Farm Business Management

The educational materials listed on this page are about Farm Business Management.

Growing and selling products profitably is critical to an agriculture business, but there are other aspects that are essential to farm business management. While it is difficult to find grants to start a farm, operating or starting a farm require a basic understanding of ag credit, including FSA loans (and other farm loans), and how to obtain farm credit for an agriculture loan. Savvy producers understand agricultural finance and agricultural accounting, and keep a close eye on farm finances. Farmers need to understand agricultural marketing and may need to know demand for a specific crop, such as with apple marketing. Starting a small farm may include finding land through FarmLink. While some new farmers may get started with a farm internship, others may useless formal farming training or more formal agriculture education. Ultimately, farmers also need to learn about farm labor, farm labor laws or farm succession planning at some point in their career. Key practices include marketing management, financial management, community-supported agriculture, risk management, agricultural finance, whole farm planning, farm succession, land access, labor/employment.

SARE’s bulletin Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Wholesale Markets offers alternatives for producers to market their products through unconventional channels. Building a Sustainable Business aids producers in developing a sustainable and profitable business plan for their enterprise. Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities gives producers options for agricultural loans, grants and technical expertise. Farmers looking to transition to organic will find Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs useful for business planning.

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What is Sustainable Agriculture report cover

¿Qué es la Agricultura Sostenible?

A simple way to think about sustainable agriculture is that it involves producing enough food and fiber to satisfy today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. Farmers and ranchers who value sustainability embrace three common goals while running productive operations: To achieve these sustainability goals, a farmer typically views […]

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Guía del Agricultorn Sobre Estructuras Empresariales

Establecer y mantener la correcta estructura empresarial para la operación de su granja sienta las bases para un negocio agrícola estable y resiliente. La formación de una estructura empresarial puede ayudar a i) gestionar el riesgo mediante la protección de los activos de las personas propietarias ante las responsabilidades de la empresa; ii) promover las […]

a man poses with a hoe in front of his urban farm

New SARE Bulletin: Best Practices for the Sustainable Urban Farm

For decades, urban farms and community gardens have helped meet demand for fresh and local produce. Urban farming creatively utilizes limited space, conserves land and transforms vacant lots or buildings into productive greenspaces. Farming in cities can be a rewarding way for communities to grow healthy food while receiving a wide range of other interrelated environmental, […]

youth renewing the countryside book

Youth Renewing the Countryside

Smart, young people are returning to the roots of American Agriculture-- roots steeped in a tradition and culture of diversity, quality and respect for the Earth. Full of brilliant color photographs, Youth Renewing the Countryside shares remarkable stories of young people in each state changing the world through rural renewal. Produced by Renewing the Countryside in […]

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Growing New Markets for Specialty Crops

Voices from the Field is a podcast series co-produced by ATTRA and SARE that explores the different ways farmers are working to create new local markets for specialty and niche crops. Each partner episode will address a different production system or crop–from endives to small-grain value chains–and will feature farmers sharing their production and marketing […]

Urban Ag Best Practices Bulletin Cover

Best Practices for the Sustainable Urban Farm

For decades, urban farms and community gardens have helped meet the demand for fresh, local produce. Urban farms are diverse and adaptable, ranging from small farms on repurposed vacant lots to multilevel vertical farms and rooftop gardens. Often, they combine ecological farming practices with some form of infrastructure. Urban growers make clever use of their […]

Cover of farmer well being report, featuring two hands planting a seedling in soil.

Planting Seeds of Help

Despite years of experience, fifth-generation flower farmer Leroy Hardy was facing foreclosure on his farm near Sedley, Virginia. To navigate the financial crisis, Hardy reached out to Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) for mediation assistance, and he emerged with his assets intact. So when RAFI, the Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP) and the National Center […]

Farming on the Urban Edge Docuseries cover page with a woman smiling at the camera in front of a green field

The Peri-Urban Agriculture Network: Strategies for Agricultural Viability in Urbanizing and High-Land-Use-Pressure Regions

Many peri-urban regions in the western U.S. are in a state of acute juxtaposition between formerly rural agricultural communities and growing, modern urban centers. Urbanization challenges agricultural viability through land use pressures and a slow unraveling of historically land-based economies and culture. These agricultural circumstances can be very destabilizing and highlight the need for agriculture […]

SARE logo with yellow sun rising over green agricultural fields.

The Northeast Organic Grower Harvest Manual

A manual created by Roxbury Farm Harvest to help commercial, organic vegetable farmers with parameters on pricing, harvest indicators, harvest and postharvest handling procedures, and storage conditions. Each vegetable has a detailed explanation of the various market values, expected yield numbers, standards and the tools needed. Harvest and preparation procedures are laid out for each […]

Beyond Fresh Farmers Guide to Food Processing with different featured images of food and processing under the title

Beyond Fresh: a Food Processing Guide for Texas Farmers

A decision-making guide to planning, creating and marketing value-added food products made from sustainably-grown fruits and vegetables, written from a "farmer-first" perspective. As farmers face competition from meal-in-a-box companies, this guide aims to help farmers prosper in their own food distribution. This Food Processing Guide for Texas Farmers begins with decision-making and walks step by […]

Three person panel description for Racial Equity webinar

Racial Equity in Extension webinar series

Recordings of six live webinars with panel discussions on topics geared toward a professional Extension or technical service provider audience in the U.S. (with focus on California). Topics range from 1) building relationships with farmworkers and farmers of color as Extension clientele, to 2) the world views and perspectives on sustainable agriculture of indigenous and […]

Woman holding leafy greens in a field

Farmer and SARE Grantee Featured by United Nations for Her Millet Production

Minnesota farmer Naima Dhore is starting to grow millet–a resilient cereal grain grown widely in semi-arid regions of the world–because she has an eager market in the large East African communities of the Minneapolis area. It’s part of a broader pattern for Dhore, who migrated to the United States from Somalia as a child and […]

What is Sustainable Agriculture report cover

New SARE Bulletin: What is Sustainable Agriculture?

SARE’s newly revised What is Sustainable Agriculture? publication provides a primer to practices that can help farmers and ranchers improve the sustainability of any complex, integrated production and marketing system. 

What is Sustainable Agriculture report cover

What is Sustainable Agriculture?

This award-winning report provides a sampler of best practices in sustainable agriculture—from marketing and community vitality to cover crops and grazing—as well as eight profiles of producers, educators and researchers who have successfully implemented them.

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America's Heartland "Leaders in Sustainable Agriculture" Now Available on YouTube

SARE recently partnered with PBS KVIE to produce an episode of RFD-TV's America's Heartland featuring four farmers describing their commitment to sustainability, how they plan to overcome modern farming challenges, and how SARE has impacted their farming and ranching practices.  The full 24-minute episode titled Leaders in Sustainable Agriculture is now available at https://www.sare.org/resources/leaders-in-sustainable-agriculture/. Watch: Videos featuring each […]

rfdtv logo with windmill and red letters

RFD-TV Episode to Highlight Sustainable Innovations

Tune in to RFD-TV on March 29 at 5:30pm EDT for the premiere of a new “America’s Heartland” episode showcasing farmers and ranchers from across the country who are leaders in sustainability.  SARE partnered with PBS KVIE to produce this episode, which features farmers describing their commitment to sustainability, how they plan to meet farming […]

transitioning to organic production guide

Transitioning to Organic Production

Transitioning to Organic Production lays out many promising conversion strategies, covering typical organic farming production practices, innovative marketing ideas and federal standards for certified organic crop production.

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The Value of Farming with Community

Shakera and Juan Raygoza talk about why their bonds with local consumers, families, schools, agricultural educators and other farmers are beneficial for both them and for the community where they live and farm. They operate Terra Preta Farm on 15 acres in Edinburg, Texas, where they grow organic radishes for wholesale markets and run a […]

Cover of Scaling Up print publication, featuring an image of a man and a woman and another image of a woman walking through a field of radishes.

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 […]