Creating a Business Plan

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Guide to Farming in NYS: What Every Ag Entrepreneur Needs to Know

This Guide, originally written in 2004 by Monika Roth and Jacob Schuelke, has been thoroughly expanded and reformatted into a compilation of fact sheets. It is an essential resource for new and existing farmers alike, providing answers to questions about taxes, business planning, labor law, zoning, regulations, marketing and many other topics that farmers need to know. Hard copies are being distributed to every county CCE office; contact your local office to request one.

“Tilling the Soil of Opportunities” Training Course

Business Planning for Agricultural Entrepreneurs from NxLeveL Training Network.
This is a 36-hour course designed to guide agriculture entrepreneurs through a comprehensive business planning process. Courses are offered by the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship at the New York State Agriculture Experiment Station, and also at other locations through other sponsors.

For information, contact Cheryl A. Leach at (315) 787-2622 or .

Entrepreneurship Education and Outreach Program (EEO)

Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

The EEO was created 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 the program at (607) 255-1611 or

Center for Farm Financial Management at University of Minnesota

Downloadable powerpoint presentations with examples of real business plans and their various sections.

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

Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture

This guide was conceived in 1996 by a planning team for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) to address the evolving business planning needs of beginning and experienced rural entrepreneurs. Ultimately, this guide is as much about the planning process as it is about the creation of a final business plan. MISA followed one of the farm reviewer families, Cedar Summit Farm owners Dave and Florence Minar and their family, throughout their planning process. The Minars’ planning experience — their initial exploration of values, brainstorming of goals, and research into on-farm milk processing, markets, and financing — is incorporated throughout this guide’s text and worksheets.

Visit the website to download the guide (free) or order a print copy ($17).

Cash Flow Planning Help for NY Dairy Farms
New York dairy farmers can access free, on-farm confidential help with cash flow planning, thanks to grant funding from the NY Center for Dairy Excellence to NY Farm Net. Trained financial consultants work with farmers to develop business plans, analyze the feasibility of new business ventures, create cash flow plans, facilitate business transfer and succession planning, and provide other business management outreach to NY farmers, and those moving to the Empire State. To learn more about this service, call NY Farm Net toll free at 1-800-547-3276. The hotline is answered by a person 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Whole Farm Planning: Combining Family, Profit, and Environment

David Mulla, Les Everett, Gigi DiGicomo, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture

This publication is part of a new series of informational materials developed through the Sustainable Agriculture Information Exchange. The Information Exchange works to bridge the gap between the need for timely, practical information related to sustainable agriculture and the resources and information that already exist; to identify gaps in research and education and help direct funding and support to address them; and to promote education and discussion of issues relevant to the sustainability of agriculture.

Small Business Administration

Website has resources for writing business plans, including an online tutorial.

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