Louisville, KY (PRWEB) March 30, 2013
A group of farmers, business partners and farm couples received the tools they need to make wise financial decisions during a two-day workshop aimed at improving farm profitability and financial performance on farming operations. This workshop, titled Making Financial Decisions in your Farm Business. was held in West Lafayette, IN in early March. Staff members from Farm Credit Mid-America facilitated the program along with Purdue University faculty.
“The workshop was designed to teach farmers how to accurately assess the financial strengths and weaknesses of their operations and ultimately improve their farm profitability and financial performance,” said Rick Butler, senior learning program manager at Farm Credit. “We worked with Purdue to develop this workshop with the idea of helping our customers apply new concepts to their operations by focusing on strategic positioning, risk management and business planning. We wanted to help customers think about their operation from a strategic standpoint.”
Attendees were able to use their own financial data to practice the concepts discussed in the conference. “You’re so busy on the farm that a lot of the time you don’t have the opportunity to explore your finances,” said Robyn Hostetler, a Farm Credit customer who operates a dairy farm in Marshallville, OH with her father, who also attended the seminar. “Any way you get to practice and learn more will be beneficial to your business.”
Key focuses of the conference were thinking like a Chief Financial Officer; compiling financial documents; evaluating repayment, profitability and financial performance; and risk management. “Operating profitability with today’s variable markets requires farmers to be operators and managers,” said Colin Gordon, financial services officer with Farm Credit who attended the conference with two of his customers. “Not only do the cows need to be milked early in the morning, but the milk needs to be marketed to manage risk, equipment and land investments need to be analyzed to ensure profitability is maximized and the farm’s cost of production needs to be understood.”
Participants reported that they planned to put the ideas gained from the conference into practice on their operations. “This experience allowed me to review our existing records and understand them better,” said Matt Steiner, a dairy farmer from Rittman, OH who attended the conference with Gordon. “I feel prepared to better analyze the risk involved and fortify what we’ve been doing and add more specific things.”
In addition to sponsoring events like the Making Financial Decisions seminar, Farm Credit also offers educational incentives such as a Continuing Education Program for young or beginning farmers, which offers a one-time reimbursement of up to $500 for attending business, production, financial management or agricultural leadership development programs that will help them in their farm business.
“We take all kinds of classes on planters, seminars and clinics on seed traits, things for every part of farming except for business management,” said conference participant David Grant, a grain farmer and Farm Credit customer from Rutherford, TN. “Accounting and business practices are where we really need to learn the most.”
About Farm Credit Mid-America
Farm Credit Mid-America is a $19 billion financial services cooperative serving more than 96,500 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The association provides loans for all farm and rural living purposes including real estate, operating, equipment, housing and related services such as crop insurance, and vehicle, equipment and building leases. For more information about Farm Credit, call 1-800-444-FARM or visit them on the web at http://www.e-farmcredit.com.