The educational materials listed on this page are about Farm Business Management.
Growing and selling products profitably is critical to an agriculture business, but there are other aspects that are essential to farm business management. While it is difficult to find grants to start a farm, operating or starting a farm require a basic understanding of ag credit, including FSA loans (and other farm loans), and how to obtain farm credit for an agriculture loan. Savvy producers understand agricultural finance and agricultural accounting, and keep a close eye on farm finances. Farmers need to understand agricultural marketing and may need to know demand for a specific crop, such as with apple marketing. Starting a small farm may include finding land through FarmLink. While some new farmers may get started with a farm internship, others may useless formal farming training or more formal agriculture education. Ultimately, farmers also need to learn about farm labor, farm labor laws or farm succession planning at some point in their career. Key practices include marketing management, financial management, community-supported agriculture, risk management, agricultural finance, whole farm planning, farm succession, land access, labor/employment.
SARE’s bulletin Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Wholesale Markets offers alternatives for producers to market their products through unconventional channels. Building a Sustainable Business aids producers in developing a sustainable and profitable business plan for their enterprise. Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities gives producers options for agricultural loans, grants and technical expertise. Farmers looking to transition to organic will find Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs useful for business planning.
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A Cooperative Experience for Ohio High Schoolers
Educators in the Appalachian Region of Ohio have been working with area high schools to share information about cooperative business models and agricultural careers.
Farming into the Future by Centering Farmworkers
Across the country, farmworkers provide the labor, skill, and care that make many diversified vegetable farms possible. And in an industry as labor-intensive as this one, farm owners increasingly draw direct connections between their workforce and the long-term health of their businesses. Yet a growing number of employers have struggled to find and keep employees […]
Building Educator Confidence In Farm Law
Farm Commons, is working to build a solid legal backbone for farmers through empowered decision-making.
Cultivating Food and Community with Indianapolis' Soul Food Project
Indianapolis' Soul Food Project is growing food and community with a farmers market stand and CSA program for Northeast side residents.
CSA Starts Here: Video Series
"CSA Starts Here" is an educational video series for aspiring and beginning CSA farmers.
Iowa Meat Processors’ Resource Guidebook
A guide to building, upgrading or expanding a small meat processing facility in Iowa.
Growing the Pasture-Grazed Dairy Sector in Wisconsin
Growing the Pasture-Grazed Dairy Sector in Wisconsin is the summary report of a team of researchers, dairy farmers and chefs who conducted a comprehensive investigation of the chemical and physical properties of pasture-based milk when made into cheese, butter or other products. The group, led by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, also explored the production, […]
Internship Curriculum for Food Farmers in the North Central Region
With support from an NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant, Betrand Farm developed 24 educational PowerPoint modules that can serve as an educational curriculum for farmers in the North Central Region to use to train interns in sustainable and profitable food-growing practices. The modules have been combined and uploaded here as a single PDF. The individual curriculum modules […]
Creating Change in the Food System: The Role of Regional Food Networks in Iowa
In Creating Change in the Food System, the authors present a case study of an integrated effort to build long-term local and regional food commerce in Iowa using a community of practice approach. This report, authored by Rich Pirog of Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems and Corry Bregendahl of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture […]
Ohio Beef Cooperative Measures Advertising ROI
Buckeye Valley Beef Cooperative compared the effectiveness of four advertising channels, including Google Ads, billboards, radio advertisements, and Facebook ads.
Comparing Advertising Channels for Direct Marketing
Buckeye Valley Beef Cooperative was formed in 2016 by southwest Ohio farmers looking to expand their markets for locally raised beef and to increase the incomes of their farmer members. The young co-op markets beef to retailers and directly to consumers. Recognizing the importance of effective marketing strategies in reaching consumers, the co-op used an […]
Cottage Food: Launch a Bakery from Your Farm Kitchen
A farmer-led team in Wisconsin created resources to help farmers diversify their income by selling baked goods.
Youth and Sustainable Agriculture
A collection of SARE resources, programs, curricula, and learning modules that can be used for educational programming and planning.
Come and Get it! On-Farm Food Service Manual
Come & Get It: What you need to know to serve food on your farm uniquely supports farmers interested in understanding regulations and learning from other farmers seasoned in on-farm food service operations.
Youth Hit the Road to Learn about Sustainable Livestock Production in Wisconsin
Jessie Oberlin is no stranger to the 4-H’ers in Jackson County, Wisconsin. Whether she’s providing coaching for the 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, setting up livestock production tours, or prepping youth for the 4-H Quiz Bowl, Oberlin has spent most of her adult life introducing rural young people to new livestock opportunities in a county known for cranberry and strawberry production. Oberlin grew up showing […]
Urban Farm Evaluates Value-Added Production
On a three-acre urban farm in northeast Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lance Kraai is growing produce and jobs. In 2012, Kraai helped start New City Neighbors urban farm to expand the non-profit’s already successful youth employment work. Beyond growing and selling produce to their 200 member CSA, Kraai has explored profitable value-added opportunities available for the […]
Feasibility, Planning, and Purchase of Mobile Processing Unit (MPU)
Pasture poultry, with its quick turn-around and minimal equipment needs can be attractive to small farmers looking to diversify their farming operations. Chris Sramek is a pasture poultry producer and a member of the High Plains Food Co-op (HPFC); in 2013, customer interest in their poultry was so high that the producer members were unable […]
NCR-SARE Program Brochure
A brochure containing general information about NCR-SARE
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 […]
Adjusting your Farm Plan to Avoid the Bumps in the Road
The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA) supports the development and enhancement of sustainable farming systems through farmer-to-farmer networking, innovation, demonstration, and education. In 2012, SFA received a $165,294 NCR-SARE Research and Education grant to work on two programs, Adjust 2015 and the New Farm Reality Check™. Through paid surveys and interviews with beginning farmers, […]