Fearless Farm Finances

NEW:  One-Day Workshop

The authors of Fearless Farm Finances teach you how to set up your farm’s financial recordkeeping. Click for details and registration.

About the Book

The updated Fearless Farm Finances 2nd Edition is a one-of-a-kind resource packed with instructions, tips and tools for setting up and managing a farm’s financial system. A “must-have” for every farmer, the book addresses one of the biggest stumbling blocks to farm success — managing finances. A MOSES project, this book is supported by NIFA, USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (2015-70017-24092).

The 2nd Edition contains new detailed information and worksheet templates for those using paper-based systems, a new chapter on farm transition, an updated chapter on farm business structures, new from-the-farmer profiles and updated resources. All added to the strong base of material in the first edition.

Fearless Farm Finances:
Farm Financial Management Demystified, 2nd Edition


This book will help you understand how to manage the financial aspects of your farm. It includes instructions, tips and tools–plus real-life examples from successful farmers and sample data from fictitious farmer “Otto B. Organic.”

Order Online

For bulk orders of 7 or more copies, please call 715-778-5775 or email the MOSES Bookstore for more information. MOSES offers a 40% discount on bulk order books, including shipping, for a final, nonrefundable price of $14/book. Please do not send your credit card information via email.

Fast Facts

270 pages
ISBN: 978-0-692-80188-8
$19.95 retail price
Complete Index, Glossary & Additional Resources


• Why detailed numbers are crucial to farming success
• Techniques for data collection
• How to set up and use a bookkeeping system
• Computer bookkeeping program tips
• Step-by-step development of the three primary financial statements
• How to use standardized ratios to compare farm performance
• How to assess large financial investments
• How to work with a lender
• How to use numbers to make product mix, market, and pricing decisions
• Plus much more to help you improve farm profits

About the Authors

Jody Padgham, the project manager and editor, is the Financial Director of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, (MOSES). She has a 60-acre grass-based sheep and organic poultry farm in north central Wisconsin.

Paul Dietmann is an assistant vice president at Badgerland Financial. He is the former director of the Wisconsin Farm Center at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and University of Wisconsin-Extension Agricultural Agent.

Dr. Craig Chase is a farm management specialist at Iowa State University where he coordinates a statewide program to boost production, processing, distribution, marketing and consumption of Iowa-grown food.

See inside Fearless Farm Finances:



What readers are saying about Fearless Farm Finances:

“What a fantastic, user-friendly tool for farm businesses! With interesting and practical examples and easy-to-use worksheets, this book is a must-have for new and not-so-new farmers.”
Jan Joannides, Executive Director, Renewing the Countryside

“I’ve been searching for a good way to learn more about this aspect of farming. This book is so clear, straightforward and easy to understand–like turning a light on! It all sounds so simple, like it never needed to be so hard!”
Kim Cassano, The Rustic Table Meat CSA, Catawba, Wis.

“It is an excellent book/resource and one that I frequently reference. The section on QuickBooks is quite valuable.”
Jenny Vanderlin, Assistant Director, Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Madison/Extension

Organizations using Fearless Farm Finances in training programs:

Badgerland Financial, Wis.
Carolina Farm Credit, Statesville, N.C.
Colonial Farm Credit, Mechanicsville, Va.
Colorado State University Dept. of Ag Resources & Economics, Fort Collins, Colo.
Dakota Rural Action, Brookings, S.D.
Farm Start, Guelph, ON, Canada
Farmer Veteran Coalition, Davis, Calif.
Food Works, Saint Louis, Mo.
GrassWorks, Medford, Wis.
Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) Community Colleges (17 institutions)
Iowa State University Extension, Ames, Iowa
Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development, Amana, Iowa
Maine Org. Farmers & Gardeners Assn., Unity, Maine
Michigan State University Organic Farmer Training Program, Holt, Mich.
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, Wis.
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Fayetteville, Ark.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, Wis.
NS Federation of Agriculture, Oxford, NS, Canada
One Step at a Time Gardens, Kanawha, Iowa
Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture, Millheim, Pa.
Practical Farmers of Iowa, Ames, Iowa
Rockwoods, Jackson, Miss.
Stateline Farm Beginnings at Angelic Organics, Ill.
UCEE Placer, Auburn, Calif.
University of Arkansas Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, Fayetteville, Ark.
University of Nebraska Extension, Auburn, Neb.
University of Wisconsin Extension, Ladysmith, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Dairy Profitability, Madison, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Madison School for Beginning Livestock and Dairy Farmers, Madison, Wis.
Washington State University, Everett, Wash.
Wis. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Madison, Wis.
Wisconsin Technical College System, statewide Wisconsin


Fearless Farm Finances Online Course

We’re working on creating an online course based on this book. We’ll send out a notice when the course becomes available.

As an alternative, consider taking the one-day Fearless Farm Finances workshop.
Click for details.