Extension provides farm bill education

Mar 14, 2014
by WLJ

Information about the Agricultural Act of 2014 is being provided to producers and other ag-related professionals through a series of nationally broadcast webinars hosted by specialists from University of Wyoming (UW) Extension and six western states.

Called “Ag In Uncertain Times,” Web access to recorded webinars and other materials is at AgInUncertainTimes.FarmManagement.org.

“I would describe this effort as truly innovative and demonstrates an extraordinary extension team effort to address the difficult times faced by agricultural enterprise managers across the United States,” said Roger Coupal, Associate Professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

UW Extension Farm/ Ranch Management Specialist John Hewlett has been a part of the team since its inception in 2009.

“UW has contributed substantially to the overall efforts of the team,” said Hewlett. “I’ve been involved in offering presentations, emceeing for other presenters, as well as recording, editing and posting all of the more than 100 individual compiled presentations to the Internet. UW also provides the Web servers and tracking for user access.”

Past webinars have been offered in English and Spanish, increasing the challenge of coordination and hosting, said Hewlett. Server technologies are provided by Montana State University for events.

The team recently hosted an overview of the farm bill, the first in a series.

“This event received a lot of interest,” said Hewlett. “Nearly 450 sites logged in to the webinar from around the nation. Through polling, we were able to estimate that at least 660 individuals participated in the event.”

Several agriculture-related groups are sponsoring the events.

Additional webinars are:

• Mar. 17—Dairy Margin Programs and Livestock Disaster Programs;

• Mar. 24—Commodity Programs and Crop Insurance;

• Mar. 31—Conservation Title, Horticulture, Beginning Farmer Programs and more; and

• April 7—Nutrition Title and Food Policy Programs.

“All webinars are open to educators, agency personnel, policy makers, as well as producers,” said Hewlett. “Individuals interested in participating will find instructions and Web links at AgInUncertainTimes. FarmManagement.org.” — WLJ