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Conference Name Evaluating the NY FarmNet Program: Risk Management through Individualized Education and Consulting

Daniel Welch

Summary

New York FarmNet was founded in 1986 by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, in response to the farm crisis. The program utilizes part-time financial and personal consultants to work with farmers across New York State on an as-needed basis. Financial and personal consultants meet as a team with farmers on their farms. Farm business management education and consulting includes options for succession planning and retirement, business and marketing planning, developing financial records and record keeping systems, and new enterprise and feasibility analysis. Our farm family consultants work with farmers on stress management, work-life balance, and farm family business communications.

In 2017, an evaluation was undertaken to benchmark the progress of the program over the last 30 years. Surveys were mailed to farmers who completed working with the program in 2016 and 2017. An additional survey of cooperative extension staff, agricultural lenders, and other agricultural businesses and stakeholders, will provide an external perspective on the program. Of the farms responding to the survey, 18% worked with NY FarmNet on succession/transfer planning or retirement planning. One-third of the farms reported that due to working with FarmNet consultants their farm had grown, improved profitability, or had diversified their enterprises. On the human side of risk management, over 80% of the farms said they were better of personally. Despite challenging, stressful times for farmers in New York, NY FarmNet positively impacts many of the farms that accessed the program.

Details


 
2018 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference