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 pdf icon 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 aid icon 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 aid icon 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 the “username” and “password” to access the Answer Keys.

Voiced Media Presentations 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. To view these presentations, Adobe Flash Player is required.

Ag Decision Maker, an electronic newsletter and online library of information files, was named the
Outstanding Extension Web site for 2009 by the Extension Section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Ag Decision Maker covers a wide range of topics in farm management, agricultural marketing, new business development and renewable energy. It is coordinated by ISU Extension economists in the economics department and extension field specialists.


How to Use It

There is a navigation bar to the left 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.

Alternatively, choose " text-only ".

download free Acrobat ReaderTo view pdf files, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, go to http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

Adobe offers PDF conversion tools for blind and visually impaired users at http://www.adobe.com/accessibility.html.

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.

Get Adobe Flash PlayerTo open Adobe Voiced Media presentations, you will need to download Adobe Flash Player.



Ag Decision Maker subscriptions are available in printed hardcopy.

A hardcopy subscription to the Ag Decision Maker Handbook includes the following:

  • Handbook -- A handbook filled with over (150 files) 430 pages of ag business information.
  • Newsletter -- A one year subscription to the six-page, monthly newsletter
  • Handbook Updates -- Update of out-of-date handbook files (included with monthly newsletter). Over 100 pages of material are updated throughout the year.

The initial cost of Ag Decision Maker is $150 plus $10 for shipping and handling (includes handbook and one year subscription to newsletter and handbook updates). The subscription rate for subsequent years is $100 a year (includes newsletter and handbook updates).

To subscribe to Ag Decision Maker, complete the form (pdf) and return to the address at the bottom of the page. For questions, call (641) 732-5574, or e-mail agdm@iastate.edu.

Questions about It

If you have any questions, please contact one of us below.

Ann Johanns

Ann M. Johanns
for questions about AgDM
Teachers: log in here
Extension Program Specialist
email: aholste@iastate.edu
315 Main Street, Osage, IA 50461
Phone: 641-732-5574

For subject matter questions

contact a farm management field specialist

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, web site 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.


This web site is dedicated to the memory of our friends and colleagues Don Gee, Gary Vogt, Herb Howell, Everett Stoneberg, Gene Futrell, Marvin Skadberg, Bob Wells, and Darnell Smith.