Learn how to use farm financial statements to improve business decisions

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Given the financial stress of the last two years, famers are asking how to improve cash flow and reduce equity risk. Often the response is “perform a financial analysis,” with the question “where do I start with all of these numbers?” quickly following.

The University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Center for Dairy Profitability as part of the Heart of the Farm-Women in Agriculture program are offering a farm financial workshop series to introduce computerized finance tools available to the farm manager, and help define a process to financial analysis.

The workshop series will be held on Thursdays, in September and October starting on Sept. 22, 2011 and ending Oct. 20, 2011 with online sessions in-between.

This workshop focuses on using financial statements to improve business decision making. It will study core financial information, financial analysis, and financial management. Throughout the series we will strive to incorporate farm financial information into the fabric of farm life.

While analysis and ratios are not the fun part of farming, doing so can lead to insights that will help farmers steer their business over the years and help ensure profitability. Instead of asking your lender if you’ll be farming for another year, you’ll know where you stand and which decisions will keep you farming for years to come.

The series, consisting of two in-house sessions, will start with lunch at 12 p.m., Sept. 22, 2011 at the Trempealeau County UW-Extension office in Whitehall, WI; the second session will be on Oct. 20. During the first session, participants will be given information to construct their own reports, calculate ratios, and analyze them. Specialists from UW-River Falls, Center for Dairy Profitability and UW-Extension county agents will facilitate workshops. In addition, they will host an interactive internet support system during the time participants are working on their own between the two workshops. Computer knowledge/literacy and home access to computer and internet is strongly recommended to meet the goals of this workshop.

There is a $10 registration fee for the series which includes lunch on both days and materials. Registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. To register, send payment to Trempealeau County – UW Extension, c/o HOF-Finance, 36245 Main Street, Whitehall, WI, 54773.

Visit the Heart of the Farm website: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/heartofthefarm to download a brochure or call your local UW Extension office.

Heart of the Farm – Women in Agriculture is a University of Wisconsin-Extension program that is committed to addressing the needs of farm women by providing education on farm business topics, connecting them with agricultural resources and creating support networks.

Source: University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension



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