Start-Up and Diversification

See also:

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NYS Online Permit Assistance and Licensing (OPAL)

Fantastic site that takes you through a series of questions about your proposed enterprise to help you determine which permits and licenses you will need to run your business in NYS.

Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating the Feasibility of New Farm-Based Enterprises

Award-winning business-planning workbook includes chapters on setting goalsassessing markets, production feasibility, and financial analysis.

Horticultural Innovators: Case Studies of Seven Entrepreneurial Growers in New York State

Duncan Hilchey et al., Community, Food, and Agriculture Program, Cornell University, 1996

Detailed case studies of 7 innovative horticultural businesses in New York State including 2 cut flower operations, 2 specialty vegetable crops producers, 2 orchards, and 1 nursery.

$6.50 per copy.

Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship

Olga Padilla-Zakowr, Director, Cornell University/New York State Agricultural
Experiment Station, Geneva, NY

The NECFE provides information and resources on business development, entrepreneurship training, marketing strategies and tools, product process development, technology transfer, regulatory compliance, labeling, education and outreach, and workshops. Their mission is to provide comprehensive assistance to beginning and established food entrepreneurs in order to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities.

Phone: 315-787-2273

NY FarmLink Program

Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

Provides networking, consulting, and educational support for beginning and retiring farmers to help in the business transition process.

Phone: 1-800-547-3276

Partial Budgeting for Agricultural Businesses

Sarah Roth, Jeffrey Hyde, Pennsylvania State University

An online publication from the Ag Alternatives Program at Penn State on partial budgeting for a farm business. Partial budgeting is a planning and decision-making framework farm business owners can use to compare the costs and benefits of alternatives they face. This 8-page publication explains how to use partial budgeting and explains its benefits in making farm business decisions. Publication is in PDF format.

For a print copy of this publication, contact:
Publications Distribution Center
The Pennsylvania State University
Phone: (814) 865-6713
Fax: (814) 863-5560

Small Farm Decision-Making & Enterprise Planning Workbook

Judy Green, North Carolina State University and A&T State University Cooperative Extension, 1992

This workbook was originally developed for Ways to Grow, another award-winning program designed to expose small farmers to alternative agriculture. It helps farmers evaluate their potential for success with an alternative enterprise.
Publication is in PDF format.

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).

New Farm Options

University of Wisconsin Extension

The links on this site will guide you to information about new niche markets, business start-up issues, upcoming events, and others who are pioneering new farm-food ventures in Wisconsin.

For more information, contact (608-262-0705) or (608-262-2903)

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

Provides free technical assistance and publications on a wide range of agricultural enterprises. See also Evaluating a Rural Enterprise.

Phone: 1-800-346-9140

List of Alternative Crops & Enterprises for Small Farm Diversification

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Compilation list to help farmers and farm advisors identify alternative crops, unusual livestock, and innovative farming enterprises. In addition, their web site provides links to online documents, organizations, databases, and other sites that can help farmers assess and implement alternatives in their farming operations.

For a complimentary copy of the print version contact the AFSIC office:

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Room 132
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
Phone: (301) 504-6559
Fax: (301) 504-6409

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