31%) found out about Ag Decision Maker from an Extension meeting. The hard-copy version, an internet search, and e-mail were close options as well at 15%, 14%, and 13%, respectively. Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed look to AgDM as a resource for their own use, or as a resource for clients or students. On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being highest, Ag Decision Maker content was rated at 4.6.

User comments:

·       I have one farm client that was in a process of switching relationships with his landlords from sharecrop to cash rent and the various provisions were extremely helpful to protect all parties to accomplish the desired result without anyone getting trapped due to wide market swings and input costs adjustments.

·       I use it all the time for feeding cattle budgets/closeouts. I love the spreadsheets that I can enter my data into and compare against ISU data.

·       Personally, we declined to pay an exorbitant cash rent scenario as it would not work in our operation.

·       I'm using it today to try to figure out whether I should sign up for ACRE program

·       I used information on ethanol production in writing a successful grant.

2009

120 Farm and Business Management

Page last updated: April 6, 2009
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu