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Abstract

A financial training program designed by Cooperative Extension specialists was provided to over 2,000 USDA/FSA borrowers from the Northeast during the period 1994-1999. Key to the success of the workshops was an in-depth, user-friendly curriculum that evolved over time, eventually replacing satellite-feed instruction with pre-taped videos. Cluster analysis classified nearly 70 percent of workshop participants as "Low Finance Priority" or "Low Finance Knowledge." Farmers in these clusters received a relatively greater educational benefit from the program than those not in these clusters.. Impact analysis indicated that perceived annual gain in farm net worth from application of workshop tools ranged from approximately $5,000 to $10,000. The training addressed the needs of producers typically isolated from Cooperative Extension because the workshop was the only extension program attended that year by nearly two-thirds of them.

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