Only 5.95% of Puerto Rico´s farmers use a computer for farm management purposes, 2007 Census of Agriculture of Puerto Rico. Given the low percentage of farmers that do not use a computer for farm management purposes the Technology and Management Educational Center for Socially Disadvantage Farmers (SDF) in Puerto Rico was established in 2010. The Center’s objectives are: (1) Create an online tool to improve farmer’s decision making process and farm planning for Commodity Model Budget; (2) Encourage and assist farmers to apply for federal and state agencies programs; (3) Enhance computer skills among Socially Disadvantage Farmers (SDF); (4) Enhance and strengthen farm management, marketing, finance and accounting skills among Socially Disadvantage Farmers (SDF); (5) Establish Extension Technology Centers (ETC) equipped with computers and internet access that can be accessible to SDFR at the local extension field office.
The online tool for the model budgets was created (10 budgets are already available). Over 12,000 people have accessed the tools,. Financial institutions are accessing the tool to evaluate farm loan applications. The Center has offered 426 contact hours of computer literacy and skills to 304 SDF. Evaluations show participants’ satisfaction with the activities. Pre-post tests show an increase in computer knowledge of participants. Seven Education Technology Centers, five ETC and two CETec, have been established in six municipalities. The publication Spreadsheet use in Agribusiness” and four spreadsheets are available to farmers for farm records through the Center.
|Conference||2014 Women in Agriculture Educators National Conference|