Financial Management Resources

Books  |  Budgeting Templates  |  Business Planning  |  General Resources  |  Goal Setting

Enterprise Budgeting Tools  |  Government Programs  |  Labor and Employment Information

Loans and Funders  |  Software  |  Taxes  |  Risk Assessment


Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Cash Flows Templates

Iowa State University  – Financial Statements Worksheet (Excel)

Oklahoma State University – Farm Balance Sheet (PDF)

Oklahoma State University – Receipt Tracker (PDF)

Oklahoma State University – Expense Tracker (PDF)

Oklahoma State University – Income Statement (PDF)


Benchmarks of Yields and Prices

Iowa State Ag Decision Maker – Offers data for benchmarking

WI Center for Dairy Profitability – Benchmarks for dairy farms, both organic and non-organic, including grazing operations.

Wisconsin Dairy Ratio Benchmarking Tool (WisDRBT) – Allows you to compare your financial ratios to your farm’s past performance, and do a comparative analysis with the industry.

MN Center for Farmer Financial Management – generates benchmark and summary reports for crop, live stock and dairy.

USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service – Price Charts bi-weekly updates on current agricultural commodity prices.



Building a Sustainable Business – A 250-page free book from SARE with worksheets on goal settings, determining markets, business planning, mapping out strategies to take on new opportunities etc.

The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops and Staff – and Making a Profit.  Wiswall, Richard. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009. Companion CD has electronic templates to create enterprise budgets and templates from the Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program Farm Financials Workbook.

Making Your Small Farm Profitable. 1999. By Ron Macher. Storey Publishing. Whether you’re buying a new farm or jump-starting an old one, with Ron Macher’s down-to-earth advice on planning, farming, and marketing you’ll soon make your farm profitable.

Starting and Running Your Own Small Farm Business. 2007. By Sarah Beth Aubrey. Storey Publishing. Running a small farm goes beyond growing, raising, and crafting artisanal products. Locally grown produce and specialty farm items also have to be marketed and sold to wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. To help farmers position themselves well in the market, Sarah Aubrey offers a business-savvy reference that covers everything from financial plans and advertising budgets to Web design and food service wholesalers.


Budgeting Templates

Agribusiness – simple farm budget template

USDA Small Business Administration – cash flow budget worksheet


Business Planning

Getting Started in Farming: An Introduction to Farm Business Planning
The National Center for Appropriate Technology offers a free, eight-lesson online course for visioning a successful farming business and developing a business plan.

Agricultural Innovation and Commercialization Center at Purdue University – a business planning tool

Colorado State University Deming Center – business planning website

University of MN Center for Farm Financial Management – business plan template

Allan Savory and Holistic Management –

Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Diversification Compass: A Guide to Choosing New Directions for Your Farm. 2011.

ATTRA:  Agricultural Business Planning Templates and Resources


General Financial Management Resources

MN Center for Farm Financial Management – The Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM) at the University of Minnesota provides educational programs and software tools for farms. Also offers a free online business planning tool.

MN State Colleges and University Farm Business Management – Farm business management classes and assistance.

The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook by Richard Wiswall features advice on how to make your vegetable production more efficient, better manage your employees and finances, and turn a profit. From his thirty years of experience at Cate Farm in Vermont, Wiswall knows firsthand the joys of starting and operating an organic farm—as well as the challenges of making a living from one.


Goal Setting

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center – information on idea assessment and feasibility analysis

Square One: Build a Farm to Match Your Values, Goals, Skills, and Resources – An online course to help you set goals, assess the resources you have available for farming (physical, financial, and personal), and explore what enterprises are the best fit for you and your land. From Cornell Small Farms Program.

ATTRA: Evaluating a Farming Enterprise

ATTRA: Keys to Success in Value-Added Agriculture

ATTRA: Planning for Profit in Sustainable Farming


Enterprise Budgeting Tools

Iowa State University has numerous templates for various enterprise budgets at their Ag Decision Maker website.

The Ag Risk Education Budget Library (University of Minnesota) – The Budget Library is a one-stop searchable database for crop and livestock enterprise budget information. It is designed to provide online access to current enterprise budget information and software from throughout the United States.

UW Center for Dairy Profitability – Enterprise Crop Budgets (Corn, Soybeans, Alfalfa, Small Grains)

UW Center for Dairy Profitabliity – Fresh Market Vegetable Budgets

Wisconsin’s Veggie Compass Project (UW-CIAS) – Veggie Compass is a farm management tool for diversified fresh market vegetable growers. After you enter your cost, sales, and labor data, the comprehensive Compass spreadsheet will calculate the cost of production for each of your crops and the profitability of each market channel.

Agriculture Diversification Compass from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The guide helps producers evaluate the potential of new crop and livestock enterprises they may be considering for their farm.

UW-CIAS – Poultry, specialty food, dairy goat and sheep enterprise budgets.


Government Programs

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) – The FSA provides a variety of farm loan programs, including traditional operating loans, beginning farmer and youth programs. FSA also includes a mediation program for agricultural disputes. Farm Loan Program Information.

Building Better Rural Places: Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation and Community Development. Margaret Krome, Susan LeVan, David Zodrow. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2004. 146 p.


Labor and Employment Information

Agricultural Marketing Resource Center – Info lists for personnel, such as hiring employees and employment issues.

Farm Commons – Employment information for small farms.

ATTRA:  Beyond Basic Compensation IP360

ATTRA:  Positive Practices in Farm Labor Management IP324


Loans and Funders

Small Farm Funding Resources – This guide contains information about issues to consider before starting a farming operation with links to full-text guides on how to start a farm business, and develop business and marketing plans. It also contains information about funding sources for beginning farmers, training, technical assistance contacts, organizations with resources and programs for beginning and experienced farmers, and more.

Financing Small and Part-time Farms (PDF) – Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Bulletin 2004

Farm Credit System (FCS) – A network of federally chartered borrower-owned lending institutions and related service organizations that specialize in providing credit and related services to farmers (also young and beginning).

Minnesota Department of Ag has some great new farmer loan programs for MN farmers.

Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm, University of Vermont, Montpelier’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

ATTRA: Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers IP420

ATTRA’s Funding Opportunities Database provides current announcements for grants, loans, scholarships, awards, challenges, and cost-share and research programs. Online only.



University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management – Software program “FinPack”.

AgSquared – Online diversified vegetable record keeping software FREE! (non-financial) seasonal calendar, help estimating seeds to purchase, scheduling tasks etc.

Montana State University – Extensive collection of free farm software sheets based on excel spreadsheets.

Capterra – Large list of farm management software tools.

“Quick Tips” newsletter – put out by Ag Econ Extension at the University of Oklahoma.

Moneydance financial software.

Quicken financial software by Intuit.



Tax Planning When Buying and Selling a Farm. Harris, Philip, and Myron Kelsey. Ames, IA: Midwest Plan Service, Iowa State University, 1997. Introduction to tax issues in land purchase.

Income Tax Management for Farmers. Midwest Plan Service, Iowa State University, 2002. Primer on farm tax issues.

Rural Tax Education website provides farmers and ranchers, other agricultural producers and Extension educators with a source for agriculturally related income and self-employment tax information that is both current and easy to understand.


Risk Assessment

The Guide: Common Questions About Farming Risks – This is a collection of FAQs for aspiring farmers concerned about farming risks. It covers topics such as paying for health care; managing pest damage; hiring agricultural help; and maintaining resilient relationships.

Risk Assessment for the Small Scale Farm (PDF) – This worksheet helps users to assess their personal risk tolerance as they contemplate a career in small-scale farming.

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