Posted in Programming

Agriculture Today: It is What It Is…What Should We Do About It

Those of us in agriculture are no stranger to risks involved with agriculture that are taken every day, whether it is financial, production, legal, price/market or human resource risks.  While we can’t control everything, there are measures that can be taken to protect one’s operation and reduce risk. Each year the Farmers & Ranchers College hosts Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus from Virginia Tech who does an excellent job describing global risks which affect us locally and how those risks will affect the agricultural industry. Kohl19Flyer.jpg

The agricultural economic down turn is in the seventh year and counting.  Razor thin margins combined with increased volatility is the economic environment that most in the industry are facing.  The result is massive changes in the structure of agriculture and rural communities.  What is the state of the trade agreements and the short and long-term implications to the bottom line?  Where are interest rates, land values, and food trends leading the industry?  How can one adjust strategies and tactics to cope and survive in this environment? One must have the business intelligence and street smarts to be successful.  This session will discuss the assessment of management IQ that often places one in the top third or bottom third of profitability.  What are the financial and business management characteristics that one must focus on in planning, strategizing, executing and monitoring for 2019 and beyond?

This year, Dr. Kohl’s program is titled Agriculture Today: It is What It Is…What Should We Do About It?  The program will start at 1:00 p.m. on December 9, 2019 at the Opera House in Bruning, Nebraska. Contributions and support of area businesses allow participants to attend at no cost. To save time at the door, feel free to register online at go.unl.edu/farmersrancherscollege.

The Farmers and Ranchers College Committee consists of Fred Bruning of Bruning, Bryan Dohrman of Grafton, Sarah Miller of Carleton, Jennifer Engle of Fairmont, Ryne Norton of York, Jim Donovan of Geneva, Bryce Kassik of Geneva, Eric Kamler of Geneva, and Brandy VanDeWalle of Ohiowa.

2019-2020 Program Schedule

  • December 9, 2019 – Agriculture Today: It Is What It Is… What Should We Do About It, Featuring Dr. David Kohl at the Opera House in Bruning, NE from 1-4:00 p.m.
  • January 28, 2020** – “Partners In Progress Beef Seminar” Cow/Calf College at U.S. MARC near Clay Center, NE from 10-3:30 p.m., Registration at 9:30 a.m.
  • March 10, 2020** – “Strategies for Family Farming Success in the Shark Tank” with Dr. Ron Hanson, Harlan Agribusiness Professor Emeritus, UNL at the Fillmore Co. Fairgrounds- Geneva, NE with registration at 5:30 p.m. and the meal at 6:00 with program to follow.

** Programs are free; however registration is appreciated for a meal count. Please call the Fillmore Co. Extension Office at (402) 759-3712 one-week prior to the program to reserve your spot.

Posted in Programming

Women Managing Ag Land Conference

There are many women whether by choice or chance who manage agricultural land. For some, it is their livelihood and business. Other women might have inherited land from a family member and there are also women who just want to learn more about the agricultural business in partnership with a spouse or family member. No matter what the circumstance, Nebraska Extension will be providing a program to equip women with necessary management skills.

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A recent news release came out which shared that any female agriculture landowners, farmers, and ranchers looking to increase their business management skills are encouraged to register for the 2019 Women Managing Agricultural Land conference. The conference will be held Dec. 11 at Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Drive in Lincoln.

The first-ever Women Managing Agricultural Land Conference will allow women to build relationships with each other, attend workshops and gain valuable knowledge. Three keynote speakers and 12 workshops will focus on helping Nebraska farmland owners and tenants navigate the challenges they face.

Participants will have the opportunity to hear from leading experts in land values, Nebraska property taxes, cash rental rates and cultivating landlord-tenant relationships. Jim Jansen, co-author of the Nebraska Farm Real Estate survey, will discuss trends in Nebraska land values. Mykel Taylor, of Kansas State University, will share resources related to negotiations and communication between landowners and tenants. Cathy Anderson, from the Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency, will discuss the 2018 Farm Bill and its implications for Nebraska agriculture.

The full conference schedule and registration form are available at https://wia.unl.edu/wmal. A registration fee of $45 per person covers materials, meals, and breaks.

The conference is hosted by Nebraska Extension and is inspired by Annie’s Project. In Nebraska, Annie’s Project is supported by Farm Credit Services of America. For more information about the Women Managing Agriculture Land conference, go to wia.unl.edu.

 

Posted in Crops, Irrigation, Programming

Farm Bill Programs

Nebraska Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska will host a series of Farm Bill education meetings over the next two months to assist producers as they begin to make farm-bill related program decisions. The 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law last December, reauthorized the existing Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) safety net programs that were in the 2014 Farm Bill, however producers will need to make new program enrollment decisions over the coming months.

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While the ARC and PLC programs under the new farm bill remain very similar to the previous farm bill, a few program changes coupled with changes in market conditions and outlook could significantly impact producer decisions.

“These meetings will help producers understand the programs and recent changes, as well as the decisions to be made at sign-up now and in the coming years,” said Nancy Johner, State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Nebraska. “There are some changes, such as an optional PLC program yield update, and other tweaks to the ARC and PLC programs that producers should consider as they make their selections.”

“Producers face a familiar choice between ARC and PLC, but under very different circumstances now as compared to 2014,” said Brad Lubben, Policy Specialist with Nebraska Extension. “Understanding the program mechanics, analysis and available decision tools will help producers make sound enrollment decisions with FSA.”

The joint Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Farm Service Agency producer education meetings are scheduled at numerous locations across the state from late November to mid-December in advance of the coming ARC/PLC enrollment deadlines in early 2020.

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The meetings are all free and open to the public. Advance registration is encouraged for planning purposes for materials and facilities. Attendees can register for any of the meetings conveniently on the web at farmbill.unl.edu or by calling or visiting their county FSA or Extension office. The educational programs are each set to run three hours in length, featuring information and insight from FSA specialists and Extension experts, as well as other relevant information from local agencies.

The meetings are available statewide with several locations in each region of the state. The schedule for programming closest to us is as follows:

  • Red Cloud – Community Center – November 25, 1-4 PM
  • Bruning – Bruning Opera House – December 5, 1:30-4:30 PM
  • Grand Island – College Park Fonner Park Room – December 5, 1-4 PM
  • York – York County Fairgrounds Cornerstone Building – December 6, 9 AM-12 NOON
  • Lincoln – Lancaster County Extension Center – December 16, 9 AM-12 NOON
  • Kearney – Buffalo County Fairgrounds Antelope Meeting Room – December 17, 1-4 PM
  • Beatrice – Gage County Fairgrounds 4-H Building – December 17, 9 AM-12 NOON
  • Geneva – Fillmore County Fairgrounds Ag Hall – December 18, 9 AM-12 NOON

Please check the website for updates on locations, dates and times. All times are local with registration beginning 30 minutes ahead of start. Several additional meetings also are being planned locally across the state in various locations. Keep alert to additional opportunities and details as they are developed by checking the website for information or by contacting your county Extension or FSA office.

There also are resources available online that can educate producers in their ARC/PLC decision-making process. Links to these resources are available from FSA at www.fsa.usda.gov/ne under the Spotlights section or from Extension at farmbill.unl.edu.

Source: Brad Lubben, Nebraska Extension Policy Specialist: Email: blubben2@unl.edu

Posted in Crops, Livestock, Programming

Farmers & Ranchers College

The Farmers & Ranchers College was formed in January 2000 with the purpose of providing high quality, dynamic, up to date educational workshops for area agricultural producers in south central Nebraska through a collaborative effort between business, industry and higher education leaders. Furthermore, the Farmers & Ranchers College will provide the tools necessary so that agricultural producers will be able to respond positively to these changes using a profitable decision making process.frcollege-logo-front-panel

The Farmers and Ranchers College is a unique opportunity to educate agricultural producers in south central Nebraska. Approximately two hundred fifty producers participated in the 2018-19 Farmers & Ranchers College programs. Producers attending these workshops managed over 100,000 acres and managed nearly 10,000 head of beef animals. Participants surveyed indicated a potential impact of nearly $1 million from knowledge gained from participating. The 18th annual Partners in Progress- Beef Seminar featured a variety of industry, University and agricultural organization presenters. Ninety-eight percent of participants surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with the program quality and fifty-five percent indicated that previous programming improved their knowledge of making risk management decisions.

Contributions and support of area businesses allow participants to attend at no cost, however for programs that have meals, it is requested that people RSVP at least a week in advance for an accurate meal count by calling Fillmore County Extension at (402) 759-3712.

The Farmers and Ranchers College Committee consists of Fred Bruning of Bruning, Bryan Dohrman of Grafton, Sarah Miller of Carleton, Jennifer Engle of Fairmont, Ryne Norton of York, Jim Donovan of Geneva, Bryce Kassik of Geneva, Eric Kamler of Geneva, and Brandy VanDeWalle of Ohiowa.

2019-2020 Program Schedule

December 9, 2019 – “Agriculture Today: It is What it is…What Should We Do About It” w/ Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of AAEC, VA TECH at the Opera House in Bruning, NE from 1-4:00 pm

January 28, 2020** – “Partners In Progress Beef Seminar” Cow/Calf College at U.S. MARC near Clay Center, NE from 10-3:30 p.m., Registration at 9:30 a.m.

March 2020 – “Strategies for Family Farming Success in the Shark Tank” with Dr. Ron Hanson, UNL Harlan Agribusiness Professor Emeritus at the Fillmore Co. Fairgrounds- Geneva, NE     Details are still being finalized for this program.

 ** Programs are free; however registration is appreciated for a meal count. Please call the Fillmore Co. Extension Office at (402) 759-3712 one-week prior to the program to reserve your spot.

Posted in Crops, Irrigation, Livestock, Programming

Free Ag Law and Farm Finance Clinics

Free legal and financial clinics are being offered for farmers and ranchers at seven sites across the state in October. The clinics are one-on-one meetings with an agricultural law attorney and an agricultural financial counselor. These are not group sessions, and they are confidential.

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The attorney and financial advisor specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial and business planning, transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, debt structure and cash flow, agricultural disaster programs, and other relevant matters. Here is an opportunity to obtain an independent, outside perspective on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.

To sign up for a free clinic or to get more information, call the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

Funding for this work is provided by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Legal Aid of Nebraska, North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Clinic Sites and Dates

  • North Platte — Thursday, October 10
  • Lexington — Thursday, October 17
  • Fairbury — Wednesday, October 23
  • Valentine — Tuesday, October 29
  • Norfolk — Wednesday, October 30
Posted in Programming, Youth

National 4-H Week

NE-4H-820x321_FB-Header.jpgThe anticipation is building for National 4-H Week which will start October 6-12, 2019, during which millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country will be celebrating everything The anticipation is building for National 4-H Week, during which millions of youth, parents, volunteers and alumni across the country will be celebrating everything 4-H. Nebraska 4-H will observe National 4-H Week this year by showcasing the incredible experiences that 4-H offers young people, and will highlight the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them.

The theme of this year’s National 4-H Week is Inspire Kids to Do, which highlights how 4-H encourages kids to take part in hands-on learning experiences in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement. The positive environment provided by 4-H mentors ensures that kids in every county and parish in the country  ̶  from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities  ̶  are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles and are empowered with the skills to lead in life and career.

In both Fillmore and Clay Counties more than 200 4-H youth and 50 volunteers from the community are involved in 4‑H.  One of the most anticipated events of National 4-H Week every year is 4-H National Youth Science Day, which sees hundreds of thousands of youth across the nation taking part in the world’s largest youth-led STEM challenge. The exciting theme for this year’s challenge is Game Changers, which will run throughout October. Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, Game Changers will teach kids coding skills through fun exercises including gaming, puzzles and physical activity.

 About 4-H:

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivates confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now. In the United States, 4-H programs empower six million young people through the 110 land-grant universities and Cooperative Extension in more than 3,000 local offices serving every county and parish in the country. Outside the United States, independent, country-led 4-H organizations empower one million young people in more than 50 countries. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of the Cooperative Extension System and 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.