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Farm Pulse – Adapting Financial Management Curriculum for Online Learners

Extension Education

Katie Wantoch
Farm Management Professor of Practice
UW-Madison Division of Extension


Imagine sitting down at a computer to complete an online course and instantly becoming confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated with the amount of information. While farming is high-tech, most farmers have limited experience with online education as compared to accessing the internet to check email, pay bills, or simply browsing the web. Online courses should be fun, engaging, and interactive, rather than a source of frustration and stress. Farmers are already experiencing a prolonged period of significant financial stress that has contributed to farmers reevaluating their financial situation and business plans. The Farm Pulse: Financial Management and Analysis curriculum looked to adapt and update written workshop materials into a more relevant format for use in-person, as stand-alone educational videos, and an on-line course. This curriculum was developed to assist farmers in identifying strengths and weaknesses of their business to assist them in making decisions that will improve their farm profitability. The curriculum is available on Canvas, UW’s online learning management system. Canvas’ browser-based interface works on multiple devices, allowing farmers to progress through the course wherever and whenever they have internet access. The course will take farmers approximately six hours to complete and is comprised of eight modules of asynchronous online learning, with much of the content drafted by Wantoch. The course lessons feature short readings and videos teaching key concepts; knowledge checks feature interactive learning experiences; and each lesson concludes with a short quiz to reiterate the learning objectives for the lesson. Participants will choose from either a dairy or livestock and grain case farm to follow throughout the course, completing hands-on, interactive financial activities related to these case farms. After completing the course, participants can transfer these skills from the case farms to their own farm businesses. Farm Pulse: Financial is being piloted by seven farmers in January – May 2023, with full release planned for summer 2023. The course fulfills education requirements for USDA Farm Service Agency loan borrowers in Wisconsin.  A course preview is available at and also accessed through the UW Extension Farm Management website -

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Katie Wantoch
  1. Wantoch, K. Associate Professor, Agriculture Agent, UW-Madison Division of Extension, Wisconsin, 54751