Business Planning

The educational materials listed on this page are about Business Planning.

Farm business planning helps farmers turn their dream into a profitable reality. A farm business plan is essential for sustainable and alternative agricultural business owners to be successful. For instance, creating a poultry farming business plan aids producers in setting realistic goals and determining potential markets for consumers interested in pastured poultry. A cattle farm business plan could help a rancher research the feasibility of alternative processing methods and evaluate financing options. An apple business plan can help an orchard operator improve sustainability on their farm both economically and environmentally. A goat farming business plan or pastured pig farming business plan can help the farmer plan for boosted production and identify or develop specific markets for their products. Key practices include marketing managementmarket studyfinancial managementbusiness planningrisk managementnew enterprise developmentland accesslabor/employmentvalue added.

SARE’s book Building a Sustainable Business aids producers in building a sustainable and profitable business plan for their enterprise. Organic farmers will benefit from Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs. Those seeking funding information can find help in Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities, which includes other sources of loans, grants and technical support to help their business thrive. SARE’s bulletin Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers is also useful for producers looking to expand or identify markets for their products.

Non-Profit Brings Conservation Strategies to Women Landowners

The percentage of women who are sole landowners is rising, and the 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that women farmers now control seven percent of U.S. farmland and account for three percent of sales. Bridget Holcomb, Executive Director of the Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN) has been particularly concerned with women landowners, whose numbers […]

Managing Drought Risk On the Ranch

Producers throughout the nation continue to grow increasingly concerned about water scarcity. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural educators are exploring new approaches to the challenges associated with water shortage and drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center, (NDMC) based in Lincoln, NE, has a mission of “helping people and institutions develop and implement measures to reduce societal […]

Multi-Farm Cooperative Model

In 2013, Monica Bongue received an NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant to develop a small farm cooperative food distribution model in Wooster, Ohio. By 2014, Bongue and a group of farmers formed a not-for-profit cooperative registered in the state of Ohio as Farm Roots Connection Cooperative. The multi-farm Farm Roots Connection Cooperative CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) […]

Niche Nuts

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, America’s top nut producers are California, producing nearly 90% of tree nuts in America; Georgia, New Mexico, and Texas, raising 75% of America’s pecan crop; and Oregon, raising the majority of America’s hazelnut crop. Kurt Belser is the owner of the The Wingnuttery in Albany, Ohio, where […]

Profitable Rabbit Production

Rabbit meat is high in protein and low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium when compared to most of the meats eaten in the U.S. Rabbit meat has great potential to feed people in developing countries and could be promoted in the U.S. as a healthful, natural meat and a small farm asset (Fanatico, Anne. “Rabbit […]

Value Added Vegetables

Fermentation is an ancient method of preserving fresh vegetables and other foods for later use. It is accomplished due to lactic acid-producing bacteria, which lower the pH of these foods. Chris Chmiel, co-owner of Integration Acres Ltd., applied for an NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant and learned that fermentation could be profitable and add value to […]

Toolkit Supports Livestock Decisions

The Agricultural Innovation and Commercialization Center at Purdue University has developed a Comparative Decision Support toolkit online resource to assist with entry-level decision-making about small-scale livestock enterprises.   This Comparative Decision Support (CDS) toolkit provides realistic expectations across multiple livestock enterprises. It uses an individual’s input and returns customized results. In 2010, Purdue University graduate […]

Handbook for Agroforestry Planning and Design

The steps provided in the Handbook for Agroforestry Planning and Design will allow you to identify what agroforestry products can grow on your land, which of these products you can sell profitably, and how to develop basic business and marketing strategies. 

Training Manual for Applied Agroforestry Practices

The Training Manual for Applied Agroforestry Practices helps to explain agroforestry practices and their applications. It is designed for natural resources professionals and landowners, and includes worksheets and exercises for use as an educational tool. Additionally, the manual is designed to assist in the decision process so that, when established or managed, the agroforestry practice is most effective at achieving the desired objectives.

Kansas Pumpkin patch receives “Extreme Makeover” with funds from SARE

Just off of Highway 77, running north from El Dorado, Kansas, runs seventy three acres of agritourism property which is a part of Carroll and Becky Walters’ family farm and pumpkin patch, Walters’ Pumpkin Patch.  For almost 20 years, the Walters have been growing and selling pumpkins at their U-Pick patch in Northern Butler County. […]

The Artisan of Cheese

Charuth van Beuzekom-Loth grew up in Holland. Her family raised goats and good cheese was plentiful. Eventually, she moved to the United States and years later settled down with her husband on a small farm named Shadowbrook near Lincoln, Nebraska. The transition went along nicely except for one thing. The cheese just wasn’t the same. […]

GAP for Urban Food Producers

This PowerPoint presentation, "Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) for Urban Food Producers" was created by SARE Ohio State Coordinator, Mike Hogan.

Business Planning

Business planning can help alternative and sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs transform farm-grown inspiration into profitable enterprises. NCR-SARE funded research is helping farmers learn how to set goals, research processing alternatives, determine potential markets, and evaluate financing options. NCR-SARE has invested in more than 150 research and education business planning projects to help achieve the sustainability of operations and to optimize production, discover or develop markets, and enhance environmental benefits.

Poultry Your Way

Poultry Your Way is for anyone interested in commercially raising, processing, and marketing poultry. It is designed to help you consider alternatives, and to help you make decisions about which alternative(s) will be most compatible with your family and business goals.