FAST Tools Workshop Offered March 7 In Breese


This one-day hands-on workshop will further participants’ understandings of Microsoft Excel applications and introduce FAST spreadsheets developed by agricultural economists at the University of Illinois. Locally, FAST Tools training will be offered on March 7 at the Illinois Extension Office in Breese. The workshop runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., participants should plan on checking-in between 9 and 9:30 a.m.

Farm Analysis Solution Tools are a series of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that assist users to make various farm business decisions. These tools offer guidance in the following areas: livestock management, financial analysis, investment analysis, loan analysis, farm management, grain marketing and management, and risk management.

The 2018 crop year is setting up to offer tight margins again. It also appears that base prices for crop insurance could be set at relatively low levels. This training session is designed to get users to take a look at potential return scenarios for 2018 and perform financial analysis using FAST Tools.

The morning session focuses on tools for assembling cash flow statements as well as crop insurance and risk management options. The afternoon session will demonstrate the features in our Balance Sheet Tool. This tool allows the user to assemble and database balance sheet information and perform ratio analysis over multiple years.

As part of the “hands-on” training, each participant will have access to a laptop computer that is provided in the registration cost. SAVE $30 by bringing your own laptop equipped with a DVD-ROM drive (or USB drive) and Microsoft Excel, version 2007 or higher. All participants will receive a copy of the FAST software, workshop notes, a one-year subscription to FAST updates, and a complementary lunch.

Space is limited, advance registration is required. Registration is open now and will close on February 28. Participants can register online at or by calling Ryan Batts at 217-333-1817.

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