The old joke goes, "Know how to make a small fortune in farming? Start with a large one." For many farmers, this hits too close to home to be funny. Whether you're just getting started or have been farming for a while, the Cornell Small Farms Program is offering two online courses this January to give you the confidence and tools to take control of your farm finances.
BF 104: Financial Recordkeeping is an introductory course designed for those who don't yet have well-established systems for tracking farm financial records. It will help you learn what records to keep, how to set up a system in either Excel or QuickBooks, and how to generate and analyze financial reports to get a picture of your farm's financial health. BF 104 starts January 14, 2013. More info is available at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/bf-104-financial-records
BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning goes beyond the basics for farmers who already have some financial records but want to increase the profitability of their operations. You will learn how to prioritize your investments in the farm, analyze and compare enterprises, and make your farm work for you. BF 203 starts January 22, 2013. More info is available at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/holistic-financial-planning-bf-203
These six-week courses include weekly live webinars featuring interactions with successful farmers and ag professionals, as well as readings, discussion forums, and homework assignments. Those who successfully complete a course receive a certificate from the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project. Course registration is $200, which will easily pay for itself in the knowledge you gain about how to manage your farm's finances well.
Don't hesitate--courses often fill quickly, and registration is only open until the course fills or one week before the start date, whichever happens first. So visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses
today and check out your options for learning some new farming skills online this winter.