Farm Business Management

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 Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers 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.

SARE’s bulletin Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers 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.

Showing 1-20 of 77 results

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, […]

University of Nebraska SARE Agri-Marketing Website

Marketing for the Ag Entrepreneur is a professional development opportunity initiative created by UNL Extension Entrepreneurship work group to improve entrepreneurial professional development opportunities. This program is funded through a two year North Central - Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) grant.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Mobile Farmers Market

Dream of Wild Health — a program of Peta Wakan Tipi — was established in 1998 as a way to “promote health in the Native community by expanding knowledge of and access to healthy indigenous foods and medicines.” At the Dream of Wild Health Farm they grow rare, indigenous seeds that have been gifted to […]

Developing a Goat Meat Market in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Goat production is a growing enterprise for small and limited resource farmers. Goats can be adapted to different production systems and can be raised with relatively few inputs, but they can present production and marketing challenges. Susan and Tom Barnes live on 120 acres along Pleasant Valley southwest of Custer, South Dakota. Susan’s family homesteaded […]