farm-business

Farm Business Management

This set of courses will lead students down the path of developing a business plan for their farm business. Students then learn methods for using the plan to evaluate their farms financial viability and assist in decision making. Students can take each course sequentially or take individual courses depending on their experience and knowledge of operating a farm business.  The first series of courses will take place in Plain, Wisconsin at the Green TTEC.

If you have questions on these courses or other Farm Management training opportunities at Madison Area Technical College, please contact Randy Zogbaum, Agriculture Instructor, via our online form or at (608) 524-7865.

Phone (608) 524-7800 for registration assistance.

Operating the Farm Business

Understanding the Farm Business

This course is intended for individuals who are new to farm management. A farm business is more than just milking cows or planting crops.  It is recognizing that there are many individual pieces to the farm puzzle and that their interactions need to be managed effectively to be successful in both the short and long term. This course will introduce you to a variety of resources, both public and private, to assist you in excelling in all aspects of a farm business, from crop and nutrient management planning through feeding to produce healthy animals and much more. In addition, you will learn how having a solid business plan creates a path to success and you will begin the journey of developing a business plan for your current or proposed farm. You will get hands-on experience in setting the foundation for a successful farm business by writing a description of your farm business, developing a mission statement, setting goals (personal, family, and farm business), and looking at what items you will need to optimize your plan.  There will also be an introduction to the financial components of a business plan.

Schedule and availability

Developing a Farm Business Plan

This course will teach students how to develop business plan for their farming operation. Students will be introduced to the components of good business plan including a narrative of their operation, the Balance Sheet, Accrual Income Statement, and the Statement of Cash Flow. Students will see how these tools are used to understand a farm businesses financial position through understanding the financial measures of Liquidity, Solvency, and Profitability. Finally, students will develop each of these records for their farm and have an introduction to using financial ratios to evaluate their financial position.

Schedule and availability

Using the Farm Business Plan

This course will build on prior courses by demonstrating how the student's business plan can be used for understanding, improving, and growing the farm business. Students will use their plan and financial records to evaluate their current financial position by calculating and using financial ratios. They will also see how their plan can be used to understand risk management, develop a marketing strategy, create short-term goals, and for long-term projections and growth strategies.

Schedule and availability

Evaluating your Farm Business

Farm Business Analysis & Decision Making

This course builds on the prior courses in business planning by looking at using year-to-year financial records for analysis of the farm business and to assist in decision making. Students will look at their previous year plan and prepare for the next year. They will update their plan and financial ratios and investigate how having maintaining year-to-year record keeping systems improves the decision making process and financial viability of your farm.

Schedule and availability (available in 2014)

Farm Enterprise Analysis & Marketing

This course builds on the prior courses in business planning by looking at using year-to-year financial records for analysis of the farm business and to assist in decision making.This course will demonstrate how to enterprise budgets and partial analysis to determine where your farm business is making or losing money. Students will use these tools to develop pricing and marketing strategies for their farm businesses. Requires at least one year of operation under a complete business plan.

Schedule and availability (available in 2014)

Long-term Farm Budgeting & Management

This course builds on the prior farm business planning courses by looking at using year-to-year financial records for budgeting and monitoring a farm business's financial viability. This course requires at least one year of operation under a complete business plan. Students will learn a long-term budgeting system and how monitoring this system will help meet personal, family, and financial goals for their farms.

Schedule and availability (available in 2014)

Managed Grazing Classes

Topic: Building a Grazing System                           

In this class we will see a farm in the developmental stages of building a grazing system. Tom and Linda Gillen started their managed grazing operation in 2008 and continue to work on improving their system. The Gillens manage a herd of Kiko goats consisting of 50 breeding stock and an additional 100 seasonal market animals. In this course we will see the work that the Gillens have done in recent years and that continues as they build their farm. Tom and Linda are in the process of renovating the next portion of their farm and are interested in suggestions from the class on this process. Sauk County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Katie Pfeiffer will discuss the production needs to raise meat goats in Wisconsin. This course will provide the opportunity to explore the art and science of building a grazing system from the ground up. 

Class 2- Tuesday July 15 from 10-12. Tom and Linda Gillen Farm S2213 Jessop Road, LaValle, WI 53941 $29

To sign up for this managed grazing class, phone 608-524-7800.