AMES, IA--Iowa State University Extension is accepting registrations for Farm Leasing Arrangements, the latest in a series of online courses offered worldwide through the Agricultural Management e-School (AMES).

The Farm Leasing Arrangements course helps farmers, educators and service providers compare different types of farm leases, negotiate lease terms, resolve legal questions and develop a fair lease agreement. The online course format allows students to work at their own pace at any time and in any place where they can access the Internet.

According to the current Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, 43% of U.S. farms had Internet access in 2001, compared to 29% in 1999. The 2002 State New Economy Index report published by the Progressive Policy Institute shows that U.S. farmers and ranchers typically use the Internet to buy feed and seed, check on the weather, gain the latest technical information and sell livestock or crops.

Farmers can also use the Internet to access an increasing variety of online ag education programs and information, like the AMES program.

The AMES program offers many features common to the traditional face-to-face learning environment such as reading material, assignments and quizzes. However, conversations are replaced by online chats, subject matter is supplemented by links to Internet resources, and participants from all over the world can log on to attend class any time and place they have Internet access.

"Forty-two percent of the more than three hundred people who have taken AMES courses say the thing they liked most was the ability to work at their own pace and at times that fit their schedules," said Tim Eggers, ISU Extension Field Ag Economist and AMES program coordinator.

ISU Extension offers many online courses and hundreds of other online resources for farmers and ag professionals.

"The Ag Management e-School is a good example of how ISU Extension is using the Internet to make resources more readily available to farmers in Iowa, and throughout the world," said Donald Lewis, Interim Director, Extension Ag and Natural Resources.

Other AMES course offerings include:

--Advanced Grain Marketing;

--Financial Decision Making;

--Farmland Ownership;

--Human Resource Management;

--Farm Machinery Economics;

--Livestock Marketing;

--Strategic Management for Farm Families.

For more information about these courses visit: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ames. To view course schedules and register go to: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ames/ registration.htm.

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