Taking Research Methods to the Farm: Discussion

By Smith, Nathan B. | Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, August 2005 | Go to article overview

Taking Research Methods to the Farm: Discussion


Smith, Nathan B., Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics


The theme of this paper session is Taking Research Methods to the Farm. The three papers presented today highlight successful programming efforts that have focused on providing agricultural producers with a technical tool to analyze their unique situations and decisions. An underlying theme of the session is collaboration between research and extension. The session organizers mentioned in their proposal that the common model of extension programs is to disseminate relevant information learned from research methods without access to the actual research methods or analytical tools. This is largely true when it comes to statistical analysis, econometrics, and mathematical programming. However, the development of personal computers and software programs does provide extension educators with a valuable analytical tool that allows producers to access the tool and analysis. Spreadsheet decision aids can be found on several university websites. Their applications, however, are typically limited to more straightforward, basic farmmanagement decisions. Extension specialists have learned over time to simplify results and decision tools whenever possible. Producers are mainly interested in the answer, and they want it now.

The session organizers mentioned in their proposal that producers are becoming more technologically advanced. I agree with the statement in large part. I see the needs of producers becoming more specific and complex. The answers and solutions producers are seeking to problems they face require more technical expertise. Today's producers are more educated and technically proficient, especially in regard to production technology. By my observations, farming has become more of a systems approach in which blanket recommendations no longer solve the problem for everyone. Leading agricultural economists forecast that agriculture is moving to a bimodal system of production. The implication of this trend in extension will be working with two basic groups of producers. One group makes up the majority of farm numbers, known as hobby farms. These farms are owned and managed by small, part-time producers that have a need for basic information and expertise. The second group makes up the majority of agricultural production, known as commercial farms. These farms are larger in scale and run by family members or managers with a higher level of education and a high degree of technical proficiency. Their problems are more specific and complex, requiring an understanding of risk concepts. Commercial farms need more assistance in strategic planning, developing business plans, and analyzing risk. This second group, in my opinion, presents an opportunity for incorporation of research methods in extension programming and developing risk education programs. The three articles presented in this session are examples of major efforts in providing a single tool that addresses strategic planning decisions and farm business plans. Each effort is unique in design for reaching a large number of producers.

The Klose et al. paper describes a decisionsupport system called the Financial and Risk Management (FARM) Assistance program. The authors describe the program's uniqueness as the incorporation of risk analysis through stochastic simulation to generate a 10-year pro forma financial analysis. They state that the analysis is most comparable with capital budgeting or investment analysis. The article focuses on the research method and development of the program. Model results are given to producers, mainly with a few simple bottom-line variables, but risk of financial projections are included as well as averages. Klose et al. state that the producers learn from the method as well as the results. Model complexity and flexibility to handle all sorts of situations were mentioned as major hurdles. The research challenge was to develop a model that handled real-world situations and risk. Some important points were brought out besides the research challenges of developing the model. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Taking Research Methods to the Farm: Discussion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.