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SoyRoy: Marketing Simulation Game to Help Growers
I was involved with The University of Nebraska 17 years ago in developing a marketing computer simulation game called Winning the Game. The game was developed by Dr. Roger Selley based on my theories about soybean marketing. In the game, participants were given the challenge of marketing a simulated lot of soybeans based on a theoretical number of acres supposedly produced on a typical Nebraska farm.
The game was very popular with farmer participants. Farmers evaluated their production potential and sold a make-believe crop at whatever time and amount their judgment told them would result in the best return on their farms. At the end of the day, results were calculated on a laptop and winners announced. There was a lot of friendly comparison going on among contestants. You probably wonder whatever happened to Winning the Game. If the game was so interesting and so popular why was there not a sequel?
The quick answer is that there were several modifications over the years. In the process of improving the game, changes were tried that involved doing the calculations by computer and eventually having contestants making all of their inputs online. The eventual goal was to have software available and free so that farmers could have their own copies to use in making management decisions at home. That proved to be a bigger challenge than anticipated. We discovered that farmers had a wide range of abilities when it came to using electronic tools.
The software is now finally completed and ready for general implementation. There are two series of meetings being planned in eastern Nebraska to introduce the latest version of game to the farming public. Information on locations and times are available at local cooperative Extension offices. I am happy to say that I will participate at the location at the ARDC at Mead, Nebraska, on Tuesday, February 7. The workshops were developed and sponsored by the Nebraska Corn and Soybean checkoff boards. If the software is as successful as we hope, our intention is to make it free of charge to farmers nationwide.