Business planning helps small farms in a challenging economy
Grower mentoring grower at business planning networking meeting
What has ANR done?UCCE farm advisors Roger Ingram and Cindy Fake, in cooperation with farmers Dan Macon and Allen Edwards and Foothill Farmers Market manager Carol Arnold, developed a six-week farm business planning course with sessions on financial analysis tools, financial statements, weak links, operations planning, evaluating existing and alternative enterprises, analyzing markets and action plans.
Limited class size allows participants to develop a support network. The class was offered in 2008 and 2009. Each class continues to meet and offer advice and support to each other.
Stronger businesses, stronger agricultural communityTo date, 16 farms have participated in the course and have taken steps to put their businesses on a more stable economic footing. Producers now know how to manage cash flow, analyze the costs, returns and weak links in their farming business and plan for a profitable future.
The real strength of the class is the peer-to-peer trust and interaction. Class participants may include fruit, vegetable, livestock, timber or wine producers, and the diversity allows each producer to see that other farmers and ranchers face similar issues. The participants have developed a network of fellow producers who can offer useful advice because of their understanding of each other’s operations. The class strengthens the local agricultural economy and the local agricultural community by building more economically viable businesses and farmer-to-farmer support.
Supporting Unit:Placer-Nevada Counties
Cindy Fake, (530) 889-7385, firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Ingram, (530) 889-7385, email@example.com