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

"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," says Barbara O´Neill, Extension specialist in Financial Resource Management at Rutgers Cooperative Extension. "Investing for Farm Families provides the information you need to make strategic decisions while weaving together farm and personal investments."

The eight-lesson, online course 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.

"You can 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," O´Neill says.

The course addresses farm family's unique investment needs. Surveys and focus groups with farmers provided the course developers with insights about farmers' investment concerns and learning preferences.

There's also a program called "Annie's Project", which is an educational program offered in 20 states and dedicated to strengthening women's roles in the modern farm enterprise. Tim Eggers, Extension agricultural economist with Iowa State University said he and others affiliated with the project encourage farmers to enroll in the course.

"The primary benefit is the thoughtful analysis of how on- and off-farm investments can be balanced based on the participant's situation," he notes. "Farm and ranch families tend to be more comfortable with the investments they can see and use. 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 Investing for Farm Families course through the Online Investment Education project, which was created to reach farm families nationwide. It was funded with a two-year grant to the eXtension Foundation from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation.

More information about the course, including enrollment, is available on the Web site.

Source: Kansas State University