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Balance farming and personal life with Holistic Planning

Holistic Financial Planning (BF 203) Building Farm Profit Into the Picture an online course through the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project Wed. Jan. 20 – Feb 24, 2016 Webinars will be on Wed. evenings from 7-8:30pm EST If you’ve been struggling to make your farm operation profitable without driving yourself into the ground, this financial … Read More

Microloans from Farm Service Agency (FSA): What’s the Deal?

In Jan. 2013 the Farm Service Agency announced a new program to provide low-interest loans of up to $35,000 to farmers. In response to the tremendous interest in this new offering, the Cornell Small Farms Program held a webinar on April 10 with Carrie Novak of the FSA to explain the details and answer questions. … Read More

Getting Started

Why Farm Now? Because your country needs you! We hope you will use this book as a first step on your path. The best way to use this book is to make notes, jot down questions you need to answer, and scan the resource section for books and online sites where you can find additional … Read More

Where can I get help preparing my farm’s tax return?

If you’re looking for a CPA to prepare your tax return for you, try asking farmers in your area for recommendations, as well as contacting your local Cooperative Extension office. Someone in your network should be able to point you to a reputable and knowledgeable tax accountant. If you’d like to do your own taxes … Read More

How can I start to put together estimates of potential costs and revenue?

Good question! It’s not easy, but you probably already know that. We’ve listed some of the best enterprise budgets we (or other people) have collected online, along with advice on estimating costs and revenue, within the Choosing an Enterprise tutorial. The final step of deciding what to grow is to ask the question, but Does … Read More

What types of farming practices should I be considering to take care of my land?

When you farm, the soil and water that allows you to generate revenue from it are the most precious resources in your care. Good stewardship begins with careful observation. Do you see signs of soil erosion? What could you do to stop it? Do you see bare ground forming where your animals have been? Bare … Read More

What do I need to do to become a real farm?

In most instances, getting “official” recognition for your farm is as easy as filing a DBA (“Doing Business As”) form with your County Clerk’s office. The transaction usually costs around $25, and it serves to protect your farm name within your county. Then you can take this DBA to your bank and use it to … Read More

I have so many ideas. Where do I begin to narrow them down?

Many new farmers are so enthusiastic that they begin with a half-dozen or more enterprises all in the first year, without having analyzed their ability to really do any of them well. While this approach works in rare cases, an approach that is more likely to preserve your sanity and your enthusiasm for the 2nd … Read More

What recordkeeping options do I have?

Paper Records Small farms and many businesses just starting out find that paper notebooks and folders meet their needs. Keep all sales receipts in one folder, expense receipts in another, maintain a capital asset depreciation log, and keep notebooks for farm yield or other data important to the year. The advantage of this system is … Read More

How do I track all this information and still have time to farm?

The key is to set up systems that work for you. Some of the best record-keepers we know set up their systems–whether paper notebooks, excel spreadsheets, or fancy software–in the winter months and spend just 10 minutes a day during the insanity of the growing season to stay on top of recordkeeping. One thing is … Read More

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