This presentation will describe the educational effort undertaken to instruct Nebraska agricultural producers how to evaluate, sign-up for, and engage the USDA’s 2014 Farm Bill. This effort included a four-tier approach to include webinars and online recorded video, face-2-face meetings, one-on-one consultation using prepared software, and print media. The program also included a follow-up research/survey effort to discover the impacts of the educational program, and how producers used the materials provided. We will discuss the resultant data, behavior changes made, and the long-term impact of the decision made. Participants to the session will gain an appreciation for a multi-tier educational approach and experience how our approach positively affected the final program outcome. We will demonstrate how producers in the state chose USDA risk management programs and provide commentary on how these choices might affect future programs and program payments. Finally, the program will address emergent program concerns and the creative solutions Nebraska producers used to help mitigate these issues.
In total, this program reached 13,328 Nebraska producers directly, with an estimated 2,764 secondary, and 6,103 tertiary contacts. The program affected a reported 4.1M acres of crop ground with an estimated economic impact of $128.9M. The post-workshop evaluation demonstrated a substantial improvement in understanding of the farm bill program, improved understanding of the base acre/program yield update, and improved understanding of what programs options would work best for their operations. A six-month survey further demonstrated improved understanding of program analysis and evaluation leading to a successful sign-up and enrollment.