Vol. 17, No. 32May 21, 1998

Extension specialist on loan to assist farm program initiatives

Uncertainty and risk have always been inherent to farming, and today in America the stakes are escalating.

"With the 1996 Farm Bill, farm programs have changed," H. Don Tilmon, extension specialist for farm management, said. "The federal government is phasing out some of the safety nets they have provided for farmers in the past, such as quotas, target prices and deficiency payments for idle land."

With these measures no longer in effect, producers will need to take a more active role in managing their profit opportunities and risks, he explained. Tilmon is leading the way to see that producers are given the information they need to adapt to these changes and gain a better understanding of risk management.

He has been appointed to lead a new national educational program for risk management education, an effort initiated by the Federal Extension Service. Tilmon is on loan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Federal Extension Service for one-half of his time through September, and perhaps beyond that date.

In this position, he oversees the efforts of four regional leaders. In addition, Tilmon also works directly with 14 mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states to deliver risk management education programs directly to the growers.

-Margo McDonough