Colorado Building Farmers and Ranchers Course 2023

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Colorado Building Farmers and Ranchers Course 2023

8-week online course for beginining to intermediate level farmers and ranchers, designed to grow your ag. business management skills.

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About this event

  • 49 days 2 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Taught since 2007, Colorado Building Farmers enters its 16th year with an updated online course, facilitated by Colorado State University Extension Specialists and agricultural producers from around the state. Join us every Tuesday evening (6:00-8:30 pm) from January 17, 2023 to March 7, 2023 as we cover the principles of business management, developing a marketing plan, managing risk in your operation, obtaining financing, and more. We provide exercises, assessments and office hours throughout the course to help you build out your own farm/ranch business plan. The class culminates in you presenting your draft business plan to a group of your peers.

This course is designed for agricultural producers in Colorado with 0-10 years of experience. It is also appropriate if you are an experienced producer considering building a new ag business enterprise (for example, starting a branded beef business from a conventional cow-calf operation).

Registration for the course is $200 per person, and $100 for a second participant from the same farm business. Registration closes on January 13, 2023.

Course details below!

Class 1: January 17, 2023- Planning for Farm Business Success

We will help businesses identify their vision/mission statements, their short-term and long-term goals with clear action items for each, explain how personal and customer values influence the business plan, and provide the tools to perform a SWOT analysis to identify their potential marketing niche, customer base, location, etc.

Class 2: January 24, 2023- Getting Started in Agriculture

This panel discussion helps new and beginning farmers and ranchers hear how other successful growers got started, pivotal choices they made in the development of their farm business, and what those growers wish they had known when starting out. Participants have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenting producers.

Class 3: January 31, 2023- Strategic Marketing

Participants will develop a strategic market position and strategy consistent with the mission developed in the business plan; and create a marketing plan that includes product, pricing, placement/market channel and promotion goals and strategies, while identifying how customers, costs and competition are considered in marketing decisions.

Class 4: February 7, 2023- Managing Risk in Your Farm Business, Part 1

We will address a variety of current risk topics including setting up an appropriate business structure for your farm/ranch; thinking about insurance for a farm/ranch business; understanding water use and rights in Colorado and keeping yourself healthy under stressful situations.

Class 5: February 14, 2023- Managing Risk in Your Farm Business, Part 2

This class will cover managing labor and market risk, and accessing resources through NRCS.

Class 6: February 21, 2023- Keeping and Analyzing Financial Information for Farm Business Decision-making

This class will help participants understand the importance of recordkeeping for decision making in business planning, including production and marketing; differentiate between variable and fixed costs; develop a basic production plan including a calendar, estimated total output of product per market channel, and monthly labor estimates; estimate projected revenue by market channel; and understand the need for basic financial statements and begin to use them for operational management and planning.

Class 7: February 28, 2023- Financing Your Farm or Ranch Business

This class covers farm loan programs available to new and beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as grants, and includes discussion on how to best prepare for requesting a grant or loan.

Class 8: March 7, 2023- Business Plan Presentations

This is your opportunity to present your plan to your peers and some external reviewers. We will organize business plan presentations for the class, giving each business a time slot in which to present their plan to a group of advisors who will, in turn, provide constructive feedback.

For questions or additional information about this course, please contact Martha at