Providing flexible learning opportunities for farmers

Michigan State University Extension offers webinars on various topics through the Field Crops Webinar Series and Beginning Farmer Webinar Series to reach underserved grower audiences who may not be able to attend in-person meetings.

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Michigan State University Extension offers webinars on various topics through the Field Crops Webinar Series and Beginning Farmer Webinar Series to reach underserved grower audiences who may not be able to attend in-person meetings. 

The Field Crops Webinar Series is geared toward current farmers and gives experts a platform to share research results and crop production topics pertinent to the upcoming growing season including integrated pest management, soil fertility, cover crops and conservation practices. The winter 2017 series resulted in 421 webinar views. Attendees collectively earned 367 Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development pesticide applicator recertification credits. 

The Beginning Farmer Webinar Series assists people interested in engaging in new or expanding agricultural enterprises. In 2018, beginning farmers were offered 15 topic-specific webinars on basic agricultural production practices, business management and marketing. This type of programming helps support the success of these small businesses that have an impact on the economic and social stability, and food security of their communities. The series resulted in 3,820 webinar views.

Field Crops Webinar grower-attendees reported they intend to implement 89 individual practice changes as a result of the information received.

  • Beginning Farmer Webinar respondents to follow-up surveys indicated they have, or will, diversify or expand (44%), begin cultivating a crop in Michigan (23%) and start up a new business (26%).

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