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Conference Name IFMAPS (Intensive Financial Management and Planning Support) : Individual Business Planning Assistance

Randy True


Intensive Financial Management and Planning Support (IFMAPS), a special program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, provides free and confidential financial business planning assistance to Oklahoma agricultural producers. IFMAPS financial specialists work with producers to gather information for financial business plans. The plans typically include budgets for farm enterprises, a cash flow plan, income statement, balance sheet, debt worksheet, and financial measure ratios. A whole-farm analysis is performed to determine the business strengths and weaknesses and the options available for the business. This analysis is completed using the "Integrated Farm Financial Statements" (IFFS) software, a set of interdependent Microsoft Excel-based workbooks and budget files, developed by the OSU Agricultural Economics Department. Producers can reduce risk through improved understanding of their financial situation, and can easily analyze their ability to diversify their operation with alternative enterprises as well as analyze the impact of increasing or decreasing the size of each enterprise. Producers can also analyze the financial effects of changes in government programs or analyze the impacts of bringing a second generation of family members into the farm business. By using Extension educational materials, the IFMAPS staff helps farmers and ranchers improve organization and analytical skills. Development of these skills benefits the farmers and ranchers in two ways. First, improved management skills should lead to improved business operations. Second, the gain in self-confidence encourages the operators to continue to learn more about farm financial management.