Dr Michael Boehlje noted Purdue University ag economist will lead a webinar on March 31 offering insight for farmers planning to thrive during the economic downturn Photo by Mike Wilson

Dr. Michael Boehlje, noted Purdue University ag economist, will lead a webinar on March 31 offering insight for farmers planning to thrive during the economic downturn. (Photo by Mike Wilson)

Spend an hour, get smarter

I have a lot of roles at Penton Farm Progress, publishers of Farm Industry News. Besides creating content for this site, and editing the magazine, I work in other areas. And one I enjoy is hosting, or moderating, webinars. I find them an efficient way to reach a lot of people in a short period of time.

Many of you know what a webinar is. It's a web-based seminar. Using some interesting online tools it's possible for you to log in and listen to presenters while watching their PowerPoint presentations you can hear industry-leading speakers explore new topics. And in just an hour you can learn a lot.

I've had the pleasure of hosting two webinars in the past few weeks (with another on tap soon, which I'll discuss below) and we also had another hosted by my colleague Forrest Laws, that delved into some fascinating topics.

The best part of this webinar format is that you can catch it live while it's happening, or catch it later on your own time. We're in an on-demand world, and the webinar is the ultimate on-demand learning tool. So the webinars I link to below take you to the playback pages if you missed them the first time out.

In "The More You Know, the More You Grow" Matt Darr, Iowa State University, precision ag expert, delved into how farmers will be using data, with some core examples you can start considering for your operation. He was joined by Tyler Hogrefe, technical product manager, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, who showed some nifty features that are part of the MyJohnDeere Operations Center. The two presenters also answered attendee questions. And you can listen to a playback of the webinar. John Deere sponsored this webinar.

Forrest Laws hosted a fascinating webinar on putting farm data to work in a true logistics focused manner. In a webinar titled "Better Data Means a Stronger Farm" Belzoni, Miss., farmer Jeremy Jack along with a key farm partner - Granular - shared how they're putting information to work on the Jack operation. If you're trying to figure out more ways to deploy information, Jack offered a real-world look at the issue from his farm's perspective. This webinar was sponsored by Lubrizol.

I was on tap to host "Get a Jump on 2015: A Spring Planting Outlook" where Byrce Knorr, senior market analyst, Farm Futures, shared that publication's proprietary data on 2015 planting intentions (more soybeans, less corn). Greg Soulje, agricultural meteorologist with This Week in Agribusiness, looked at planting weather ahead. And Warren Graeff, senior vice president agriculture banking market manager, PNC offers a look at the 2015 financial picture. That webinar, held just this week, has some fascinating fresh information to check out. This webinar was sponsored by PNC.

And what's coming up? On March 31, I'll be hosting a webinar with Dr. Michael Boehlje, distinguished professor of agricultural economics, Purdue University. He'll be offering his insight into "Managing Your Farm Business in an Economic Downturn." It should be a lively presentation, and I'm looking forward to the Q&A session with Boehlje as well. He's been a long-time speaker for the Farm Futures Business Summit. If you're interested, register for the webinar soon so you can take part. Credit Junction is the sponsor for this event.

Using your Web connection for a little data download like an efficient one-hour webinar makes sense in these times. The more knowledge you have about key issues impacting your business the more competitive you can be. So check out those playbacks, or register for the upcoming event with Michael Boehlje, hope to "see" you there.

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