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Abstract

The rural West has experienced dramatic demographic and economic transformations during the past several decades. The makeup of farm operators has changed significantly, and enterprises are increasingly at greater production, financial, marketing, human, and institutional risks. Given the importance of university outreach education to the future of agriculture, a better understanding of farm operators, including what they perceive to be the greatest threats to their operations, is required to effectively design risk management education. This project has resulted in improved understanding of agricultural producer needs for risk management education, through the results of two surveys completed over the past three years. These surveys targeted both small (<$50,000 ag sales) and large (>$50,000 ag sales) operators across three western states (WY, CO, and AZ). Results are generally much more descriptive of the educational needs, as well as suggesting mechanisms for delivery for Extension workers and others than the results available from the general agricultural census. More information at: http://RuralFamilyVentures.org.

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