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!


2019 WOrkshop Schedule and Presenters

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

Workshops will be held in multiple communities simultaneously. All locations will receive the same high-quality content delivered via Adobe Connect broadcast and each class will feature in-person insight from local farmers, ranchers and service providers.


Farm Strategic Planning – January 16th, 2019

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: Extension agents from each hosting location will present this introductory session, focusing on issues of importance in your local community.


Researching Your Market – January 23rd, 2019

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 30th, 2019

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

Presenter: Tammy Howard, NCAT Program Specialist, explores approaches to building your brand and effectively communicating to customers about your farm in a crowded food marketplace.


Managing Your Finances – February 13th, 2019

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: Jennifer Knoetgen worked in public accounting for eighteen years with a focus on helping small businesses with their software systems, payroll procedures and financial analysis. She consults with growth-minded organizations helping to solve problems using their accounting processes She also owns Mountain Meat Shares, supplying members with meat from local farmers.


Financial Decision-Making – February 20th, 2019

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: Allison Dembek, bio coming soon!


Financing Your Farm – February 27th, 2019

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 – March 6th, 2019

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 Fees / Registration

Single class cost: $20

Attend all seven sessions for $100

Receive early-bird pricing of $75 for all seven sessions by registering before January 8th!

Register online for your local series using the buttons below. Contact the workshop coordinator with questions about each series or to register by phone.

Missoula County – Missoula

Classes will be held at the Missoula County Extension Office, 2825 Santa Fe Ct, Missoula

Register online. 

For more information, contact Kaley Hensel at Missoula County Extension.

Kaley Hensel – 406-258-4205, kaley.hensel@montana.edu

Gallatin County – Bozeman

Classes will be held at the Gallatin County Extension Building at 903 North Black Ave, Bozeman.

For more information and to register contact Joshua Bilbao at Gallatin County Extension.

Joshua Bilbao – 406-582-3283


Ravalli County – Hamilton

Classes will be held at The Bitterroot College Campus, 103 S. 9th St, Hamilton

For more information and to register contact Patrick Mangan at Ravalli County Extension.

Patrick Mangan – 406-375-6611


Powell, Deer Lodge, & Granite Counties – Anaconda

Classes will be held at The Little Theater, 420 Main Street, Anaconda

For more information and to register contact Kimberly Richardson.



***Tuition scholarships & carpools available! Contact Kimberly for details.***

Fergus County – Lewistown

Classes will be held at Fergus High School, 1001 Casino Creek Dr, Lewistown

The Lewistown workshop schedule will be slightly different from the other locations. Three workshops will be offered beginning with Strategic Planning on February 20th. This will be followed by Financing Your Farm on February 27th and Managing Farm Risks on March 6th, as above.

For more information, pricing information, and to register for Lewistown Workshops, contact Emily Standley, County Ag Agent:

Emily Standley – 406-535-3919


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