Farm Business Planning

Educational Programs and Services

  • Farm Financial Planning Program, Iowa State University Extension - Farm Financial Planning is Iowa State University Extension's farm financial analysis program. It consists of one-on-one financial counseling, a computerized analysis of the farm business, and referral to other Extension programs or outside services that may be useful. Farm Financial Planning helps take the guesswork out of whether or not a change in the farm business would increase profitability and improve cash flow.
  • Iowa Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) - The SBDC is leading an initiative designed to help Iowa business owners successfully transfer their business. This initiative is a statewide public/private partnership created to provide information and hands on assistance to business owners who want to transfer their business to family members or sell their business to employees or outside interests.
  • Grow Your Small Market Farm, Iowa - This unique business planning program is designed for new or existing farm businesses. If you are interested in raising specialty livestock, vegetables, herbs, flowers, prairie or native grass seed or creating a value-added product on the farm, this program may be for you. The Grow Your Small Market Farm™ is designed to help agricultural entrepreneurs with business tasks, including writing a business plan, developing financial planning skills and learning about specialty food marketing.
  • Micro-farming: Reducing Rural and Urban Food Deserts Through Job Training, Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), Council Bluffs, Iowa - This project is developing an innovative 42-hour continuing education course at Iowa Western Community College (IWCC) in Council Bluffs to train a new generation of farmers and increase the amount of fresh, healthy and affordable food available in the regional food deserts in southwest Iowa. The course will focus on business planning, financial planning, land acquisition, equipment selection and maintenance, crop/animal selection, water and soil quality, and marketing and promotion.
  • ISU Value Added Agriculture Program - The Value Added Agriculture Program works with a wide variety of businesses in Iowa to determine business feasibility, marketing feasibility or business-planning assistance. Our dedicated team will provide a thorough audit of rural businesses to give an overall feasiblity of the project itself. We will first assemble a review team to conduct a thorough investigation of the due-diligence performed by rural businesses requesting our services.

Print and Online Resources

  • Legal Guide to Direct Farm Marketing - You'll learn about licenses, inspection, insurance, employee issues, labels, advertising, taxation, billing, collecting debts, rent and leases, etc. The author, Neil Hamilton is the Director of the Agricultural Law Center at the Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa and a small-scale vegetable producer.


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