There are many business planning resources available including publications, training courses, and technical assistance. You may even consider developing your own workshop or course if you have several clients interested in writing a business plan. Take a look at what’s already going on around the country.
Publications and Software
- Agricultural business planning templates and resources: business and marketing resource list [Online]. H. Born. 2004. National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, ATTRA. Available at: https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=276 (verified 23 August 2011).
- Building a sustainable business: a guide to developing a business plan for farms and rural businesses [Online]. G. DiGiacomo, R. King, and D. Nordquist. 2003. Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Saint Paul, MN and National SARE Outreach, Beltsville, MD. Available at: http://www.sare.org/publications/business/business.pdf (verified 4 April 2011).
- Business and Marketing [Online]. Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship at the New York State Food Venture Center, Cornell University. Available at: http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/necfe/bizmark/busmark.html#businessplan (verified 4 April 2011).
- Developing a business plan for value-added agricultural products [Online]. R. Holcomb, G. Muske, and P. Kenkel. 1998. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Bulletin F-909. Stillwater, OK. Available at: http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-981/AGEC-909w... (verified 4 April 2011).
- Direct Farm Marketing Example: Preparing a Business Plan: A Guide for Agricultural Producers [Online]. B. Brennan. 1995. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, Province of British Colombia, Canada. Available at: http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/busmgmt/bus_guides/direct_guide.htm (verified 4 April 2011).
- FINPACK® business plan software [Online]. Center for Farm Financial Management University of Minnesota. Available at: http://www.cffm.umn.edu/FINPACK/ (verified 4 April 2011). Includes example business plans from five sustainably-managed farms.
- Teaching direct marketing and small farm viability [Online]. Albie Miles and Martha Brown (eds). 2005. Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz. Available at: http://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/publications/Teaching-Direct-Marketing/units-1-9.html (verified 3 June 2015).
- Developing business plans for producers [Online]. S. Bevers, B.Thompson, B. Bennett, B. Duckworth, J. Johnson, and W. Polk. 2005. Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University. Available at: http://ttap.tamu.edu/Curriculum.html (verified 4 April 2011). Curriculum developed by Tomorrow’s Top Agricultural Producer, Texas Cooperative Extension. The purpose of the curriculum is to provide Extension faculty and staff, as well as other professionals, with lesson plans for teaching the development of agricultural business plans.
- Land Stewardship Project [Online]. Available at: http://www.landstewardshipproject.org/ (verified 4 April 2011). LSP offers whole farm planning workshops in Minnesota annually as part of its 10-month Farm Beginnings course. Contact the Southeast Office for more information: PO Box 130, Lewiston, MN 55952. Tel: (507) 523-3366.
- Central Illinois Farm Beginnings: http://thelandconnection.org/central-illinois-farm-beginnings
Some of the agencies/organizations listed below provide not only technical assistance but grant funds for the development of business and marketing plans.
- Agricultural Utilization and Research Institute (AURI) [Online]. Available at: http://www.auri.org/ (verified 4 April 2011). AURI provides feasibility analysis, product development assistance and technical support. This non-profit organization, established by the MN Legislature, helps business owners move value-added products into the marketplace through business plan and marketing assistance; product development and testing; and distribution assessment. For more information, contact: UMC Campus, Owen Hall, P.O. Box 599, Crookston, MN 56716-0599; 800-279-5010.
- Cooperative Development Services (CDS) [Online]. Available at: http://www.cdsus.coop (verified 4 April 2011). CDS works with crop and livestock producers to add value to their products through cooperative value-added processing. We also work with processors to identify market niches and opportunities in a changing marketplace. CDS provides expertise in conventional, sustainable, and organic agriculture. Services offered include market research, feasibility analyses, and business planning. CDS also works with clients to procure funding. Contact: 131 West Wilson St., Suite 400, Madison, WI 53703; (608) 258-4396.
- Entrepreneurship Education and Outreach Program (EEO) [Online]. Cornell University. Available at: http://www.cornell.edu/outreach/programs/program_view.cfm?ProgramID=442 (verified 4 April 2011). The EEO was established by the Department of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University to support New York State Extension educators who are looking for educational materials and programming in business planning, market research, market analysis, or business and marketing strategies. Their special emphases are ag- and food-based businesses and value-added niches on enterprising farms. Contact Deborah Streeter, Director, at (607) 255-1611 or visit the EEO.
- Initiative for the Development of Entrepreneurs in Agriculture (IDEA) [Online]. University of Illinois Extension. Available at: http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/iidea/ (verified 4 April 2011). IDEA was created by University of Illinois as a statewide initiative. IDEA conducts research, develops educational products, and provides services that encourage farmers to incorporate entrepreneurial strategies which direct their marketing efforts to meeting consumer demand. Contact 4550 Kennedy Dr., East Moline, IL 61244. 309-796-0512.
- Iowa State University Extension Value Added Agriculture Program [Online]. Iowa State University Extension. Available at: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/valueaddedag (verified 4 April 2011). Provides leadership and assistance to farmers for strategic planning, feasibility analysis, and business plan development.
- United States Small Business Administration [Online]. Available at: http://www.sba.gov (verified 4 April 2011). The SBA website lists resources for writing business plans, including an online tutorial: http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html. Resources are also available by state: http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html 800-827-5722.
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