The educational materials listed on this page are about Business Planning.
Farm business planning helps farmers turn their dream into a profitable reality. A farm business plan is essential for sustainable and alternative agricultural business owners to be successful. For instance, creating a poultry farming business plan aids producers in setting realistic goals and determining potential markets for consumers interested in pastured poultry. A cattle farm business plan could help a rancher research the feasibility of alternative processing methods and evaluate financing options. An apple business plan can help an orchard operator improve sustainability on their farm both economically and environmentally. A goat farming business plan or pastured pig farming business plan can help the farmer plan for boosted production and identify or develop specific markets for their products. Key practices include marketing management, market study, financial management, business planning, risk management, new enterprise development, land access, labor/employment, value added.
SARE’s book Building a Sustainable Business aids producers in building a sustainable and profitable business plan for their enterprise. Organic farmers will benefit from Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs. Those seeking funding information can find help in Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities, which includes other sources of loans, grants and technical support to help their business thrive. SARE’s bulletin Marketing Strategies for Farmers and Ranchers is also useful for producers looking to expand or identify markets for their products.
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Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Wholesale Markets
For direct market farmers, expanding your operation to capture local and regional wholesale markets can represent an opportunity. But such a shift brings with it many changes to how you run your farm because the expectations that wholesale buyers have is much different than your direct market customers. Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Wholesale […]
SARE Video Dives into the Economics of Sustainable Agriculture
While most agricultural profit models focus on maximizing yields in the short term, sustainable strategies prioritize profitable returns over the long term. SARE’s "The Economics of Sustainable Agriculture" animation describes how practices such as crop rotation and reduced tillage can improve an operation's bottom line sustainably. The newest episode in SARE’s “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” series provides […]
Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches
This bulletin outlines the new challenges that changing weather patterns pose in agriculture throughout the United States, and what you can do to make your farm more resilient.
Farmers' Guide to Business Structures
Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures describes the fundamentals of sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited liability companies and C, S and B corporations in straightforward language, to help you choose the best entity for your operation. Selecting the right business entity for your farm is like building the foundation of a house.
How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch
This 32-page bulletin outlines how to conduct research at the farm level, offering practical tips for both crop and livestock producers, as well as a comprehensive list of more in-depth resources.
The profit potential of transitioning to organic production—along with other rewards—has farmers, ranchers and food business owners across the country considering the switch. But successfully managing your business through the multi-year transition process requires careful planning. Use Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs to develop an actionable business transition plan that is suitable for yourself, your management team or a lender.
Farm to Table: Building Local and Regional Food Systems
More and more, farmers, ranchers, ag professionals, community organizers and others are striving to reconfigure the nation's food system so more value stays in food-producing communities.
From Fruit to Fuel
As tree fruit growers know well, annual harvests do not remove all the fruit from the orchard. A great deal is left behind littering the orchard floor. While pondering his fruit waste problem, Dan West of Macon, Mo., who grows apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums and pears, hit upon a novel approach: Why not turn […]
Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities
This guide lists funding opportunities offered by federal programs, and is indispensable for anyone seeking government help to foster their innovative enterprise in forestry and agriculture.
The Small Ruminant Toolbox
This Small Ruminant Toolbox is a large collection of publications, presentations and other resources that will be helpful to small ruminant producers and educators.
Safe and Profitable Oil Production Fact Sheets
Information on edible oil production for small-scale producers.
Agripreneur Training Program Materials
Materials developed to train Latino immigrants interested in starting a free-range poultry business. Incluye el currículo en español.
Sustainable Bioenergy Course
In association with an NCR-SARE Professional Development Program grant, the Bioenergy Training Center, in collaboration with the Farm Energy CoP, has developed a Sustainable Bioenergy Course to provide educational training resources focused not only on the technical feasibility of bioenergy generation, but also on approaches and processes that assist communities in understanding the comprehensive implications of bio-based alternative energy. This course can provide foundational materials for teaching undergraduates or for community education sessions.
Multi-State Resource Tool Addresses Small Ruminant Production Needs
A comprehensive small ruminant resource tool covering all manners of production, planning, marketing, health, and facilities has been developed to aid producers and the Extension agents who work with them in improving sheep and goat profitability and sustainability. Linda Coffey, agriculture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), said that the popularity of […]
Edible Avalon Curriculum
This summer program curriculum teaches youth about local food systems and sustainable agriculture.
MarketReady Educational Resources
MarketReady prepares food producers to sell directly to consumers and wholesale buyers.
Working With Your Food Safety Inspector
How food safety inspectors and small scale processors can work together to meet regulations.
How-to-Guide for Aspiring Urban Micro-Agricultural Entrepreneurs
Created for city residents who want to increase their access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.
Moving Nursery Producers Toward Sustainable Practices Fact Sheets
These fact sheets discuss alternative containers, marketing and crop selection, alternatives to synthetic herbicides and integrated pest management in commercial nursery plant production.
Guide to Starting a Locally-Scaled, Local-Foods Based Cooperative
Information on planning for and running a cooperative can be found in this handbook.