UW financial management experts honored for Managing through Difficult Times exhibit

There’s no denying that we are all facing difficult financial times. The uncertainty, along with the sudden and dramatic effect it’s had on agricultural markets, provides many challenges to Wisconsin farmers.

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Dairy Profitability and UW-Extension’s Farm and Risk Management (FARM) Team have developed decision-making tools, fact sheets and more about farming through difficult times.

Their responsiveness to the current economic situation through outreach programming included having an exhibit booth at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in July. The Managing through Difficult Times exhibit provided Wisconsin Farm Technology Days visitors with access to UW-Madison/Extension profitability experts and to farm and family resources that address economic challenges.

The UW-Madison Center for Dairy Profitability and UW-Extension FARM Team will receive the 2009 Donald R. Peterson Technology Transfer Award for their Managing through Difficult Times exhibit at the 2009 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. The award will be presented at the annual Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Board of Directors meeting in April 2010.

The Managing through Difficult Times exhibit drew many people to the display and provided a series of activities including a profitability quiz, discussions about alternatives and opportunities for more in-depth education surrounding issues of finance and accounting, and managing stress. Farm profitability experts also shared practical and proven information with producers on specific ways to cut production costs.

“We know that all sectors of Wisconsin’s dairy industry are particularly stressed right now as a result of a long run of prices that are well below the cost of production,” said John Shutske, UW-Madison CALS Associate Dean/UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension Program Director for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “These conditions have created huge challenges and pressures for farm managers, families, lenders and others with a stake in Wisconsin agriculture. Our Center for Dairy Profitability, our FARM team, and many others in UW-Extension are working directly with producers, family members, ag leaders, community members, and our state agency partners to address the many challenges that affect all involved in agriculture.”

He added, “These challenges are affecting everyone, whether you’re milking several hundred or several thousand cows, or a smaller producer trying to manage through transitions and make very tough decisions.”

The Center for Dairy Profitability develops, coordinates, and conducts effective interdisciplinary educational and applied research programs emphasizing business management, human resource management, production systems, finance and marketing systems that enhance dairy profitability.

In coordination with the UW-Extension FARM Team, the Center for Dairy Profitability provides information and decision-making tools to farm operators through their website and through workshops.

The Donald R. Peterson Wisconsin Farm Technology (Progress) Days Technology Transfer Award was established in honor of Don Peterson, UW-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) emeritus Professor and Associate Dean. Peterson was long-time General Manager of Wisconsin Farm Progress Days.

The award recognizes outstanding educational effectiveness and impact via an interactive exhibit and activities at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. To win this award, groups must successfully engage audiences around topics such as: effectively using new management tools, processes, or concepts; incorporating new technologies into a modern farm operation; or issues that challenge contemporary agriculture and our natural resource base.

The Award memorializes Peterson’s diligent efforts to encourage CALS faculty and staff to convey the fruits of College research and knowledge to the public through Wisconsin Farm Technology Days.