Conference Session This event was part of the eXtension 2012 National Conference
Assessing complicated topics like federally subsidized crop insurance, federal conservation programs, farm taxation and financial management can be very difficult for farmers. Also, person-to-person explanation of complicated topics can be expensive in terms of both government agency staff and farmers time and travel commitments. Can interactive software tools be created that assist farmers with such complicated topics? Are their important lessons that can be learned from the process of software tool development that assures farmers will use the tools developed? This working smarter case study will present the challenges and benefits of software tool development in making complex topics more easily understood and manageable for farmers and ranchers. Based on the idea of Turbo Tax which is used for federal and state individual tax filing, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) with support from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) developed a unique software tool called the Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite) Wizard. This tool has been very successful in helping agricultural producers assess the multiple risks of farming and understanding a complicated crop insurance product. The presentation will include a demonstration of the AGR-Lite Wizard tool as well as the important story of its development.
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