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Farm financial management: taking it to the next level

Hone your skills for monitoring the health of your business, improving its profitability, and managing cash flow.

This three-session series is geared towards experienced farm managers and QuickBooks users in Massachusetts and surrounding states who are looking to step up their farm financial management game. The series will be taught by Elaine Lemmon of Kitchen Table Consultants, and local farmers who attend all three sessions will be eligible to receive up to three hours of expert one-on-one assistance in financial recordkeeping, planning, or analysis. Register now! Space is limited, and if needed priority will be given to participants from Massachusetts and CISA’s vegetable farm financial benchmark program.

Schedule: Thursdays from 4-6pm on February 10th, 17th, and 24th (via Zoom)

Cost: $50 for the three-session series. We don’t want finances to be a barrier to participation and offer a sliding scale to attend (see instructions on the registration page linked below).

Register here.

See class descriptions:

February 10th, 4-6pm: Taking your farm financial recordkeeping to the next level
This session will help you optimize your chart of accounts setup, tease apart which parts of your farm are and aren’t making money, and use your financial statements for more strategic farm decision making. Learn how to draw key information from your farm’s profit and loss statement and balance sheet to help you monitor the health of your business and improve its profitability.

February 17th, 4-6pm: Finding cash in your farm business: profitability vs. cash flow
Just because you have $40K in net profit doesn’t mean you have $40K in the bank. These two ideas get confused very often, but net income and cash flow are each important — and distinct — measures of success. Learn the best ways to track where your cash is going, control your cash flow, and identify your options when cash gets tight.

February 24th, 4-6pm: Budgeting tools to keep your farm on track
Learn why budgets are an incredibly powerful — though underutilized — tool for farm business management. This session will equip you with a flexible budgeting tool that you can use year after year for your farm. You’ll get expert advice on how to identify past trends, methodically forecast sales, and plan for contingencies, plus practical tips for using your budget to steer mid-season decision making.

About the presenter:

After a 15-year career growing organic produce for hundreds of CSA customers, restaurants, grocers, and farmers’ markets, Elaine Lemmon has not only developed skills as a dynamic business owner, but also has built a deep understanding of the daily challenges farmers face in trying to keep a family’s farm economically sustainable. As the owner and operator of Everblossom Farm, she carried, nursed, and nurtured two children while weeding, watering, planning, stressing about, and celebrating her farm business.

Elaine’s desire to farm began with a goal to do what she loved and was quickly elevated to the purpose of educating her community on why to care about what you eat. In the beginning of 2017, she joined the team at Kitchen Table Consultants with hope and excitement for helping strengthen local farm and food businesses to create statewide, contagious consumer awareness – and most importantly, to keep small businesses economically healthy.

Funding for this series was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number LNE20-394, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM200100XXXXG178, and the CISA Local Hero Program. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

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