Course helps farmers plan for a secure future

A secure future, a farm for future generations. It´s everything a farm family wants.

"You can learn to secure your farm´s future and protect your family´s legacy by enrolling now in an online course just for farm families," said Barbara O´Neill, Extension specialist in Financial Resource Management at Rutgers Cooperative Extension. "Investing for Farm Families provides the information you need to make strategic decisions while weaving together farm and personal investments."

The eight-lesson course helps farm families plan for a financially stable future that meets their long-term needs. Developed by a team of Extension educators from several states, farm families can work at their own pace while taking the course.

"You can learn to increase your future financial security, identify investment strategies, know asset allocation basics, evaluate investment production alternatives to agriculture business risks, and invest for retirement and farm succession planning," O´Neill said.

She noted that farm families have unique investing needs, which the course addresses. Surveys and focus groups with farmers provided the course developers with insights about farmers' investment concerns and learning preferences.

Tim Eggers, Extension agricultural economist with Iowa State University said he and others affiliated with Annie's Project have encouraged farmers to enroll in the course. Annie's Project is an educational program offered in 20 states and dedicated to strengthening women's roles in the modern farm enterprise.

"The primary benefit of the course is the thoughtful analysis of how on- and off-farm investments can be balanced based on the participant's unique situation," Eggers said. "Farm and ranch families tend to be more comfortable with the investments they can see and use. Investing for Farm Families can help farmers to diversify their investments."

O´Neill and Eggers along with several Extension staff from around the nation developed the course through the Online Investment Education (OIE) project, which was created to reach farm families nationwide with investment information relevant to their needs. It was funded with a two-year grant to the eXtension Foundation from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation.

More information about the course, including enrollment, is available on the Web site:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give investors the tools and information they need to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. Details about grant programs and other new initiatives of the Foundation are available at

eXtension is an educational partnership of more than 70 land-grant universities helping Americans improve their lives with access to timely, objective, research-based information and educational opportunities. eXtension's interactive Web site is customized with links to local Cooperative Extension sites. Land-grant universities were founded on the ideals that higher education should be accessible to all, that universities should teach liberal and practical subjects and share knowledge with people throughout their states.

TAGS: Management
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