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Online course offers help to Nevada farm families

Posted 2/9/2010

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

And now a new online course, "Investing in Farm Families," can help Nevada’s farmers ensure that.

“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 University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Karen Hinton. “Investing for Farm Families provides the information you need to make strategic decisions while weaving together farm and personal investments.”

The eight-lesson course, offered through eXtension.org, 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.

“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,” Hinton said.

Hinton 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 oncerns and learning preferences.

Tim Eggers, Extension field agricultural economist with Iowa State University, said 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.”

“Farm and ranch families tend to be more comfortable with the investments they can see and use," Eggers said. "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.

For more information or to enroll in the course, go to www.extension.org/pages/InvestingforFarmFamilies.

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