NPR - Agricultural Lender Education Can Directly And Indirectly Multiply Risk Management Education Efforts
Ohio State University Extension professionals organize and teach one-day agricultural lender education seminars annually focused on management and broader industry topics affecting agriculture in the United States. While the three seminars in 2012 reached 97 agricultural lenders, these lenders reported having 9,500 farm customers with whom they plan to share the knowledge gained from OSU Extension. Knowledge gained was measured by using a retrospective pre/post survey instrument that lenders self-measured their before and after knowledge on seminar topics. Lenders improved their knowledge in risk management topics measured by a retrospective pre/post questionnaire using a six point Likert scale. Knowledge was gained on all seminar topics and ranged from 1.08 gain (Ohio Livestock Care Standards) to 1.90 gain (New Dairy Technologies). Knowledge gained will be used by lenders directly (speak with customers related to their farming operation), indirectly (use to review customer portfolios), and as background (professional development and industry awareness) with their farm customers. Three topics were identified as having high percentage of lenders directly using knowledge gained with customers: Farm Transition Planning Rational to Reality (76%), Examining Potential Profitability for 2013 (66%) and Returns to Farm Drainage (60%). Two topics were identified as having high percentage of lenders using knowledge gained as background use with customers: Many People and Less Poverty in 2050-Feeding the World (66%) and Ohio Energy Development-Wind, Solar, Gas (55%). Knowledge gained by lenders will reach a diverse demographic of farm customers based on the $2.5 billion agricultural portfolio reported by participating lenders. Participating agricultural lenders indicated that OSU Extension can best serve lenders and their customers by offering unbiased information for farmer customers, being a resource for lenders and providing updates, providing current trends in the agricultural industry and continuing extension at the county level. By evaluating the 2012 seminar participants, OSU Extension educators better understand the important multiplier effect of teaching a group of professional agricultural lenders and reaching nearly a hundredfold the number of Ohio farmers with the educational information.
Keywords: risk management, education multiplier, agriculture lender