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Ag In Uncertain Times wins awards. . .

Written by admin on November 11th, 2010

September, 2010

A project developed to help producers succeed in challenging times has received three awards from the extension service and economics associations.

Ag in Uncertain Times – helping producers and others meet the challenge is a comprehensive Web site and webinar-series under development by the Cooperative Extension Service in seven Western states to assist producers and other ag-related professionals address changing economic conditions.

“We live and operate in uncertain times,” said John Hewlett, UW extension farm and ranch management specialist. “Unstable markets, high input costs, the falling dollar, low credit availability, bank failures, and a thousand other risks add to the uncertainty of production agriculture.”

Other team members include: Duane Griffith, Montana State University, Ramiro Lobo-University of California, Davis, John Nelson and Jon Newkirk, Washington State University, Trent Teegerstrom, University of Arizona, Jeff Tranel, Colorado State University, and Bob Craven, University of Minnesota.

The program has been recognized for:
1) the 2010 Award of Excellence for a Multi-State Program by the Western Extension Directors,
2) the 2010 Outstanding Extension Program Award for Project by the Western Agricultural Economics Association, and
3) the Outstanding Electronic Media Award for 2010 by the Extension Section of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (national award).

Ag in Uncertain Times was developed as a five part-series to address some of the most important topics in the areas of credit, markets and overall risk, said Hewlett. “Across each of these topics, three essential questions were addressed by the speakers: 1) Where are we? 2) Where do we want to go? and 3) How do we get there?”

“Seventeen webinars were hosted by the team from June through December 2009. Forty speakers provided the presentations and materials to populate the project’s Internet pages,” said Hewlett.

Roger Coupal, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, praised the effort in his letter of nomination.

“It is clear that the Ag In Uncertain Times project has addressed a timely need,” he said. “Difficult times are already faced by several sectors of the agriculture industry. The project team was able, using current technologies, to assemble several panels of nationally known speakers to address five major topic areas. Furthermore, the team utilized a number of evolving and only recently available technologies to optimize the impact and reach of the programming efforts.”

The project includes handout material and recordings of various presenters, but also offers teaching videos, wiki pages and webinars describing how to utilize the recorded webinars to reach local audiences.

“In a word, 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 Coupal.


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