The University of Vermont Extension Farm Viability Program© provides farmers the opportunity to develop successful whole farm business plans which establish clear goals and objectives with achievable strategies. Applicants working with Farm Business Planners begin by identifying and gathering data on farm description, ownership structure, buildings and assets, farm labor and a brief description of production practices. Initial financial information including past years tax forms, available balance sheets and income statements are collected. Market description and assessment, alternative products, proposed construction projects are used in refining projected business ideas and strategies. The client is able to make informed decisions about the farm’s future and the feasibility of proposed changes. The farmer gains confidence with clearer knowledge of farm assets and a fine-tuned working document valuable when working with financial institutions on future endeavors. Vermont Small Business Development Center conducts 3rd party evaluation on all plans. Each farmer completing a Farm Business Plan is requested to complete a written survey designed to evaluate the progress and effectiveness of the work and a Year 2 formal evaluation is conducted to determine implementation of the plan, assist in securing funding for implementation where needed and to update business plans for future direction. Since its inception in 2004 with an initial grant of $67,000, UVM has worked with over 250 farms and produced 188 business plans and funding has increased to over $550,000.
|Conference||2011 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|