Ag Toolshed is on the Web

Red Lake Falls, Minn. — Like a local radio station, a new network of Web sites broadcasts up-to-the-minute agricultural information and resources.

The Minnesota Wheat Council board of directors “wanted a site with really good content that farmers or anyone in the agriculture industry could use on a daily basis,” says Tara Dagman, the council’s program director. The site, known as the Toolshed Ag Information Network, is “content-rich. We’re following the same concept as a radio network, broadcasting from a central location … and distributing this information to various Web sites.”

Toolshed is a comprehensive news service with sophisticated features such as scrolling news headlines and futures market prices updated every few minutes. It includes an elevator bid section, which can calculate commodity basis prices (the difference between futures and local elevator prices) for participating elevators.

The idea originated with the Minnesota Wheat Council. AURI supported Toolshed’s development with help from AURI Web expert Marie Fournier and interns Stacey Bendickson and Paula Meyers. Kris Versdahl of Prairie Ag Communications also assisted with technical development.

“Our goal is to drive people to participating Web sites,” Dagman says. The Toolshed can be viewed from ag-related sites including Red River Farm Network (www.rrfn.com), Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers (www.smallgrains.org), Northwest Grain (www.northwestgrain.com) and KZZY Radio in Devil’s Lake (www.zzcountry.com). Sites pay a fee for a direct-link tab to Toolshed.

Dagman says the information should help drive surfers back time and again to the participating sites to access up-to-date information on weather, markets and news. With RealAudio, visitors can hear broadcasts from the Red River Farm Network. Archived broadcasts and news articles are also available. And organizations and companies can purchase individual ads on the Toolshed site.

While useful for anyone wanting to find current information about the ag industry, Dagman says Toolshed is particularly targeted toward Upper Midwest producers.

For more information contact Tara Dagman, phone: (218) 253-4311, email:tdagman@gvtel.com.

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