Online Holistic Financial Planning Course


Holistic management has gained traction globally as a powerful tool to help farmers make good financial, ecological and quality-of-life decisions. Holistic financial planning is one planning process under the holistic management umbrella, and farmers use it to proactively plan for profit, while investing strategically in their farms and reducing stress. You can learn and apply this process to your farm by taking a six-week online course this winter with the Cornell Small Farms Program: BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning: Building Profit into the Picture.

"The holistic management framework--sorting expenses, planning for profit, and identifying logjams and weak links--has provided the biggest insights for me. I'm pretty good with numbers and spreadsheets, but the course gave me tools to think about the numbers and understand what they are telling me."
- Farmer participant from 2012 BF 203 course

If you complete the course, you will:
  • Have a written statement of your family's values and vision and know how to use it to guide financial and overall farm decision-making
  • Have a written annual financial plan mapping out your planned profit, income streams and expenses (this plan doubles as a cash-flow statement in your business plan and is one of the main documents a lender will want to see)
  • Understand that all expenses are not created equal, and know how to prioritize and cut them
  • Know how to monitor your plan so that you can correct your course when you start to go off-plan
While helpful, no prior experience with holistic management is required.
The course runs from January 14 through February 18, with webinars once weekly on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. EST. The cost is $200, and multiple people from the same farm may participate without paying extra.

Visit for more on the course learning objectives, instructors and outline.

BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning is part of the lineup of 12 online courses offered this fall, winter and spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. To learn more about each course, please visit From this site, you can learn more about the instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, read details for each course, and view the calendar of course offerings for 2013-2014.

Courses often fill very quickly, so don't miss your chance to sign up today!