farmdoc Celebrates 20 Years of Progress
A Message from Scott Irwin, farmdoc Team Leader
The farmdoc project was started in 1999 (remember Y2K?), when online information systems specifically for agriculture were relatively new. The original version of the farmdoc website was ground-breaking because it was the first to provide “one-stop shopping” for information and tools to aid decision-makers in Corn Belt agriculture. With initial funding from the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research, we created an integrated website offering information and decision tools on agricultural finance, agricultural policy, crop insurance, farm management, law and taxation, and marketing and outlook. In today’s world of instant Google searches for any kind of information imaginable, this may not seem like a very big deal, but it was. People loved being able to find everything from the agricultural economists at the University of Illinois in one place.
The original farmdoc website turned out to be just the first step. Spurred on by the mobile device and social media revolutions, people began to desire multi-platform accessibility to information and have it presented in a condensed format. In response, we created the farmdoc daily site in 2011. This site has had from the beginning the audacious goal of publishing one new article of research-based analysis each business day. The articles on farmdoc daily quickly earned a place on the must-read list of farmers, educators, journalists, traders, market analysts, and policy-makers around the globe. We are still going strong over 2,000 articles later.
In 2016, the Farm Policy News site was added to the farmdoc family of websites in order to provide updates on current developments relating to the farm economy and U.S. farm policy. The social media component of the project was upgraded at the same time. There are now multiple ways to connect with farmdoc through email updates, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
The overall goal of the farmdoc project is the same today as in 1999 — to provide U.S. Corn Belt crop and livestock producers with constant access to integrated information and expertise to better manage their farm businesses. Along the way, the farmdoc project has been honored with numerous awards, including the Team Award from the College of ACES at the UI (three times) and the Distinguished Group Extension Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (three times).
In view of all this, we thought it was appropriate to celebrate the 20th anniversary of farmdoc. The celebration included the following events:
- Publication of a nine-part series of farmdoc daily articles looking back and thinking ahead to the next 20 years (Reprinted in this booklet)
- A webinar entitled “Is farmdoc the Future of Agricultural Extension?”
- A College of ACES seminar entitled, “farmdoc at 20: What Have We Learned?” along with a panel discussion by original members of the farmdoc team
- A celebration luncheon at the Colonnades Club in Memorial Stadium on the University of Illinois campus attended by over 200 friends and supporters of farmdoc (see picture gallery below)
We had an amazing time celebrating the first 20 years of farmdoc. The luncheon was a very special event. In our busy and hectic lives, it is all too rare that so many leaders in Illinois agriculture gather together in one place. Hopefully it won’t be another 20 years before we do it again.
We are grateful to everyone that has supported us over the years. All we can say is THANK YOU!
farmdoc daily 20th Anniversary Article Series
- farmdoc at 20: How Did We Get Here and What Have We Learned?
- Grain Price Outlook: farmdoc Twentieth Anniversary
- farmdoc and farmdoc daily Crop Insurance Contributions – 20 Years and Counting
- Farm Policy Perspectives: 20th Anniversary of the farmdoc Project
- Weekly Farm Economics: Farm Management in farmdoc
- Biofuels Markets and Policy: 20th Anniversary of the farmdoc Project
- farmdoc 20 Year Retrospective on Agricultural Trade (In Chart Form)
- Law and Taxation: A Retrospective of 20 Years
- farmdoc and farmdoc daily: Farm Real Estate Markets - 20 Years and Growing