- Education and Training: extension
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, agricultural finance
- Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
The purpose of this project is to enhance the knowledge of the Purdue Extension staff in the areas of holistic management and strategic management. These individuals would then form multi-disciplinary teams of extension specialists and county educators that can help farmers develop more integrated family and business plans.
In-service professional development opportunities were provided to educators and specialists on the topics of holist management and strategic management in order increase their knowledge of these tools and to foster the development of teams capable of leading farmer workshops. Leadership for these sessions initially drew upon leaders in these fields located at other institutions. Towards the end of the project, in-house staff led staff development sessions and workshops for farmers. Materials from various sources were synthesized into two notebooks – an instructor manual and a workshop participant manual under the program title of “Positioning the Farm Business.”
One team of county educators and specialists was formed. This team has conducted three farmer workshops. Additional farmer workshops are scheduled for February and March 2001. The county educators in this team also conducted a staff development session for their peers on the use of strategic management materials.
Impacts and Potential Contributions
The outcomes of this effort include the following:
Knowledge of the Extension and NRCS staff about the holistic approach to management and the role that it can play in the management of farm businesses was increased. Members of the staff are better equipped to address management questions from a systems perspective.
The capacity of Purdue Extension to provide management education has been enhanced. A team of specialists and educators has formed and are providing workshops for farmers. In addition the ability to provide staff development opportunities in management has been enhanced. Specialists usually lead the staff development opportunities. However, the team of county educators developed enough confidence their knowledge of strategic management to lead a staff development session for their peers.
Knowledge that farmers have about the forces shaping production agriculture and how they can respond to these changes has been increased.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
1. Introduce the concepts and techniques of holistic resource management and strategic planning to extension educators.
2. Provide professional development sessions where extension educators will learn to apply holistic and strategic management tools to planning the farm business.
3. Improve farmers’ understanding and skills in utilizing holistic resource management and strategic management methods for the development and implementation of farm management strategies.