Planning for Long-term Success
Whether you intend to borrow money or not, heading into a farm venture without a business plan is like setting out on a long-distance journey without a map. Arm yourself with a business plan and you will have a guide to aid your farm decision-making and demonstrate to yourself and your family that your ideas are feasible. This steady-paced course is designed to help you build your plan, including developing financial statements.
All levels – This course is geared for new farmers as well as those expanding or transitioning from one farm enterprise to another. Before enrolling in this course you should already know the type of farm you want, some short-term and longer-term farm business goals, and the geographic area or state where you intend to farm. You should have at least some first-hand experience with farming, including personal research into the type of farm you will operate.
NOTE: If you are new to farming or are still exploring ideas, it may be helpful to take BF 101: Starting at Square One before enrolling in BF 202.
Upon completing this course, you will have a full business plan in a format ready to be implemented on the farm. The business plan may be used to guide you in decision-making in the course of running the farm business. Additionally, the business plan will be in a form ready to submit to a banker, private investor or grantor, in the event you are seeking outside funding.
Graduates of BF 202 have obtained equipment and operating loans, and mortgages, for start-up and expanding farms.
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters, ask questions, and collaborate with other participants and the instructor to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
Mon Feb. 24 - Mar 30, 2020, every Monday evening from 6-8pm Eastern.
Rebecca Schuelke Staehr operates Cayuga Pumpkin Barn, a seasonal vegetable farm in Springport, Cayuga County, NY. She has worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension and the NY Farm Viability Institute. She is a past chair of CADE, the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship. Rebecca serves on the board of the Cayuga County Farm Bureau. She has taught classes in time management for beginning farmers, starting a farmstead cheese operation, and more.