Wednesday, June 20, 2012

'Farm Finance' Webinar Now Online

Beginning farmers and anyone else considering farming have a new tool for one of agriculture's most daunting tasks--crunching the numbers.

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), with funding from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA), has just posted a new webinar that can smooth the road for anyone who is beginning a journey in agriculture and wants to get comfortable with handling finances. The webinar, "Farm Finances: Organizing and Understanding Your Numbers," is available now online.

As with any small business, starting a farm requires basic accounting and business-management skills. This webinar helps beginning farmers become familiar with necessary basic accounting techniques and gives them tips on organizing and understanding their numbers.

"With a few easy steps and forms, farmers can develop good record-keeping and accounting habits from the outset," said Hannah Lewis, one of the featured NCAT ag experts in the webinar.  The topics in the webinar provide a solid overview. They include:
•Clarifying your goals and attaining them.
•Determining which resources are necessary for farming. Do you have them?
•Organizing your data.
•What can your numbers teach you?

Hannah Lewis has worked in sustainable agriculture and food systems for more than 15 years as a farm worker, retail produce manager, advocate, researcher, and educator. She currently serves as Midwest director and local-food system specialist at NCAT, and she works on projects related to farm-to-school initiatives, beginning farmers, and business planning. She has a Master of Science degree in agriculture and sociology from Iowa State University and serves on the board of the Women, Food, and Agriculture Network.

Tammy Hinman has worked in the sustainable-agriculture field for more than 20 years as a farmer, with Cooperative Extension Service, and for various nonprofit organizations. She is currently a horticulture specialist with NCAT and works on project related to beginning farmers, business planning, farmers markets, and market gardening. She also runs a small diversified vegetable and flower farm in Bozeman, Montana. She has a Bachelor's degree in horticulture from Colorado State University and a Master of Arts degree in food system studies from Antioch University. 

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