Cole Ehmke

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Agriculture Entrepreneurship and Personal Financial Management Specialist - 2005

Academic Degrees:
MS in agricultural economics, University of Sydney, Australia - 1999
BA in economics and business, Bethany College, USA - 1997

Areas of Expertise
New ag venture exploration
Local and value added foods
Farmers markets
Beginning farmers
Estate planning
Succession/transition planning
Personal financial management
Consumer issues
Community supported agriculture ventures
Grant writing
Community engagement

Recent Projects:
In my work serving the residents of Wyoming through the Cooperative Extension Service and the AgEcon Department (both of which are in the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources), I cover agricultural entrepreneurship as well as personal financial resource management topics. Projects include:

• Work with beginning farmers and farmers who are exploring new ventures or marketing directly to the end consumer, including writing Food Ventures in Wyoming: A Resource and Regulatory Guide, and developing a manual for people starting community supported agriculture (CSA) ventures. Download the Rural Guide to Community Supported Agriculture

• Supporting local foods projects to promote the production and consumption of foods with a local identity (supporting local food expos, and presentations on marketing at farmers markets as well as marketing the market), including starting the Wyoming Food Coalition, developing a directory of specialty crop producers in the state, and organizing trainings on food safety topics (Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and acidified foods processing)

• Presenting on money management topics (saving, investing, etc)

• Coordinating and teaching in the Annie’s Project management training classes for women in agriculture (see current offerings at

• Developing Passing It On (a collection of materials on estate and transition planning for agriculturalists, available at

• Raising awareness about power of attorney abuse (avoiding it, and what to do if it is observed), which is often associated with elder financial exploitation

• Exploring blockchain applications in agriculture

• Education on negotiating oil and gas leases

• Helping small business managers and ag producers with transferring the management and ownership of their ventures (succession planning)

• Raising awareness about stress in rural life

To accomplish this work I partner with many groups and individuals, including UW Extension’s specialists and educators throughout the state, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, AmeriCorps VISTA, the John Ellbogen Foundation, Wyoming Women in Agriculture, the Small Acreage Issue Team, the Wyoming Food Coalition, Farm Credit Services of America, the Western Center for Risk Management Education (operating with funds from the USDA and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture), the UW College of Agriculture’s research stations, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, the Wyoming Business Council, and many others across Wyoming and the West.


Cole Ehmke began his work at the University of Wyoming in 2005. Before joining UW, he worked to develop the management skill of agriculturalists at Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business. He grew up on a grains farm in Kansas and received his MS Agric. from the University of Sydney (Australia) on a Fulbright Scholarship, studied at Ohio State University, and graduated from Bethany College with a BA in economics/business.


Professional Affiliations:
Cole has been involved with the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the International Farm Management Association, the Wyoming Association of Community Development Extension Professionals, the Wyoming Association of County Agricultural Agents, and Epsilon Sigma Phi.


UW Extension Money Management, including the Passing It On: Estate Planning Guide and the Planning Ahead, Difficult Decisions series
Barnyards and Backyards - Rural Living in Wyoming
UW Extension Publications (official publications) and the UW College of Agriculture’s magazines and newsletters
Western Extension Marketing Committee
Western Farm Management Extension Committee
International Farm Management Association

Archived Pages
Living and Working on the Land
Consumer Issues Conference

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