With opportunities in value added, direct marketing, and new crops and technologies, there has never been a better time to start or expand an agriculture business in Montana. You have the skills to produce high value products and Planning For On-Farm Success teaches you how to manage the profitable business that turns your passion into your career.

In Planning For On-Farm Success, you will learn how to: 

  • Create a Business Plan
  • Evaluate New Market Opportunities
  • Promote Your Brand
  • Create Financial Documents
  • Manage Your Cash Flow
  • Access the Right Financing
  • Prepare to Meet With a Lender
  • Manage Risks in Your Operation

Each workshop includes:

  • Expert Topic Instruction
  • Q&A With Experienced Producers
  • Networking with Fellow Farmers & Ranchers
  • Supported Work on Your Farm or Ranch Plan
  • Planning for On-Farm Success workbook

To obtain Farm Service Agency borrower financial management training credit, you must attend the workshops on Managing Your Financials and Financial Decision-Making. For more info on FSA credit, email dave@farmlinkmontana.org.

Check out the links below to learn more about the curriculum and sign up for the workshop series in your community!

2018 WOrkshop Schedule and Presenters

Workshops will be offered on Tuesdays from 5:30-8:30 pm.

Farm Strategic Planning – January 9th

Topics: Walks through the process of identifying goals and values for your operation, drafting a mission statement and using your values and goals to make decisions.

Presenter: Annie Heuscher from Community Forward Consulting, has worked with beginning farmers and ranchers across Montana to refine business plans and  create a cohesive vision for their operation. She will teach participants how to find an enterprise that fits their values and can be sustained for the long term.

Researching Your Market – January 16th

Topics: Identify your target customer, conduct a market research trial, compare and evaluate market channels, and identify and evaluate your competition.

Presenter:Dave Renn, Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program Manager at the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition has worked in a variety of production systems and markets, selling through market stands, CSA, wholesale, and market-testing niche food products.

Farm Marketing & Promotion – January 23rd

Topics: Think about what makes your product unique, develop marketing messages that set you apart from your competition and develop a marketing plan.

Presenter: Dave Renn, Beginning Farmer & Rancher Program Manager at the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition, returns to explore approaches to building your brand and effectively communicating to customers about your farm in a crowded food marketplace.

Managing Your Finances – January 30th

Topics: Develop an effective record-keeping system and learn how to estimate income and expenses. Learn how to prepare and use balance sheets, income and expense statements, and cash flows. This workshop is eligible for FSA financial management borrower training credit and will include information on income statements, balance sheets, cash flow budgets, and how to maintain and utilize these systems.

Presenter: Annie Heuscher from Community Forward Consulting, has worked with beginning farmers and ranchers across Montana to develop business plans and prepare their financial records for meetings with lenders. She will teach participants how to successfully track financial information and use it to make powerful decisions about their farms and profits.

Financial Decision-Making – February 6th

Topics: Learn to evaluate the overall financial health of your farm or ranch and learn when and how to use partial-budgeting, break-even, and ROI to enhance decision-making. This workshop is eligible for FSA financial management borrower training credit and will include information on using your financials to make financial and production decisions as well as how to describe your business goals, changes required to attain those goals, and how those changes will occur using present and projected budgets.

Presenter: Aimee Arnaud, Relationship Manager at Northwest Farm Credit will talk about financial ratios that are used to assess the state of your business and how to use partial budgets to project the profitability of a new enterprise. Aimee works directly with farmers and ranchers to assess their financial picture, access capital and build their businesses over time.

Financing Your Farm – February 13th

Topics: Learn about the different types of financing that are available and the best time to access them over the establishment and growth of your business. Understand credit scores, how to improve them, and how to prepare for a meeting with a lender.

Presenter: Aimee Arnaud, Relationship Manager at Northwest Farm Credit,works directly with farmers and ranchers to assess their financial picture, access capital and build their businesses over time. Aimee will describe the phases of farm and ranch business startup and the best ways to access capital at each step of the way. Local agents will talk about federal and state programs that have been most beneficial to farmers and ranchers in your community.

Managing Farm Risks – February 20th

Topics: Identify the risks and liabilities in your operation and make a plan to mitigate them and be prepared if something goes wrong.

Presenter: Eric Belasco is a Professor of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. His research interests include Agricultural Marketing and Risk Management. He will talk about business risk that impacts farmers and ranchers and share his research on the value of USDA-RMA Whole Farm Revenue Protection for small farms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about how the PFOS Workshop Series works, or just want to learn more? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions Page. Or send questions about topics and presenters to dave@farmlinkmontana.org

Workshop Registration

Contact the workshop coordinator with questions about each series or to register by phone, find registration links for your local series below.


Hill County – Havre

Taylor Lyon

tlyon@bearpaw.org

406.265.6537

Workshops will be held at the Bear Paw Food and Agriculture Development Center at 48 Second Ave, Havre.


Sanders County – Plains

Juli Thurston

juli.thurston@montana.edu

406.827.6934

Workshops will be held at the Plains Unit DNRC at 14 Airport Rd, Plains.


Lincoln County – Troy

Shawna Kelsey

shawna.kelsey@gmail.com

406.291.9895

Workshops will be held at Troy High School at 116 East Missoula Ave, Troy.


Lewis and Clark County – Montana City

Helena PFOS workshops will be offered this winter as a 4 part series. To learn more and register, visit the Helena PFOS Page or contact:

Brent Sarchet, MSU Extension                                                            bsarchet@lccountymt.gov


Wish these workshops were in your community?

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