About AgDM

What is It?

Ag Decision Maker is a decision-oriented agricultural business web site designed for farmers, lenders, farm managers, agriculture instructors, and others. Ag Decision Maker is written by economics and farm management specialists at Iowa State University and other Universities and institutions across the mid-west.

Newsletter Articles

A monthly Newsletter provides analysis and insight into many of the issues facing modern agriculture. All of the Newsletter Articles appearing in Ag Decision Maker since its inception in October of 1996 are available at this site.

Information Files (fact sheets)

Provide a concise written description and explanation of the subject matter.  A PDF version of the Information File is also available (preferred format when printing). Some files also include companion tools. An audio and visual presentation of the information is provided in the Voiced Media Presentation. Decision Tools are available to do economic analysis for your individual situation. And Teaching Activities are available for classroom instruction.

Decision Tools (electronic spreadsheets)

are for on-line computation (icon shown at the left). You can enter your own figures into the spreadsheet to conduct an analysis for your individual situation and then save the analysis as a file on your computer.

Teaching Activities

can be used in the classroom (icon shown at the left). Students can complete the Teaching Activities from information provided in the Information Files and save it as a word file on their computer or send it to their instructor. Many of the Teaching Activities have Answer Keys at a secure location on this web site that provide answers to the Teaching Activities for instructors and others. Contact Ag Decision Maker for to access the Answer Keys.

Voiced Media Presentations

provide an audio and visual presentation of the information contained in the corresponding Information File. It can be used in completing the corresponding Decision Tool and/or Teaching Activity. You can view the entire presentation or just a part of the presentation by clicking on the respective slide.


for questions about AgDM for subject matter questions
contact Ann M. Johanns
Extension Program Specialist
315 Main Street, Osage, IA 50461
contact a farm management field specialist


Awards received by the Ag Decision Maker website and associated materials:
Impacting Iowans Award (Farm Bill Team) – ISU Extension and Outreach – 2015
Impacting Iowans Award (Evaluating Your Estate Plan Team) – ISU Extension and Outreach – 2014
Research and Extension Partnership Award - Extension Economics – 2012
Agricultural & Applied Economics Award Extension Section – Outstanding Extension Website Award – Ag Decision Maker – 2009
Achievement by an Educational Team – Ag Decision Maker – 2007

How to Use It

There is a navigation bar at the top of your screen to allow easy access to Ag Decision Maker by Subject Matter. A search box is available in the red bar at the top of each page to search within the AgDM site.

  • AgDM by Author -- allows you to find current and past newsletter articles and current information files by author.

To view pdf files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Adobe offers resources for users with disabilities.
NOTE: Adobe Acrobat Pro or Reader is necessary for Information Files with fillable form fields. WINDOWS 10 users should save the PDF and manually open the file in Adobe Acrobat Pro or Reader to access the fillable forms.


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Permission to Copy

Unless stated otherwise, permission is granted to reproduce the materials contained in the Ag Decision Maker hardcopy and electronic versions. Reproduction via copy machine or other copy technology is permissible. Also, the material can be reproduced in newsletters and other distribution methods. The content cannot be altered and Ag Decision Maker must be clearly identified as the source. Also, the appropriate author and his/her organization must be properly credited.

If the materials are reproduced in a newsletter, magazine, website or other method of distribution, please notify Ag Decision Maker (agdm@iastate.edu). This notification is for informational purposes to track the usage of Ag Decision Maker materials. If possible, include the distribution statistics of the magazine, newsletter, etc.