Program mixes farms and computers

UNIONTOWN, Pa. – Dr. David Kohl, professor of ag finance and entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech, will be the featured speaker at Ctap ’00, an ag computer seminar that will be offered at two locations this month in western Pennsylvania.

Kohl will take a look at how the successful farmer will use computers and technology.

Ctap ’00 stands for the Computer Technology for Agricultural Producers program. The program is designed to assist farm managers integrate the use of computer technology into the farm operation.

This year, producers can select from one of two western Pa. sites. On Dec. 20, the program will be presented in Meadville at the William J. Bainbridge Technology Center. The program will be repeated Dec. 21 in Uniontown at the Penn State Fayette Campus.

Registrants will participate in hands-on workshops that utilize Penn State’s mobile computer laboratory.

In addition to Kohl, this year’s program includes several agriculture and technology experts. Jeff DeGrand of the Downes-O’Neill Dairy Team will present the interactive session, “But I Have No Control of my Milk Price – Wrong!” which uses the Downes & O’Neill Web site for learning how to lock in milk prices.

DeGrand is a graduate of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s agricultural broker training program and co-authors a bimonthly dairy column for Midwest Dairy Business.

Dean Baldwin will present a workshop on managing risks and profits with grains. Baldwin is a professor of agricultural economics at Ohio State University. His workshop will include a tutorial demonstration of software developed at Ohio State University on how to manage risks and profits of crop production.

Marty Campfield, president of Nutrient Solutions in Agriculture Inc., will present several topics in his workshops. Internet Ag Sites You Need to See will provide a guided tour of the World Wide Web for ag information.

Campfield will also demonstrate his Farmworks software, which enables the farm operator to keep all his accounting, field work, pesticide, manure spreading, herd management, and mapping information and records in a modular set of software.

Producers will also learn how to buy and sell seeds, fertilizer, animal supplies and more during his “Buying and Selling on the Internet” workshop.

Jan Pruss, a crop management specialist with the Penn State department of agronomy, will demonstrate CIMS – Crop Information Management System software.

CIMS is a Penn State-developed and nationally recognized crop and field information management software program. It monitors multiple years of crop removal of nutrients and crop rotations and assists with cost and profit per acre calculations.

Dave Baver, a retired veterinarian, will teach producers to use CPM, a dairy nutrition computer program that balances rations using linear programming.

Bill Gardner will demonstrate spreadsheets every farmer can use and will also co-present a workshop on “Your Own Web site” with Albert Nakpil.

The program includes an introduction to computing and word processing for beginners as well as an “Ask the Expert” and troubleshooting your computer workshop.

Registration of $25 includes all conference materials, use of the computer laboratory, and lunch. Participants must preregister and select the specific workshops they wish to attend. Registration materials are available at local Extension office in western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, or West Virginia. Or, you can contact the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Office at 724-438-0111 or email fayetteext@psu.edu.

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