HAYS, Kan. -– On most U.S. farms, success no longer depends solely on combines, tractors and a sturdy back. More and more, today’s farmers are using their mind to work smarter -– not harder -– and learning that a computer and telephone line are essential on-farm tools.

“A computer with an Internet connection can provide agricultural producers with access to up-to-date market and product information,” said Sandy Johnson, a Kansas State University livestock specialist.
“And, while there is considerable consolidation in the marketplace, producers can get more bids from more potential sources using the

K-State Research and Extension and Fort Hays State University are co-sponsoring a conference that will help producers understand how new technology can help them improve their farm’s profits. The Conference on Applied Ag Computing is scheduled Jan. 5-6 at the Fort Hays State
Memorial Union.

Johnson said the conference is important because farmers are constantly seeking a competitive advantage.

“Information is a valuable tool and learning how to collect and use information to enhance an operation will improve profitability,” she said. “For example, producers attending this conference may learn about a method of marketing products, or purchasing inputs that could improve their bottom line.”

Highlighting the conference are presentations by two national speakers.

* Scott Deeter, the CEO of CyberCrop.com, will talk about how farmers and ranchers are using the Internet. CyberCrop.com helps farmers sell grain online by providing real-time grain bids and access to buyers worldwide.

* Willie Vogt, the director of electronic content for Farm Progress magazines, will give tips on maximizing E-commerce for the farm or ranch. Farm Progress publishes 35 state and regional publications, including Kansas Farmer magazine.

There are also several breakout sessions and a trade show for conference participants. Interested persons are encouraged to pre-register by Dec. 22. The pre-registration cost is $95, compared to $125 on-site. Discounts for couples and students are available. The registration fee includes breaks and two meals.

For additional information, interested persons may call Johnson at
785-462-6281, or send e-mail to skjohnso@oznet.ksu.edu. Updated
information on the conference also is available at www.oznet.ksu.edu/AgComputingExpo/.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service