Farm Business Planning at Austin MN Riverland Community College

October 12, 2010

I just had the opportunity to meet with one of the teachers from Riverland Community College’s Farm Business Management program.  Dan Hoffman, a teacher at the Austin, MN, technical and community college, helps farm families analyze their current business practices, create cash flows, and anticipate operating loan needs.  Farmers who leave the program have a better sense of how the finances of their agri-business can be more successful.

According to Mr. Hoffman, participants also engage in transition planning, anticipating how to pass farms from one generation to another.  This type of planning is especially important to farmers of all ages.  How can a successful farmer transition into retirement and still retain enough income to support the family?  How can a father help his children get started in the capital-intensive world of farming?  How can a young farmer make the leap from farm-worker to owner-operator?

Successful participants of the program leave with detailed analysis of their farm.  In some cases, they may need to consult with an accountant or an attorney to put their plans into place.

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