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Learn technology at Computers on Farm Conference, Jan. 4-5

Farmers will teach farmers new uses for technology at the annual Computers on the Farm Conference, Jan. 4-5, at Tan-Tar-A Resort, Osage Beach, Mo.

“This year, the kids will be teaching, too,” said John Travlos, conference coordinator and head of the University of Missouri Agricultural Electronic Bulletin Board.

For the second year, FFA and 4-H club members will get in free. “The young people will be teaching each other, and in some cases, the adults,” Travlos said. “Young people sometimes catch on faster than the older folks.”

Several new features have been added this year, including Internet safety for young people and tips on how farmers can avoid Internet scams.

There also will be sessions on using blogs and podcasts for agriculture, Travlos said. Added emphasis will be given to building Web pages for marketing farm products, including tips on generating Web traffic to the farm Web site by enhancing the appeal to Internet search engines.

Most sessions are hands-on training, Travlos said. Two additional meeting rooms will be equipped with computers and hardware for use by 4-H and FFA members and other family members.

“The conference offers training for the novice and the most advanced users,” Travlos said.

Several farmers presenting programs will share new spreadsheets. Participants are encouraged to bring their computers. “Everyone should bring a flash drive for downloading shared software,” Travlos said.

The AgEBB technical crew will bring computers and other hardware for training. Over time, the conference has expanded beyond computers to include cell phones, personal digital assistants, digital recorders and cameras, and other equipment for creating Web pages.

The conference was moved from the MU campus in Columbia to Tan-Tar-A Resort at Lake of the Ozarks to encourage full family participation, Travlos said.

The program opens at noon Friday and ends by 4 p.m. Saturday. Registration details are on the conference Web site at

The program is organized by the AgEBB staff of the MU Extension Commercial Agriculture program in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. Added financing for the young people’s program comes from Farm Credit Services and Format International Inc.

Tan-Tar-A offers special room rates for the event. Call (800) 826-8272 for reservations. The resort is on Highway KK, off of U.S. Highway 54, in Osage Beach.

For program details, contact Travlos at (573) 882-4827 or

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