Sunday, May 28, 2017
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Excel in Agriculture

Farmer using ComputerRecent studies confirm that personal computers have earned a place on nearly all U.S. farms and ranches.  Whether used for record keeping, tracking operational metrics, executing commodity trades, or analyzing financial performance, more and more producers are utilizing the incredible power of today’s information systems.  

While many software products are available to producers, Microsoft Excel (MS Excel) is the most versatile and powerful application available for improving a producer’s efficiency and profitability.  Despite MS Excel’s popularity, many producers lack the skills to truly leverage the program’s incredible capabilities.  In interacting with hundreds of producers across the nation, CAS' presenters have come to understand producers' biggest deficiencies in the use of MS Excel. 

CAS offers its Excel in Agriculture (EA) Program to help producers develop fundamental, advanced, and even expert skills in using MS Excel to better manage agricultural operations.   

  • Our Fundamental program starts with the basics of MS Excel, such as how to obtain and install the program.  We then cover data management and the use of pre-defined statistical and financial functions.  We also teach producers how to use our ready-made budget, cash flow, and balance sheet templates.
  • Our Advanced program introduces producers to many of MS Excel's additional functions and features, including the program's charting and graphing features.  We also provide a wide variety of ready-made analytical and decision-support templates. 
  • Our Expert program covers many of MS Excel’s more advanced features, including creation of macros, development of custom formulae, use of pivot tables, and internet data retrieval.  Producers will learn how to develop their own customized spreadsheet tools for solving problems and making complex calculations.

CAS provides hard-copy and electronic documentation for all program participants.  Our EA program is usually delivered through an on-site setting or webcast; however, one-on-one training sessions can also be arranged. 

CAS' presenters are professionals in the field of agricultural finance and management.  All presenters have bachelors degrees and most have masters degrees.  Our presenters are experienced in delivering financial training programs to beginning and traditional producers.  Program and presenter references are available upon request.  

CAS' Excel in Agriculture Program delivery can sometimes be funded by the USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) or Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES).  State or private funding may also be available.  Interested producer organizations are encouraged to contact CAS to discuss upcoming funding opportunities.

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