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The type of business plan you make is up to you, but the following step-by-step process of making a proper business plan will help you in the long run.An accounting officer cannot do much to improve farming, rather than look at the books and the financials of the farming operation and use that analysis to determine what is failing and what is not, or what needs improvement and what is doing well.
(M/S) Small Business Development Centers are located around the country and provide business planning assistance to all types of small businesses. Even if an office does not have agricultural expertise, they can still be of assistance in helping to put your business plan and financials together.(NH) New Hampshire Small Business Development Centers (MA) Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network (VT) Vermont Small Business Development Center (CT) Connecticut Small Business Development Centers (NY) New York State Small Business Development Centers (ME) Maine Small Business Development Centers(RI) Rhode Island Small Business Development Centers These consultants can help you with planning for the startup, growth or transfer of your business.(M/S) Land for Good helps with a variety of land transfer needs for farmers, including evaluating parcels for the suitability of a given farm, helping to package applications or responses to calls for proposals for land, and working with parties in the land transfer process to ensure a successful transition.(NY) The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation offers detailed business planning services in the Hudson Valley, mostly in Columbia, Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties, but they may also work in nearby areas on a fee-for-service basis.
They will work with any type of farm- or agriculture-related business, of any business size.
If there is no course in your area, there are online courses and templates you may use.(M/S) The Northeast Beginning Farmers Project, from Cornell University’s Small Farms Program, hosts online courses each winter.
Topics include: Financial Record Keeping, Writing a Marketing Plan, and Understanding the Business, Regulatory and Tax Implications of Farming.(NY) Hawthorne Valley Farm offers the Hudson Valley Farm Beginnings Whole Farm Planning Course each winter which includes developing enterprise budgets, an income and expense plan, and a marketing and pricing strategy.(MA) The MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) hosts three types of courses each winter for farmers at various stages of business planning.(MA) The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project offers a Business Planning Course in which participants develop business plans and enterprise budgets, research their markets, evaluate the equipment & resources they need for their business, and develop crop plans.(VT) The Vermont New Farmer Project through UVM Extension offers business planning courses geared toward business at various stages: startups, 1-5 years, and 5 years.
Start with the ‘Business Planning’ category., a project of the Conservation Law Foundation, provides transactional documents related to farm and food enterprises, including incorporation papers, contracts, leases, sales/purchases, etc.
(M/S) The Rural Advancement Foundation International has a Guide to Agricultural Credit.(M/S) Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture provides technical assistance through special programs, workshops, one-on-one training sessions, farm visits, and referrals to farmers in Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties, MA.
We welcome feedback on this list as we try to make it as useful as possible. Each listing is preceded by its state abbreviation or (M/S) for multi-state.
Many states have guides to running an agricultural business in that state that include information on state regulations, zoning, business and tax obligations, and resources for farmers.(CT) Connecticut Agricultural Business Management Guide(VT) A Legal Guide to the Business of Farming in Vermont(NY) Guide to Farming in NYS(MA) MA does not have an official state guide, but the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project has a Massachusetts Agricultural Resource Guide.(ME) The Maine Department of Agriculture has a guide in their FAQ’s on Farming in Maine under the question: “I want to farm in Maine, but I don't know how to get started. ” Both classroom and online courses exist to help you write a business plan.
They also offer Ag Financial Management, and Whole Farm Planning for Women.(VT) Women’s Agricultural Network through UVM Extension offers courses including ‘Growing Places’ for those entering the farming world, and ‘Taking Stock’, a course for existing businesses to tune their operations.(RI) Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management Division of Agriculture offers grants through its Farm Viability Program.
(M/S) The Northeast Beginning Farmers Project, from Cornell University’s Small Farms Program offers worksheets and templates embedded in online planning lessons where you can save work in your own online files.