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Business Planning

Templates and Walk-throughs for building a Plan:

Ag Alternatives (Penn State Extension) provides resources required and financial templates to help you evaluate adding other products, crops, or income streams to your operation.

Business Planning for Veterans in Ag workshop notes, Dec. 3, 2022; James Cornwell MBA.

Business structure: the model you choose can help protect your personal assets. Free legal assistance with setting up your business is available from Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic at Penn State Law. 

Farm Credit Building a Balance Sheet Guide, Basics of Recordkeeping

Farm Transition/Succession resources

Penn State Extension's Ag Alternative  fact sheets  provide information to help you evaluate all aspects of a given enterprise before you commit your time and money

Setting Prices:  USDA Ag Marketing Service publishes prices by state of farmers market fruits and vegetables. Penn State Extension article on what to consider when pricing your goods. 

Risk Management is a component of your business plan, and is often tied to insurance. Avoid/Reduce or Mitigate/Transfer/Accept More...

Small Business Development Centers can review and help you refine your plan prior to approaching financers. 

SBA Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) can provide access to LivePlan, a collaborative business planning platform.

USDA Risk Management Checklist

PA's Farm Vitality Planning Grant Program  funds professional services for planning for the future of a farm. 

The maximum grant amount is $7,500 and is limited to 75% of project costs.

Guidelines & Uses

Grants may be used for creating or obtaining:

Business plans  to:

  • enhance the long-term economic viability of a farm.

  • diversify an existing agricultural operation to new or different forms of agricultural production.

  •  for a farm expansion or to seek financing for farm growth.

Succession planning:

  • plans for the transition of ownership and operation of a farm to new owners and operators.

  • plans for transfer of ownership and operation of a farm within the farmer's family.

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

A farm building with white clapboard siding and a dark roof
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