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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Mike Roberts is Awarded National Honor

Farm Business Management Update, June - July 2008

Mike Roberts has been awarded the National Association of County Agriculture Agents (NACAA) National Search for Excellence Award in Farm and Ranch Management. The award is given each year to one recipient in recognition of outstanding Extension farm and ranch risk management work. Mike's work was chosen the winner over all Extension agent entries across the U.S. who do farm and ranch risk management Extension programs.

He received this award for creating and implementing the risk management program, The Virginia Regional Market Analysis and Economic Outlook Seminars Utilizing the Internet as an Interactive Delivery System, over the last three years. In a luncheon on July 14, 2008, Mike will make a presentation on his work and receive a $500 award and plaque during the NACAA national meeting in Greensboro, NC.

Abstract of Mike’s award application: 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 states. Remote presentations were fully interactive allowing participants to see, hear, and question presenters in real time. Presenters included extension educators from eleven land grant Universities, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia, and various agribusiness community influencers. Evaluations via written and telephone survey, as well as personal contact, show that the majority of participants are very accepting of this type of extension program delivery method. Savings in speaker travel costs over the three years of the project were $68,405.00. Participants reported increased net profits in excess of $1,427,616.50 over the last three years as a direct result of attending one or more seminars.

Funding for the program was provided via yearly competitive grant by the Southern Region Risk Management Education Center and USDA in the aggregate amount of $145,086.00.


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