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Conference Name Regional Farm Management In-service Programs in the Northeast

Wesley Musser


The number of farm management extension specialists has been declining rapidly in the Northeast. Most states do not have the capacity to give a thorough farm management in-service. The Northeast Farm Management Committee has given two regional farm management in-service programs in the past five years because of this problem. The Risk Management Program in CSREES has provided the main funding for these programs.

The first program was given in 1999 and involved five specialists from five different states. Five one and one-half day programs were given throughout the region. The goal was to provide coverage throughout the region. As horticulture enterprises exist throughout the region, the focus of this program was horticultural risk management. Topics included measuring risk preferences, hired labor regulations, production management, marketing management, and finance management. The latter three topics focused on vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals, respectively. The in-service was also given in the North Central region after the Northeast presentations were complete

The second program again had five sites, was the same length, but utilized nine specialists. The topics were more general and included: risks farmers face, business planning, enterprise analysis, cost accounting, financial statements, benchmarking, market access, human resources, estate planning, and policy update.

This presentation will provide more details about organization and planning, workshop funding, and attendance. The agendas for the workshops will be reviewed and the reaction of the attendees noted. Other regions may wish to consider similar programs based on our experiences.