Women in Ag can help you stay on Financial Task this Winter

December 7, 2016

By Morgan Ball, Women in Ag Student Assistant 


Women in Ag can help you stay on Financial Task this Winter

By Morgan Ball, Women in Ag Student Assistant  

Managing farm family finances can be a difficult task, especially when income is irregular and uncertain. According to William Edwards, retired economist and Ag Decision Maker contributor, profits are plummeting. In these challenging times, how can the Women in Ag Program benefit you?

Investing in one of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Annie’s Project or other women in ag courses can help you understand where the farm is today and how to get to where you want to be. We are offering multiple courses this winter targeting risk management, transition planning, and operational focus.

Annie’s Project is an agriculture business education program that empowers farm and ranch women who want to be more knowledgeable about their agricultural enterprises. Participants learn effective strategies in five key management areas including financial, human resources, legal, marketing, and production.

Do you create an annual budget for the farm and household? It is not always easy to know where to spend; home or farm.  Learn how to develop family and farm budgets through our Women in Ag courses. Budgeting can help you better manage cash flow and working capital, especially when prices are low and cash is short.  

Farming has high costs with low amounts of steady income. According to Alejandro Plastina, Iowa State University assistant professor and ISU Extension economist, n 2015 farms spent an average of $92,000 of working capital. Set goals and establish a system to manage working capital. Successful farms lean on production mix, marketing costs, and yields.

Retiring in a few years, but worried about passing on the farm business? Managing for Today and Tomorrow guides you through decisions on business, estate, retirement, and succession planning to help you create an overall farm transition plan. Planning ensures the farm can continue to the next generation as a productive agricultural business.

Enroll in Women Managing Cattle, operational focus class, to learn more about calculating breakeven prices, determining potential profitability, and evaluating the benefits of livestock risk protection tools.

The women in ag programs are a great place to network with experts as well as other farm women. These new connections can be invaluable as they can offer ongoing assistance and support. During these courses there are many opportunities to learn about helpful financial resources.

Most importantly the Women in Ag Program emphasizes the urgency of communication; stay ahead and be an active participant at the table.

Keep the Farm Financial Planning website and the Iowa Concern Hotline number (1-800-447-1958) handy. You or someone you know may benefit from the personalized and individual services each resource offers. Many Iowans face financial stress during and after the holidays. These Extension resources are available to provide financial planning assistance, legal education, and referral services.

The Women in Ag Program mission is to improve the quality of life in Iowa by providing research-based educational programs that expand agricultural enterprise, improve natural resource management, and support the community of women in agriculture.

To learn more visit our website 

Additional Resources:

Financial Troubleshooting. Ag Decision Maker. File C3-53


Farm Financial Statements. Ag Decision Maker. File C3-56


Managing Farm Family Finances. Ag Decision Maker. File C3-51



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