Scattered and Isolated Farm and Ranch Locations

There are approximately 10 to 12 million farms and ranches in the world, many of which are located in relatively isolated locations. Reaching these sites in a cost-effective manner has proven very difficult. Historically, the primary means of providing educational resources to the farm population has been through programs offered by government or university extension services. The United States and many other countries have an extension office that is supported by university and government specialists. Programs have included coordination of the tractor and machinery certification training for youths aged 14 to 16 seeking employment in agriculture, for pesticide applicator training, and for technical assistance to farmers and ranchers impacted by disability. These networks of educators are being seriously eroded by budget cuts at all levels. One of the rationales provided was that the program lacked a sufficient research base (12).

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