Building Farm Profit Into the Picture
If you’ve been struggling to make your farm operation profitable
without driving yourself into the ground, this financial planning course
is for you. Ultimately, it will help you with the delicate balancing
act that all farmers must succeed in: balancing healthy profits with
healthy land and a healthy farm family and personal life.
You will learn how to make financial decisions toward farm &
family values and goals, and how to build profit into your plans up
front, rather than hoping there is something left once expenses are
subtracted from income. If you have been struggling with the financial
statements in your business plan, this is a great course to help you
focus in on these and get clear on your numbers.
ALL LEVELS: This course is intended for farmers with at least one season of management experience and some record of their farm’s income and expenses (even if this information is stored on scraps of paper in a shoebox). This course will move at an intense pace, with time to catch up at the end. If you have not yet started farming, you are welcome to take the course, but you MAY need to do extra legwork to research realistic potential expenses and income for your planned enterprises.
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments here in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, live webinars will be woven into the online interface for 6 weeks each Fall to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
Live instruction for the 2021-2022 season has ended, and the next live
session will be in January 2023. While we encourage
live attendance so you have the opportunity to engage with the presenters and
ask questions, all webinars are recorded and posted in our online classroom for
students to watch anytime. Once you have enrolled in this course, you will
retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in
the live webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish.
Phil is a farm & natural resources development consultant, retired from a 31-year career as a resource conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Phil instructs on various topics including: farm, personal & business financial planning, goal setting, improved decision making, business & land planning, biological monitoring, and reading the land. He is a certified educator of Holistic Management (HM) and has practiced HM, including Holistic Financial Planning, for over 15 years.
Allyson has a degree in Sustainable Agriculture from UMass Amherst and has worked on dozens of farms in New England and Italy. She owns and operates Full Heart Farm, which she purchased in 2012 at the age of 24. She serves as a mentor for Holistic Management International and is a member of the National Young Farmers Coalition. Allyson was named one of CT Magazine’s 40 Under 40 in 2015, as well as eWomen Network’s Emerging Leader of the Year for 2015. In BF 203, Allyson shares the details of how she plans and manages her farm’s finances using Holistic Financial Planning.
StartWeek 1 Webinar Link, Slides, and Recording
StartFORUM: Introduce Yourself; Meet Your Peers
StartACTIVITY & FORUM: Inventory Your Resources (worksheet)
StartACTIVITY & FORUM: Craft Your Own Farm/Family Goal (example & worksheets).
StartFORUM: Markum Farms Decision Case Study (exercise)
StartQUIZ: Lets review some holistic financial planning basics... Wow! That sounds fun!
StartWeek 2 Webinar Link, Slides, and Recording
StartOne Farm's Changes as a Result of HM
StartTesting Your Decisions (downloadable Testing Grid) and an Example
StartBrainstorming: Crowdsource Creativity to Solve Your Farm's Problems
StartACTIVITY and FORUM: What are Your Farm's Weak Points?
StartOptional ACTIVITY: Arriving at Effective Solutions; Using a Step by Step Approach to Decision Making
StartQuiz: Be sure to review the Testing Questions 1st!... and have fun with this!