Farm Business Planning

Farm Business Planning is key to beginning farmer success.

It helps beginning farmers:

  • Plan for the economic sustainability of a new farm enterprise.
  • Obtain funding to purchase land, equipment and other resources from lending institutions, investors and/or grant making agencies.
  • Articulate what their farm will look like.

On this page, we compiled free farm business planning resources to help you understand what a formal business plan is, and how to start planning your farm business. Sections include:

  1. Developing a Farm Business Plan
  2. Enterprise Budgeting

Enterprise budget resources are included on the farm business planning page because such tools are usually essential in helping you to develop your business plan.

Planning your farm business involves more than is outlined on this page alone. You’ll probably also be interested in 速蛙云流量怎么用:funding (loans/grants), 速蛙云流量怎么用:farm incorporation, and 速蛙云流量怎么用:risk management. Our 速蛙云流量怎么用:starting a farm page is worth visiting first. Also, you might find the following article helpful, because it touches on many farm business planning topics: Farm Products, What to Charge: Marketing, Price, Calculating Costs, Strategy and Much More.

developing a farm plan

1. Developing a Farm Business Plan

business plan is a decision making tool that takes the form of a formal document. It states your business goals, why you think you can achieve them, and lays out your plan for doing so. Farm business planning is also a process, not an end product. A business plan is a work in progress, which farm business owners or operators will want to revisit regularly. 

 from the Cornell University Small Farms Project has lots of important and useful farm business planning resources.

 is a web and print publication from the Minnesota institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA).

 is a 20 page farm business planning publication that discusses the initial steps to help you move toward writing a formal business plan.

The Center for Agroecology has a publication that goes over many of the basics in a step by step format.

is a farm business planning publication available from SARE.

is a web resource from the New England Small Farm Institute. It’s a great place to get started.

 from the University of Minnesota helps rural business owners develop a business plan for free, while also offering sample business plans for ideas, and a way to print or download your plan.

includes several helpful resources from the USDA National Agricultural Library’s Rural Information Center.

 from North Carolina State University features a number of publications and links related to financial planing for organic farmers.

 is an ATTRA publication most relevant to smaller-scale or alternative agricultural entrepreneurs.

offers comprehensive resources on ; ; , and more.

 has educational resources to explore, such as the , which offers business planning assistance.

offers strategic farm business planning tools for commercial farm producers.

has many Business Planning tools and information.  has a Developing a Business Plan page. Penn State also has a that allows you to plug in your information and create a basic business plan.

 works with local partners to counsel, mentor and train small businesses. It is worth getting to know their programs and connect with your local office.

has an extensive compilation of links to calculators, applets, spreadsheets, courses, manuals, handbooks, simulations, animations, videos and more. Martindale’s can be of great use to farmers making business plans.

stacks of cash and money

2. Enterprise Budgets

Enterprise budgets project costs and returns for a particular farm production practice. You can use enterprise budgets to make smart business management decisions, and to help you develop a viable business plan.

of all sorts from the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, including organic crop budgeting tools, many vegetable budgeting tools, the crop conversion tool for side-by-side crop comparisons, specialty crop and livestock budgets, hydroponics budgets, wind calculators, composting calculators, manure calculators, distillers grain budgets, biomass calculators and specialty foods calculators.

(Virginia Tech)

 (University of Nevada)

(Kerr Center)

Organic Specific Enterprise Budgets

  • (ATTRA)
  •  (Iowa State)
  • (Kansas Rural Center)

More Enterprise Budget Pages and Information

  • (Virginia Cooperative Extension)
  • (Center for Integrated Ag Systems, UW-Madison)
  • (University of Maryland)
  • (Ohio State)
  • (Alabama A&M and Auburn)