“Small farms with access to the Internet earned approximately $2,200 to $2,700 more in gross farm income compared to small farms without access to the Internet.”
The pair of agricultural economists presented their findings in February. Researchers used data from a nationwide U. S. Department of Agriculture survey of farm households in 2010. They defined a “small farm” as having a gross cash farm income of less than $250,000. Sixty-two percent of the small farm households had access to the Internet.
Researchers concluded that small farm businesses, through good management of off-farm and on-farm activities, can benefit from Internet service as it opens up options for gaining information and potentially reducing input costs and household expenses.
Those living in rural areas understand that access to high-speed internet or any form of internet is sometimes hard to find. But is getting better. The internet allows farmers to have access to more education and research, enables different marketing opportunities and can serve as a networking tool.
For more information on this study you can read the complete report here.
We are so pleased with the response to our new agri-blogging internship program. It was tough to choose just one for the summer semester, but we finally decided on Maggie Seiler – a sophomore at Kansas State University dual majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry.
Maggie grew up on a dairy operation outside of Wichita and has worked for the Kansas Dairy Association and the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, as well as serving as an Agricultural Ambassador and an officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She is very interested in the agriculture use of social media.
“Blogging and the use of social media platforms is becoming an increasingly important part of journalism and the agricultural industry,” Maggie said in her application. “I really appreciate the ability of online platforms and blogs to provide the vital information from agriculture industry meeting to members of the community that cannot physically travel to events. ZimmComm is a company that stays on the cutting-edge of industry developments sharing them with producers. I would really like to be a part of this movement and especially focus on increasing my knowledge of using online platforms to reach out to agriculturists.”
We are not wasting any time getting Maggie on the agri-blogging highway. She will be joining Chuck next week for the 2013 Alltech Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky and you can expect to meet her at other events this summer.
This morning kicked off the 12th Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit here in Washington, D.C. or more specifically Arlington, Virginia. This year’s topic of discussion was on “Activist at the Door: Protecting Animals, Farms, Food & Consumer Confidence.” The Animal Ag Alliance is focused on connecting, educating & protecting and that is exactly what this conference is all about.
Today we have heard from all aspects of the agriculture community as well as a few outsiders who gave us a perspective we needed to hear. Tomorrow’s panel will continue with the same dialogue focused on animal welfare within the agriculture industry.
If you were unable to attend the event you can follow the #AAA13 on Twitter or view the live coverage here, provided by Alltech.
Today we honored Mick Sibbel for his years of service to the Agri-Business Education Foundation. Mick got ABEF started and has led the organization since 1991. On stage at the opening session of the 2013 Agri-Marketing Conference NAMA members thanked Mick.
Mick is one of the people responsible for me being in this business still today. He may not know that but Mick and a small group of folks gave this kid a lot of advice and suggestions early on that I took to heart and I appreciate him for that. This honor is well deserved and I can attest to it on a personal level. We support ABEF and have for years thanks to Mick. We will continue to do so.
Here’s a class I would love to attend. It’s the Aggie Processed Meat School Program. This program is not just for people who do meat processing but also those involved in quality control, business management, public relations and marketing. Here what you will learn if you attend.
By attending the Aggie Processed Meat School you will discover both the science and the art of making processed meat products. The first day will focus what you should consider when choosing the meat products and other ingredients to include in the processed meat item. That afternoon the participants will learn the art of making sausage. Then the next day experts will demonstration the production of whole-muscle processed meat items. Finally, participants will learn about ways to evaluate the finished product for quality and safety. Participants will be lead through a product evaluation much in the same way that is done in several of the product show competitions around the country.
Click here to register then type in Meat in the keyword search. The deadline to register is April 19th and enrollment will be capped at 60 people.
The ever-changing world of technology can be a little overwhelming and since farming is full of technology, it is very understandable that growers across the country could use some extra education. BASF listened to growers when they admitted that they didn’t always feel comfortable with the new technology and partnered with Bob Wolf to bring them On Target Application Academy.
Bob has a long history studying the application process at the university level. His research has focused on nozzles and selecting the correct nozzle for different jobs. During the recent Commodity Classic, Bob was busy talking with growers passing through the BASF booth about the On Target Application Academy. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and see first hand the effects of different nozzles.
“BASF was interested in taking a message to the growers to help them understand a better way to apply crop protection products so we wouldn’t have some of the drift issues that we have today. And do a better job controlling the targeted pest and specifically the weeds for the herbicide program.”
“The course began in 2013. We had around 20 meetings and we talked to about 2,000 applicators. Essentially what we are doing in those programs, wherever they might be – field days or in conjunction with a scheduled meeting, is taking anywhere from one to two hours training. Talking about nozzle application and the proper selection of spray nozzles. The focus to that attention is how can they increase their application efficiency, have more control over the pest they are shooting for and reduce spray drift.”
If you are interested in attending an On Target Application Academy, contact your local BASF representative to find out where the closest event is scheduled.
Dr. Below, who is Professor of Crop Physiology at the University of Illinois, was joined by BASF Technical Crop Production Specialist AJ Woodyard for the educational session that drew a record-breaking number of attendees.
Both BASF and Dr. Below shared new data that shows farmers how they can nearly double their yields with a comprehensive pest management plan. Even though they conducted research separately, their results both indicated that growers can maximize yields by using agronomic management program featuring a combination of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.
Woodyard highlighted studies that consisted of a combination treatment of BASF herbicides and fungicides in corn, and BASF herbicides, fungicides and insecticides in soybeans, and compared their effectiveness to a glyphosate-based control program. Results revealed soybean yields increased by an average of 6.0 bu/A over the glyphosate-only program.
According to Below, the current average soybean yield in the U.S. is roughly 42 bu/A, and has been hovering around that figure for the past few years. “While it may seem daunting, the quest for 85.0 bu/A isn’t a stretch. Yields of this nature are produced each year in state contests, so we know it can be done,” Below said. “The trick is figuring out how to consistently produce these yield levels, and our research has identified six strategies to help accomplish this task.”
The Stock Exchange, powered by DV Auction, works hard to bring you news about the beef industry each month and recently launched a new weekly beef news show, Cattle Commentary. Each week we hope to share industry news, as well as, address issues facing cattlemen and women across the country.
After getting the first one under our belts, we are really excited about what the show can bring to breeders. My husband and I have been part of the DV Auction crew for over three years now and are true proponents of what the company can offer. When asked to host the Cattle Commentary, I jumped at the opportunity to dive into beef news and share the story of producers nation wide.
This week’s beef headlines include:
–Stanley Stout Livestock Marketing Center to be Dedicated at KSU’s 100th Cattlemen’s Day
–Cast your votes for the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame
–Sec. Tom Vilsack warns of posssible fifteen day furlough of all Food Safety Inspectors
Check out the first edition of Cattle Commentary below.
“It is always somewhat humbling for people you admire to talk about your career and the contributions you have made,” said Moss, a member of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “It motivates me to continue asking interesting questions and to continue to challenge myself.”
He has supervised six doctoral students and two master’s students while at the University of Florida. He has written two textbooks related to agricultural economics, co-authored another, edited six volumes and written 24 chapters. And has been published in nearly 100 scientific journals.
This busy man has also served as co-editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics and was a member of the editorial board of that journal and the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
Congratulations Charles for such a prestigious honor.
Award-winning book, Prancing, Dancing Lily, can now be found world-wide as a multi-platform app. The heartwarming story about an Ayrshire cow determined to hoof and groove around the globe, was written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by John Manders. App developers and author have teamed up with interactive media publisher, Fat Red Couch.
“The Fat Red Couch team provided years of experience in storytelling and are a delight to work with,” says Ms. Arnold. “We persevered in our search for the perfect app just as Lily persevered in her search for the perfect dance, and just like Lily, we had a great time on the journey. Lily’s story will delight anyone who’s ever felt different from the herd. Children can interact with Lily as they read or listen to the story and enjoy playing puzzles.”
Download Prancing, Dancing Lily on iTunes, Android, and Amazon for $1.99. For a preview of the app, visit Vimeo. To learn more about Lily and author Marsha Diane Arnold, please visit www.prancingdancinglily.com. To learn more about Fat Red Couch, a member of the collaborative group of family-friendly app developers Moms With Apps, visit www.fatredcouch.com.
FFA Week is in full swing as FFA members from across the country take part in activities promoting and past members reminisce about all the opportunities the organization gave them.
The National FFA Organization has been a part of my life since the day I was born. My dad was an ag teacher, so I was raised in the organization. Once I was old enough to zip up my very own FFA jacket I couldn’t wait to take in everything the FFA had to offer. The blue corduroy let a shy girl, who lacked confidence, blossom into a public speaker, leader and advocate for agriculture.
Later in life the National FFA Organization gave me the opportunity to share my passion with my students as a ag teacher. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your students hard work pay off as they walk across the stage to receive their State FFA Degree or an award for a Career Development Event.
Today, the FFA is more to me than just memories. National blue and corn gold bleed through me each day. The FFA Motto of:
Learning to Do
Doing to Learn
Earning to Live
Living to Serve
Is a motto we should all bring into our everyday lives. Everyday is a learning opportunity. Everyday hard work gives us the opportunity to provide for our families. Everyday we should live to serve our friends, family and community.
I was disappointed to find out the video, So God Made An FFA Member, has been removed from YouTube. I hope to get it posted as soon as it is back online.
AgCareers.com wants to know – what is your dream career in agriculture?
During 2013 visit AgCareers.com at different industry events we’re attending and tell us what ‘Your Dream Career in Agriculture” is. Help us educate the public about the millions of exciting careers that exist in agriculture!
Those careers include teacher, dairy consultant, engineer, loan officer, welder, rancher, vet, microbiologist, nutritionist, aerial applicator, meat inspector, plant manager, viticulturist, mechanic, and family farmer – just to name a few! Oh – and Secretary of Agriculture.
A diverse coalition of agricultural organizations that came together during the 2008 Farm Bill debate under the name Farm Policy Facts announced that they are stepping up education activities during the 113th Congress.
Farm Policy Facts will communicate with the media and members of Congress via regular email alerts that will include a mix of farm policy news, detailed analysis and case studies of farm policy in action. Former journalists and legislative experts – including Rene Pastor, a longtime commodities reporter with Reuters, and Tom Sell, a former Hill aide and USDA official and cofounder and managing partner of Combest, Sell & Associates, LLC. – will be regular contributors.
Think about putting your farm on display in a museum. You can. The American Farm Bureau Federation is working with the Smithsonian to create a new exhibit focused on agriculture.
This spring, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is reaching out to farmers, ranchers and American agri-business to build a collection that reflects modern agricultural practices. Curators are seeking stories, photographs and ephemera to record and preserve the innovations and experiences of farming and ranching.
In partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, the museum is announcing this initiative to the farming community today during the AFBF’s 94th annual meeting in Nashville. The first donation will come from Tennessee Farm Bureau member Pat Campbell, of Cleburne Jersey Farm, a multi-generational dairy farm founded in the 1870s in Spring Hill, Tenn. Campbell will give a selection of photographs, a computer cow tag and reader unit to show the change in dairying from a hand-labor intensive process to a modern computer-run operation. The donation will also include his personal recollections about how changing technology has altered his work life and has led to greater efficiency and safety.
I visited with Patrick today to found out what he is donating to the collection.
You can listen to my interview with Patrick here: Interview with Patrick Campbell
Coinciding with National Agriculture Day on March 19, the museum will unveil a new Web portal where the public can upload stories about technologies and innovation that have changed their work lives; stories about precision farming, traceability, environmental concerns, governmental practices, irrigation, biotechnology and hybrid seeds. For details, visit http://americanenterprise.si.edu.
My American Farm, the American Farm Bureau Foundation’s online interactive education program, received a huge investment from Dupont Pioneer that was announced at the beginning of the annual meeting here in Nashville. It is a $250,000 investment that will support new games and resources, increased outreach to K-12 stakeholders and a mobile application.
I learned more about it by speaking with Susan Bunz, vice president of policy and outreach for Dupont Pioneer. She says that the company actively promotes science education with a goal of attracting more students to study and pursue careers in sciences including agriculture.
During the stage presentation one lucky state farm bureau – North Dakota – received an interactive My American Farm kiosk to use at events around the state.
Cat is a western Wyoming sheep rancher who raises livestock protection dogs and burros. Her award winning book is aimed at 3rd and 4th graders and is a photo essay of a mix of animals she raised together while shooting photos of them as they grew up. It’s a true story about agriculture that is meant to educate youngsters. She says it’s more important that ever to create good educational materials for children today.
A movement is underway to improve the math and science aptitude of today’s students. For the second year in a row, the Monsanto Fund is gearing-up to invest $2.3 million to strengthen math and science education in rural communities through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education℠.
Now until April 15, 2013, farmers can nominate their favorite, local public school district. Administrators of nominated school districts can then submit grant applications through April 30, 2013 to enhance their math and/or science programs.
The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to highlight the important contributions farmers make every day to society. Following a successful pilot in Minnesota and Illinois, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education debuted nationally last year in 1,245 counties across 39 states. Its reach has grown to include 1,271 counties this year.
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education offers farmers the opportunity to nominate rural public school districts to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. Nominated school districts can then submit an application for either grant amount. Winners will be announced in August 2013.
School districts that apply for a $10,000 grant will compete against other school districts in the same USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD). CRDs with fewer than five eligible school districts will compete against each other for a single, $10,000 grant. School districts that apply for a $25,000 grant will compete against schools that are located in the same state or designated region.
Grants will be awarded by the Monsanto Fund based on merit, need and community support. The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council, a group of 30 farmer leaders from across the country, will select the winning grant applications. Advisory Council members were selected based on their passion for agriculture and education, as well as experience in rural school districts.
The nationwide School of Ants has found a home at the University of Florida. The school is an example of citizen science, a project where anybody can collect and submit data for experts to review and compile.
Ants are collected from personal yards and neighborhoods and then entomologists identify each species and plot its location. These digital maps provide a snapshot of any distribution around the county.
“Knowledge of the presence of a species of ant might help for things like quarantine and control, if the species is a problem,” said founder Andrea Lucky, and assistant scientist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “If we find a rare ant, or an ant that’s way outside its known range, we many want to keep an eye on it purely for academic purposes.”
The program originated at North Carolina State University in 2011, between Andrea and Rob Dunn, a biology assistant professor. The expansion and movement of the headquarters to Florida has the team excited due to it having more ants than any other state.
“We want to really focus on Florida,” Lucky said. “The ant populations are so diverse, and we’re eager to get a handle on what’s here.”
Identifying that the invasive Asian needle ant had spread beyond its original home has been one of the school’s biggest accomplishments. The pest kills native ant populations in hardwood forests and carries a painful stinger.
If you are interested collecting ant specimens and mailing them in, be sure and record the location and time the ants were collected. Volunteers can register at the school’s website.
You can also keep up with the program by following them on Facebook and Twitter.
Think you’re a master of social media? If not, you can become one at the University of Florida, College of Journalism & Communications, my alma mater.
I wonder if they’d like a guest lecturer? Think I’ll pursue that idea.
The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications is pleased to announce the launch of our online Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a specialization in Social Media. As a UF graduate, we thought you’d be especially interested in this first-of-its-kind program and the ability to continue your education as a Gator no matter where you reside.
This innovative program provides a specialized focus in social media for the professional who is seeking knowledge in the advanced uses, communication techniques, business opportunities, and trends from the growing realm of social media. As a student, you will learn to adapt, craft, and deliver customized social media content and determine its effectiveness through a diverse range of social media metrics and data.
Designed for working professionals, this degree provides a flexible route to acquiring new skills and implementing them in your current career through online course delivery.
Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry joined forces to create the Today’s Agriculture exhibit at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex. That exhibit has been expanded and will be ready for folks to see starting January 5, 2013. There will be a media unveiling on January 2nd from 10am to noon. What is Today’s Agriculture exhibit?
Today’s Agriculture is an exhibit constructed within the Farm Show Complex showcasing Today’s Agriculture, including livestock for meat and milk; crops for feed; farm machinery; and on-farm conservation management.
How big is the Today’s Agriculture exhibit?
The exhibit’s total display area is more than 13,000 square feet, including a specially constructed 84-foot long x 48-foot wide barn that will house the farm animals.
Why did Pennsylvania agriculture join forces to bring Today’s Agriculture to life?
The best way to understand livestock and crop production is to visit a farm, view the systems, and ask questions. Farmers know it’s not practical to bring every Farm Show visitor to all the different commodity farms in Pennsylvania. Instead, they want to bring the farm to the public with the construction of the Today’s Agriculture exhibit. Farm Show visitors will see animals, in their typical housing environment. To feed those animals, farmers need to harvest crops with sophisticated farm machinery. The crops and machinery also will be on display, with farmers available to answer questions during the show. Continue reading →