Farm Financial Management Workshops for Women Farmers

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University of Extension Rusk and Taylor counties will be hosting Annie’s Project Financial Management workshops on February 25 and March 4. For more information, read Sandy Stuttgen’s news release below.

February 2015
Contact: Sandy Stuttgen, 715-748-3327, sandy.stuttgen@ces.uwex.edu,

Annie’s Project Financial Management Workshop scheduled for February and March

Medford, Wis. – University of Wisconsin-Extension Rusk and Taylor Counties are hosting a two day Annie’s Project on Farm Financial Management. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 25 and Wednesday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jump River Community Center in Jump River, Wisconsin.

This workshop series is for farm women who are interested in learning or improving their farm financial management, which is part of the fabric of farm life. The series will be inter-active between speakers and participants with in-class exercises.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Financial Management
  • Records and Recordkeeping Systems
  • Filing Important Family Papers
  • Management Reports including the Balance Sheet and Income Statement
  • Analysis and Interpretation of Financial Statements
  • Benchmarking of Financial Position and Performance
  • Decision Making Tools including Budgets

The cost of the program is $40 which includes materials and lunch both days. Brochures and registration information are available by contacting UW-Extension Taylor County office at 715-748-3327 or http://taylor.uwex.edu/ .

Annie’s project is an opportunity for farm women to learn about farm management skills by providing resources and information to improve farming operations. Class sizes are small which allows for opportunities to network with other farm women in similar situations.

Resource: Wisconsin Farm Center

Wisconsin Farm Center, another resource from the state of Wisconsin and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, releases quarterly newsletters with a wide array of topics. If you are too busy during the growing season, winter may be a great time to catch up on Farm Center newsletters. Another great way to stay up-to-date is to subscribe to their email newsletter.

The Farm Center offers a variety of services to Wisconsin farmers.

UW Returning to the Farm Workshop

From Joy Kirkpatrick at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability:

Returning to the Farm workshop helps farm families plan for farm succession

Madison, Wis. – UW Center for Dairy Profitability, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-Extension are offering a workshop to help farm families plan for a son, daughter or partner to return to the farm and eventually take over the farm business. The four-day workshop will be offered on the UW-Platteville campus. The dates are Jan. 16 and 17 and Feb. 13 and 14, 2015.

Families looking toward the future of their farming operations have many issues to consider. Two issues of extreme importance to the future life of the business are the development of a son, daughter, or partner to be the future manager of the business and the creation of a succession plan. The Returning to the Farm workshop helps families make these plans.

Returning to the Farm is open to all farm families who want to learn more about planning for farm succession. Families are expected to participate in both sessions. At the end of the February session, families will have action steps to move forward with a plan.

Through this program, farm businesses will:
Determine if an existing operation is large enough to support an additional partner.
Uncover alternatives for the transfer of farm assets.
Recognize personalities and learn to work with each individual’s strengths.
Write long- and short-term business and family goals.
Learn how to address issues in a multiple generation farm business.
Hear the current issues and information on the tax implications of farm transfer.
Understand the tools of estate planning and business succession planning.
Receive business succession and estate planning resources.
The registration fee for this four-day program is $300 per farming unit (up to four people per farm). This includes materials, meeting room costs, refreshment breaks and lunches. The registration deadline is January 9, 2014. If more than four people attend from a farming unit, $75 will be charged for each participant over four.

For more information about the program or to register contact Joy Kirkpatrick, UW Center for Dairy Profitability Outreach Specialist at 608-263-3485 or by email joy.kirkpatrick@ces.uwex.edu . Returning to the Farm is funded by UW-Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Platteville, and UW-Extension.

Legal and Business Structure Workshop

Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is offering a workshop for farm and food businesses to discuss different types of business structures, property and employment law, and liability insurance issues. For more information, their press release is below:

Media Contact: Ann Marie Ames
608-224-5041 annmarie.ames@wi.gov

Jim Dick, Communications Director
608-224-5020 jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON – Those who want to learn more about legal issues involved with starting and successfully maintaining farms and food businesses should register for next month’s Legal and Business Structure Workshop, which will take place in four locations around Wisconsin. The workshop is part of the annual Local Food Business Seminar Series, designed to help farmers and food business owners improve business practices.

The workshop speakers are Rachel Armstrong from Farm Commons and Courtney Berner of the UW Center for Cooperatives. This highly informative and interactive workshop will benefit those who are planning to start a food business, have recently done so, or who have been running a successful food business for some time.

Topics will include:

● The pros and cons of different business types including non-profit, S corporation or C corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC and cooperative.

● Property and employment law including short- and long-term farmland leases, incubator kitchen leases, workman’s compensation and laws regarding the hiring of employees and interns.

● Liability insurance issues including those regarding food safety and agritourism.

Armstrong and Berner will travel to four sites to deliver the workshop on four dates from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6. They will be in Waukesha on Nov. 3, Stevens Point on Nov. 4, Gays Mills on Nov. 5 and Madison on Nov. 6. The Madison seminar will be available online as a free webinar.

No matter the location, the cost of the seminar is $15 for the first person from any organization and $10 for any additional participants from the same organization. Something Special from Wisconsin members get a $5 discount.

Each seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Check-in starts at 8:45 a.m. Lunch is included in the cost of the seminar.

To learn the addresses of the seminar site nearest you, to find a complete agenda or to sign up, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

To request a link for the webinar or if you have other questions, contact Kietra Olson at (608) 224-5112 or Kietra.olson@wisconsin.gov.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, along with a number of partner organizations, plan the annual Local Business Seminar Series, which will continue monthly through March. The next in the series is food safety from Dec. 1 to Nov. 4. For a complete list, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

2014 Wisconsin Crop Budgets

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2014 Wisconsin Crop Budgets are now available online.

From UW-Extension’s Ken Barnett, “Wisconsin producers can find information to help in making their cropping decisions for the upcoming year by using the 2014 updated field crop, vegetable and pasture budgets prepared by the University of Wisconsin-Extension Farm Team and available online at http://www.uwex.edu/ces/farmteam/; look in the Enterprise Budgets heading.

These budgets calculate the costs associated with using tractors, implements, and durables. The costs calculated are energy use, labor, repairs, ownership interest cost, and depreciation charge. With the increasing prices for fertilizer, fuel, seed, and pesticides, these budgets are best used as a “side-by-side” comparison tool to analyze financial costs and benefits for producing different crops.

The field crop budgets include barley, corn after corn, corn after soybeans, corn silage after alfalfa, corn silage after corn, oats, rye, soybeans, spring and winter wheat, seeding alfalfa and established alfalfa for hay and haylage. There are two established pasture and two pasture establishment budgets.

The 15 commercial vegetable budgets include: cabbage (non-irrigated), carrot (non-irrigated), pickling cucumber (irrigated), slicing cucumber (irrigated), peas (irrigated and non-irrigated), potato (non-irrigated and irrigated), snapbean (non-irrigated and irrigated), and sweetcorn (non-irrigated and irrigated).

The 23 fresh market vegetable budgets are: asparagus, beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, honeydew melon, leek, muskmelon, onion, peas, Bell pepper, pumpkin, salad greens, snapbean, summer squash, sweet corn, tomato, watermelon and winter squash.

For more information about these crop budgets, contact Ken Barnett at 715-355-4561 or ken.barnett@ces.uwex.edu.”

Resources for Wisconsin Farmers, Part II

The Wisconsin Farm Center, at the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, offers a variety of services and resources for farmers.

  • Farm Mediation and Arbitration Program- contact the program or read the brochure. The Center has also produced a legal guide, available as a pdf document.
  • Rural Electric Power Services Program– farm re-wiring resources
  • Focus on Energy Program– funding for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations. This includes commercial agribusiness, dairy and livestock farms, grain facilities, aquaculture facilities, and irrigation systems.
  • Financial Counseling offers more than budget worksheets and articles. To speak with a financial analyst, contact the main office at (608) 224-5012.
  • Employment Resources can help with an off-farm job search. They can provide assistance with a variety of job hunting tasks including identifying transferable skills, composing a resume, or finding training opportunities.