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: Grazing Management as a Soil Conservation tool in Sauk County                          

Kurt Lehman bought this farm 10 years ago and has been improving it ever since. Kurt and his father Gerald have a unique farming enterprise of breeding and raising show cattle with Shorthorn and Maine-Anjou their primary breeds.  This course will also feature a demonstration and discussion of Soil Health by Sauk County NRCS District Conservationist Chris Miller and Sauk County Soil Conservation Technician Serge Koenig. Chris and Serge will use both the soil stability and infiltration tests to demonstrate how different land uses effect the soil and talk about why managed grazing is an important option for farming in Sauk County.

Class 3- Wednesday August 20 from 5-7pm. Kurt Lehman Farm E2759 Marshall Road, Cazenovia, WI  53924 $29

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