The Farm Management Extension Audience of 2030

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Leibold, Kelvin
Stockton, Matthew
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Plastina, Alejandro
Associate Professor
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The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Extension and Outreach

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach helps carry Iowa State’s land-grant mission beyond campus, to be the university that best serves the citizens of Iowa. With Iowa State University, we embrace the land-grant philosophy of:

  • access to high-quality education
  • research applied to the needs of Iowa, the nation, and world
  • extending knowledge to strengthen Iowa’s economy and citizens’ quality of life
We do that by offering practical, how-to education based on powerful university research. It’s available to any resident of Iowa and is tailored to meet the needs of Iowans, needs we know firsthand. Our educators, specialists, and volunteers live and work in all 99 Iowa counties.

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During the halftime of his son’s football game, Farmer Brown asks his smartphone for a real-time cost-effectiveness analysis of three alternative treatments to suppress weeds in two acres over the Missouri River, where remote imagery technology identified weed pressure trending up and nearing 90% of the acre- and corn-stage-specific weed threshold. The device calculates real-time partial budget analyses using acre-specific weather forecasts, soil conditions, labor and machinery costs, corn growth stage and projected yields, weed species, and cutting-edge technology to respond with information about the cost-effectiveness of reducing weed pressure to 75%, 80%, and 85% of the threshold as well as leaving it at 90% or letting increase to the threshold before treatment. Mr. Brown activates his remote office via voice recognition and submits a request for the automated system to implement the most cost-effective option. After receiving immediate confirmation that his selection will be implemented within 24 hours, he is ready to continue rooting for his son’s team.


This article is published as Plastina, A., K. Leibold, and M. Stockton. 2019. "The Farm Management Extension Audience of 2030." Choices. Quarter 2. Available online: Posted with permission.

Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019