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Conducting Market Research for Extension Programs: Nebraska Extension’s Weather Ready Farms


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As part of eXtension’s New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) Year 1 Cooperative Agreement with USDA-NIFA, the eXtension Foundation partnered with a Nebraska Extension program called Weather Ready Farms to help accelerate their program implementation and impact. In addition to this initiative being documented in a peer-reviewed ePublication, this project received direct support from a third-party marketing firm specializing in agriculture to conduct market research into the target audience and create a marketing & communication plan. 

Join Ashley Mueller (Nebraska Extension), Michael Bergland-Riese (Nebraska Extension), Hans Schmitz (Purdue University), Scott Reed (eXtension Catalyst), Bill Ervin (EG Integrated), and John Lotta (MSR Group) for a panel discussion to learn more about the key takeaways and findings of the market research, how its being used to further this project, how the surveys were conducted, and the experience of working with an outside firm to conduct market research for an Extension program. 


Ashley Mueller, Nebraska Extension
Michael Bergland-Riese, Nebraska Extension
Hans Schmitz, Purdue University
Scott Reed, eXtension Catalyst
Bill Ervin, EG Integrated
John Latta, MSR Group

About Weather Ready Farms

Weather Ready Nebraska is a portfolio of Extension engagement programs developed to increase resiliency by identifying vulnerabilities and prioritizing actions. Included are initiatives that emphasize climate and weather literacy, scenario planning to overcome impactful conditions like drought or flooding, and an innovative credential dubbed Weather Ready Farms.

Weather Ready Farms is an emerging certification program designed to improve or increase resilience towards the impacts of extreme weather on Nebraska’s farms. Participants learn through a year-long program consisting of in-person and online material about improving resilience towards the impacts of extreme weather on Nebraska’s farms. Certified producers successfully undergo separate phases including assessment, education, and verification. 

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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