Farm Management School Teaches Small, Beginning Producers Farm Finances

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GREENVILLE, Ohio – Producers new to farming or those who operate small farms and ranches can learn how to create a business plan and develop a balance sheet from farm management experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

The 2016 Farm Management School, a five-session workshop series, will focus on the financial education that goes along with operating a successful farming operation, said Sam Custer, an Ohio State University Extension educator who is organizing the the program.

OSU Extension is CFAES’s outreach arm.

Although the farm management school targets those who are new to agricultural fields, any farmer, producer or agriculture-related industry person is welcome to attend, Custer said.

The goal of the program, he said, is to help young and beginning farmers learn how to become financially savvy and how to make their agricultural operations successful.

“The future of agriculture depends on the financial success of young and beginning producers, and the diversity of the agricultural products we enjoy depends in part on the financial success of small producers,” Custer said. “As baby boomers retire from farming, this is a good opportunity for the next generation to begin talking with their families.”

With lower commodity prices and rising input costs, many young or beginning farmers along with some small farmers find it very difficult to budget a profit, he said.

“We’ll work with producers to help them with their balance sheets and enterprise financial planning to help them determine which parts of their enterprise is profitable to expand in their business plan and which isn’t profitable,” Custer said. “Based on that, they can decide if the enterprise is something they want to continue to do or if they’d need to reduce or end the enterprise that isn’t profitable.”

The farm management school, which runs Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Feb. 4 for two hours each night, is taught by OSU Extension educators and specialists. The workshop will be held at Andersons Marathon Ethanol, 5728 Sebring Warner Road in Greenville, Ohio.

Topics will include:

Jan. 7:

  • What Is the Mission of Your Farming Operation?
  • Making Record Keeping Do More Than the Tax Return           

Jan. 14:·     

  • Developing Your Balance Sheet
  • Basics of Finance                                                      

Jan. 21

  • Developing Your Business Plan

Jan. 28

  • Farm Transition Planning                                            

Feb. 4

  • Ag Law 101   

The farm management school is sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America.

Registration for the workshop series is $50 and includes the program, handouts and refreshments. Contact Custer at 937-548-5215 for more information or a registration form. The deadline to register is Dec. 21. Payment can be sent to OSU Extension, Darke County, 603 Wagner Ave., Greenville, Ohio 45331.

Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 

Sam Custer