Online Resources

Note: Some links download documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. If you need to install Acrobat Reader, you can find it here.

Building Farmers in the West Newsletter

For reports from the field, see our November 2011 newsletter.


Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses

Business Plan Software


Referenced Organizations

The Center for Farm Financial Management        

Strategic Planning

Penn State University: Agricultural Alternatives

Kansas State University: Strategic Business Planning for Agricultural Value-Adding Initiatives

Cornell University: Writing a Business Plan: A Guide for Small Premium Wineries

Colorado State University: Developing a Business Plan for Alternative, Specialty and Entrepreneurial Agriculture



Agtourism in Hawaii: From Farmer to Visitor (a half hour video, here broken into two parts of about 14 minutes each) shows how a variety of beginning farmers started successful agritourism enterprises. Farmers discuss how agritourism can increase farm profitability and reduce marketing risk, especially for smaller growers who enjoy working with the public. Limitations and the future potential of the marketing strategy are also addressed. While specific examples focus on Hawaii, the principles are equally applicable for all of North America.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Recordkeeping & Financial Analysis

Balance Sheet

Edwards, William. 2008. “Your Net Worth Statement” Ag Decision Maker, File C3-20, , Iowa State University
Hofstrand, Don. 2009. “Understanding Net Worth.” Ag Decision Maker, File C3-19, Iowa State University

Cash Flow Budgeting

Edwards, William. 2008. “Twelve Steps to Cash Flow Budgeting.” Ag Decision Maker, File C3-15, Iowa State University
Hofstrand, Don. 2009. “Understanding Cash Flow Analysis.” Ag Decision Maker, File C3-14, Iowa State University

Farm Family Finances

Edwards,William, and Cynthia Needles Fletcher. 2007. “Managing Farm Family Finances.” Ag Decision Maker, File C3-51, Iowa State University

Income Statement

Edwards, William. 2008. “Your Farm Income Statement.” Ag Decision Maker, File C3-25, Iowa State University.
Hofstrand, Don. 2009. “Understanding Profitability.” Ag Decision Maker, File C3-24, Iowa State University.

Financial Management and Record Keeping

Burt, Larry, and Blair Wolfley . 2009. “Financial Management.” Farm to Consumer Marketing Series, PNW 206-E.
Doye, Damona. 2009. “Information Systems for Oklahoma Farmers.” AGEC-302, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Fact Sheet.
Klinefelter, Danny, and Dean McCorkle. 2001. “Financial Management: Cash vs. Accrual Accounting.” L-5386 (RM5-16) 11-00, Texas A&M University Extension Fact Sheet.

Financial and Economic Terms

McCorkle, Dean, Larry Langemeier, Danny Klinefelter, and Fred DeLano . 1998. “Financial and Economic Terms.” RM5-11.0 8-98, Texas A&M University Extension Fact Sheet.








Began as a regional partnership to build community and capacity among a new generation of direct market farmers and local food systems.

For additional information, contact:

Dawn Thilmany McFadden
(970) 491-7220

Jo Ann Warner
(509) 477-2168

Western Extension Risk Management Education

Initially funded by the USDA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program (grant award number 2009-49400-05877).