Check out great online resources for young farmers
Tools, information, analysis and advice for almost every aspect of your farming operation are available online. We’ve done the homework for beginning farmers and found several sites that are particularly helpful. Here are sites you’ll definitely want to save and visit regularly.
Better Your Farm Business
Crunching your farm’s expenses, cash flow and loan numbers can be a daunting task. Luckily, the University of Illinois provides, free-of-charge, several Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to assist you
in making educated farm business decisions. You can find a Farm Analysis Solution Tool (FAST) to
fit almost any management decision you face. Categories include finances, investments, loans and risk management, as well as crop and livestock production.
Finance Your Operation
Many financial assistance programs exist for young producers, but which one is right for you? A good place to start your research is the National Council of State Agricultural Finance Programs website. You can see the types of agricultural loan programs that are available in your state, with brief and concise descriptions, as well as find the key contacts for the programs.
Get an A in Agronomy
The latest agronomic updates and recommendations from reputable crop experts around the Midwest are combined and featured at the Chat ’n Chew Cafe. The website, which is operated by Purdue University Extension corn specialist Robert Nielsen, is a clearinghouse of university newsletters and releases. Log on to see seasonal reminders for your state and links to local crop experts, as well as upcoming events and helpful resources.
Locate Land Near You
One of the top items on a beginning farmer’s must-have list is land to rent or buy. All of the websites at right feature land for sale and rent listings and photos for a virtual tour. You can narrow down the listings by state and price range. Depending on your location, you might be able to locate land available in your area. A couple of the sites also feature lease examples, record-keeping tips and a list of conservation programs.
www.landflip.com; www.usfarmlease.com; www.farmlandsearch.com; www.landsofamerica.com
Kick-Start Your Family’s Succession Plan
Are you worried about your role in your family farm’s future? The Farm Journal Legacy Project provides families with the tools they need to successfully pass their farm from one generation to the next. Go online to download and print more than 20 tools and exercises to get your family on track. Be sure to check out the Job Description Template, Leadership Skills Inventory and Business Plan Self-Assessment. You can also send questions to Farm Journal succession planning expert Kevin Spafford, watch "Leave a Legacy TV" episodes and learn from the Esther, Dell and Moes families, the case study families featured in Top Producer, Farm Journal and Dairy Today, respectively.
- December 2011