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The Women's Agricultural Network

Cool Tools

This section provides links to assessments and other interactive tools that can help you plan and develop your farm business.

Business Planning

Basic Business Plan Template, developed by John Porter, New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

Farm Financials Workbooks developed by the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. These workbooks incorporate a financial templates and spreadsheets in one Excel workbook, linked together so that many pieces of information automatically fill in. They have been created primarily for the use of farm business planning educators and consultants and the farmers of the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program, but are free and accessible to all farmers and the general public on-line at http://www.vhcb.org/viability.html. Two versions available, one for dairy/livestock operations and one for vegetable or diversified operations.

Interpreting Financial Statements and Measures, a series of online videos developed by The Center for Farm Financial Management to help you evaluate your farm's financial position and financial performance. The website is intended to teach producers the basics of interpreting the 4 major financial statements and the 21 financial measures recommended by the Farm Financial Standards Council. In total, there is over 2 ½ hours of information.

INVenture. In a hurry to get your business plan on paper? No need to wait for the next class. Start writing your business plan today with INVenture . . . a business planning tool to successfully launch a new venture. Because it can be difficult to know where to begin exploring a venture, this interactive website prompts you by asking key questions about what you want to do. If you need help completing the assessment or if you want to discuss the results, WAgN staff can help you.

Marketing

Market Assessment: Are Restaurants a Good Choice? Selling to restaurants can be an outstanding marketing decision for your business if you are located in the right area and prepared for the realities of this market niche. The following assessment will guide you through some important considerations that you might want to consider before you begin approaching restaurants.

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network on eXtension contains many resources for niche meat producers and processors. Included are are archived webinars, articles, financial analysis tools, and more.

Processing & Regulation

Email & Phone Help Line Available for Small Meat and Poultry Processors. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) opened a help desk in December 2009 for operators of small meat, poultry and egg processing plants. The toll-free line will be staffed by specialists who can answer producers' questions about agency requirements. The new service will support USDA's 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' initiative by helping small processors save time and money. To speak to a staff specialist, call 1-877-FSISHelp (1-877-374-7435). You may also contact the help-desk by email at InfoSource@fsis.usda.gov.

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network on eXtension contains many resources for niche meat producers and processors. Included are are archived webinars, articles, financial analysis tools, and more.

Farm Transition Planning

Developed by the Center for Farm Financial Management and a nationally known team of educators, AgTransitions provides a means for farm and ranch families to develop a written transition plan on the web.AgTransitions is located at https://www.agtransitions.umn.edu. AgTransitions provides users with an outline for sections that might be included in a plan, tips for each section, web resources, and worksheets. AgTransitions is not intended to replace farm succession planning workshops. Rather, it provides a means for producers to put what they have learned into action.

Last modified February 17 2010 09:57 AM

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