Extension Programs

The mission of the Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM) is to improve the farm financial management and marketing abilities of agricultural producers and the professionals who serve them through educational software and training programs. http://www.cffm.umn.edu/default.aspx

Laura Kalambokidis develops and teaches Extension programs related to state tax policy. She also developed the “Building Extension’s Public Value (BEPV)” workshop to help anyone who develops, delivers, or seeks funding for Extension programs to recognize and articulate their programs’ public value. Finally, Prof. Kalambokidis is Minnesota's State Economist and the head of the Economic Analysis Unit at Minnesota Management and Budget. The Economic Analysis Unit produces forecasts of Minnesota economic activity and revenue for the governor and legislature and serves as a resource for all Minnesotans on topics related to the Minnesota economy and state tax revenue forecasts.

Bill Gartner and a team of researchers have surveyed hundreds of wineries in the Midwest and northern USA. The survey is part of an ongoing study by a consortium of universities for the Northern Grapes Project (NGP). Gartner is engaged with baseline monitoring and economic impact of vineyards and wineries in the cold hardy grape growing states, and is conducting a policy analysis of winery policy in the 50 states.  

Terry Hurley’s interests include production and risk with an emphasis on the adoption and regulation of emerging technologies. Technologies of recent investigation include genetically engineered herbicide tolerant crops, genetically engineered plant-incorporated-protectants, disease resistance crops and information intensive farm management. In his Extension work, Hurley is engaged with government agencies to provide information about the consequences of alternative policies.

Bill Lazarus’ Extension programs include crop and livestock production economics, farm machinery economics, biomass energy economics, agricultural impacts on water and air quality, and economic impact analysis.  He has developed a number of decision tools for crops, machinery, livestock, and manure handling.  Lazarus also manages the Minnesota Land Economics web site, a site with data on current and historical land prices in Minnesota: http://landeconomics.umn.edu/

Elton Mykerezi focuses on the economics of food, consumption and health. In a USDA-funded project, he is working with others to test several strategies that parents can use at home to 'nudge' children towards better diets. Winning strategies will be incorporated into 'cooking matters,’ a UofM Extension program that partners with dozens of local non-profits to deliver healthy cooking classes taught by local chefs. He is also a member of the Feeding Minnesota Task Force, a gubernatorial task force intended to advise the MN Department of Agriculture on ways to facilitate the use of un-harvested fresh produce in the state's emergency food assistance system.  Mykerezi’s research interests in teacher labor markets, early childhood education, higher education finance and economic development have led to important collaborations with state government and local school districts.


Ward Nefstead works with the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), is an advisor for the Minnesota Farmers Market Association, and delivers specialized agricultural marketing publications.  In his work with ASFMRA, he designs and implements professional programs in coordination with licensing agencies for real estate, appraisal, and farm management.  Nefstead’s expertise in agricultural marketing informs his work on farmers markets and USDA grain reports.