MOSES: New book helps farmers manage finances for successful operation
New book helps farmers manage finances for successful operation
SPRING VALLEY, WI – The just-published book Fearless Farm Finances: Farm Financial Management Demystified is a one-of-a-kind resource packed with instructions, tips and tools for setting up and managing a farm’s financial system. Hailed as a “must-have” book for every farm, the book addresses one of the biggest stumbling blocks to farm success – managing the farm’s finances. While it is especially helpful to beginning farmers, Fearless Farm Finances includes insights valuable to any farmer who wants to run a more profitable farm.
The 264-page book goes beyond how-to by offering real-life examples from a dozen successful farmers through “From the Farmer” tips. It also includes sample data from fictitious farmer “Otto B. Organic” to bring to life the ways farm data relate to each other in standardized financial statements and ratios.
“We arranged the book with something for everyone – from things to think about before you set up a farm, to the complexities of generating and using financial ratios to make decisions based on your own data,” said one of the book’s authors, Jody Padgham. “We have done our best to demystify farm financial management, and hope that, after reading this book, farmers can approach their farm’s finances fearlessly,” she added.
Fearless Farm Finances is published by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), which provides resources for farmers to learn more about organic and sustainable farming. While the book is “organic-friendly,” it applies to more than just organic farms. Farmers who contributed stories to the book come from both organic and conventional agriculture, ranging from a small-scale vegetable operation to a 400-cow grass-based conventional dairy.
A team of experienced farmers and number crunchers wrote Fearless Farm Finances. Jody Padgham is MOSES’ financial manager as well as an organic farmer. Paul Dietmann works for Badgerland Financial, part of the Farm Credit System. He has worked at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and as a University of Wisconsin Extension Agricultural Agent. Dr. Craig Chase is a farm management specialist at Iowa State University. Chris Blanchard owns and runs an organic farm in Iowa.
Farmers who’ve read the book are calling it an outstanding resource. “I've been searching for a good way to learn more about this aspect of farming,” said Kim Cassano, a farmer in Catawba, Wis. “In fact, I recently attended a financials class which was disappointing and frustrating since I was really wanting to learn. 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!”
MOSES’ website provides Fearless Farm Finances resource links and updates, and offers direct book sales along with bulk sales for educators and resellers. See www.mosesorganic.org/farmfinances.html.
The book was published in part with a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development grant, which supports endeavors that enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.