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Top of Mind: Information at Top Speed

September 1, 2010
By: Jeanne Bernick, Top Producer Editor

Funding for high-speed Internet in rural America received a boost when USDA announced grants for broadband services nationwide. Telecommunications companies servicing rural towns will receive $1.2 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act this year.

That’s good news. It means more producers will have access to our new and We talk a lot about the value of our Web sites, including depth of content and user-friendly design. Go online and take a peek. Our navigation is intuitive; you don’t have to think about where you’re going or what you’ll get once you arrive. It’s easy, it’s concise and it’s dummyproof. That’s valuable in this age of information overload.

Even if you don’t have broadband or you’re on a slower connection, you can get the same great information, just with fewer pictures and faster load times, using our new
Farmers under 35 are invited to stop by and click on the Young Producers tab. There is news geared toward young growers and their families, including features on beginning farmers and links to the Farm Journal Legacy Project, which offers succession planning resources for transitioning the family farm. You’ll find a list of the best ag business colleges in the nation and an exclusive roundup of ag scholarships. There are young farmer discussion boards and blogs. Check out the Tomorrow’s Top Producer Seminar page, where we provide articles and speaker summaries, and mark your calendars for next year’s seminar, Jan. 25, 2011.

Cool Tools. Farmers sometimes tell me that magazines don’t deliver timely market information. I argue that we deliver profit-bearing market analysis you can’t find anywhere else, but now you can also go online for time-sensitive news. I challenge you to find a better free-market resource than E-mail me if you find one. Betcha can’t.

An example of where we extend beyond the pages is the Hot Links & Cool Tools section of Here you’ll find the Corn Margins Calculator, which allows you to type in your input costs, acres and yield to determine margins. You can see how your margin shifts if you make a 5% improvement in costs, yield or price. Another tool is The Farm CPA, where you can ask longtime CPA Paul Neiffer a tax question—and get a straight answer.

I could go on and on about our beefed-up Web sites, but the important points to remember are that they are screaming fast, they offer one-stop shopping for news and markets and there are plenty of great tools for producers young and old. I encourage you to stop by and take a look for yourself.

Jeanne Bernick

Editor of Top Producer


Top Producer, September 2010

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