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Conference Name Risk Management for Producers in the 21st Century

Michael Roberts


The Rural Prosperity Risk Management Initiative was designed to deliver timely and relevant risk management information to producers, Extension educators, and agricultural community influencers consisting of lenders, input dealers, and agricultural commodity processors so producers could make sound risk management decisions; Extension educators and Ag. Influencers could help clients make good business decisions; and extremely limited Extension program delivery resources could be better leveraged.
Changing commodity fundamentals, large speculative influences, and higher input costs have producers, extension educators and agricultural community influencers scrambling for ways to increase agricultural prosperity. Beginning in 2006, this project utilized the internet and other interactive communication tools to bring risk management education to participants. Remote and on-site presentations were made by agricultural economists and experts from many U.S. states and foreign countries. Remote presentations were fully interactive with presenters in real time. Presenters included Extension specialists from land grant Universities, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia, and other experts from the U.S., South America, and France. Evaluations via survey, focus groups, and personal contact show that the majority of participants are very accepting of this type of extension program delivery method. Over 46,967 producers, educators, and various officials from 41 states and 19 countries participated in the last workshop series alone. Over 1,500 prodcuers have attended one or more workshops. A live streaming video component was added to target women and other business managers so field and livestock chores would not go un-worked. To date, savings in speaker travel costs are just over $281,905.00. Participants surveyed reported increased net profits in excess of $5,166,099.31 as a direct result of attending one or more of the seminars.