North Central SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product
Grower to Grower
Creating a livelihood on a fresh market vegetable farm
From 2002-2004, the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems worked with a group of 19 growers on a participatory, farmer-led case study. The growers collected data on their sales, labor and other aspects of their businesses. They then created financial ratios that allowed them to compare small, medium and large operations in a way that respected their confidentiality. Their goal was not to provide a complete economic analysis of their operations, but to provide a basis for comparisons between farms and discussions of how to forge a quality livelihood from farming. Growers wanting a standard economic analysis of their farms can use traditional balance sheets, financial statements, and cash flow statements.
The information contained in this case study can help guide growers as they set financial and quality of life goals for their farms and structure their operations to realize those goals. There is no ideal size for a fresh market vegetable farm; growers need to use their management skills and economic analysis tools to figure out the scale and level of mechanization that makes the most sense for them.
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Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) LNC01-194, Profit by Planning: Helping Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Meet Financial Goals and Improve their Quality of Life.
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Project products are developed as part of SARE grants. They are made available with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within project products do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.