Posted in Programming

Keeping Stress Levels in Check

The holidays are a wonderful time of year. It’s a time of year to reflect on the many blessings in our life and reconnect with family members. It can also be a time of year to trigger many stressors and create anxiety for those dealing with added stress. For that reason, my colleague, Glennis and I have decided to provide a webinar for anyone in agriculture dealing with some extra stress this holiday season.nebraska extension12.17.19web

Farmers and ranchers have many stressors in their lives. Weather challenges and disasters like many Nebraskans have recently experienced have led to uncertainty in their crop and livestock operations. Machinery breakdowns, debt loads, volatile markets, sleep deprivation, changing regulations, and the stress of holding onto a multi-generational farm/ranch all play a part of the stress and mental health of a farmer or rancher. Farmers and ranchers know the importance of planning and talking about their financial health to bankers, financial planners, spouses, etc. but might not realize how important it is to spend time on their mental health.

A free webinar will be offered December 17 via the web for farm and ranch families.  The webinar will take place over the noon hour (12:30 p.m. CST) and can be accessed at go.unl.edu/stresswebinar.  “Keeping stress levels in check” will be presented by Nebraska Extension Educators Glennis McClure and Brandy VanDeWalle starting at 12:30 p.m. (CST). This free webinar is available for farm and ranch families to participate and will provide strategies for dealing with the stress of farming or ranching in today’s difficult economic environment.

Participants will learn: How to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress; understand the role stress plays in our lives; and strategies and resources to manage stress.

For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu or (402)759-3712.

A separate workshop available to agribusiness professionals and service providers working with farmers and ranchers titled, Communicating with Farmers Under Stress can also be taught face-to-face. For more information on this workshop contact Glennis McClure at gmcclure3@unl.edu or (402) 472-0661.

Posted in Crops, Programming

Landlord/tenant cash rent workshops

Nebraska Extension’s Landlord/Tenant Cash Rent Workshops for 2020 and Beyond will provide the latest leasing, real estate and management information to operators, tenants and landowners in Nebraska this winter.

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The workshop is scheduled in 19 communities throughout the state, between Dec. 6, 2019, and March 18, 2020.

Extension educators Austin Duerfeldt, Jim Jansen and Allan Vyhnalek, all working in the Department of Agricultural Economics, have collaborated to develop a program that will address agricultural finance and the real estate market, negotiation skills and considerations for leases and strategies for farmland succession and communication.

“Austin, Jim and I have put together an excellent set of topics and have completely rewritten our land management curriculum for this set of workshops,” said Vyhnalek. “We encourage both landowners and farmers to attend to hear about land management in the next decade.

For the purpose of this column, I have included the workshops closest to us, including York and Clay Center. Registration for the free workshop is requested to ensure enough materials are available. Updated information is available at farm.unl.edu.

 Landlord/Tenant Cash Rent Workshops for 2020 and Beyond

Omaha
When: Dec. 17, 2019, 6-9 p.m. at Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties
Address: 8015 W Center Road, Omaha, NE 68124
Registration: 402-444-7804

 Seward
When: Jan. 7, 2020, 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Nebraska Extension in Seward County office
Address: 322 S. 14th St., Seward, NE 68434
Registration: 402-643-2981

York
When: Jan. 8, 2020, 9 a.m.noon at York County Fairgrounds – 4-H Building
Address: 2345 N. Nebraska Ave., York, NE 68467
Registration: 402-362-5508

Clay Center
When: Jan. 15, 2020, 1-4 p.m. at Clay County Fairgrounds – 4-H Building
Address: 111 W. Fairfield St., Clay Center, NE 68933
Registration: 402-762-3644

Kearney
When: Feb. 24, 2020, 9 a.m.-noon at Nebraska Extension in Buffalo County office
Address: 1400 E. 34th St., Kearney, NE 68847
Registration: 308-236-1235

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