This essential guide leads aspiring and beginning farmers through the business aspects of starting, growing, and maintaining a successful farming enterprise, from goal-setting and thinking like an entrepreneur to selecting equipment, evaluating markets, managing financials, farming with natural systems, and dealing with the day-to-day challenges of operation. Farming is a business, as well as a way of life. Whole Farm Management is a comprehensive guide developed by the Small Farms Program at Oregon State University to help aspiring and beginner farmers make smart, strategic business decisions to ensure lasting success. In clear, accessible language, readers are led through every essential step, from developing a strategic plan to acquiring equipment, establishing infrastructure, finding markets, budgeting, managing day-to-day operations, and selecting a business structure for long-term viability. The emphasis throughout is on using sustainable agricultural systems and managing the whole farm, whether raising grass-based livestock, perennial food crops, or annual crops such as flowers. Case studies of successful farms, along with guidance and solutions to common problems from long-time farmers, round out this essential handbook. AUTHOR: Garry Owen Stephenson, PhD, is the director of the Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems, an alternative agriculture program at Oregon State University that focuses on small-scale organic/sustainable agriculture through its Extension Small Farms Program. He is the editor of Oregon Small Farm News and has 30 years' experience working in an extension education and research role with farmers. SELLING POINTS: Strong need. Farmers may be excellent at raising crops and livestock, but many do not have the financial skills to make their enterprise profitable. In fact, operating a farm requires managing crops, animals, people, systems, markets, money, dreams, and reality. Authoritative authors. The contributing authors are all associated with Oregon State University, where they work with small organic/sustainable farmers and ranchers, and design educational programs for beginning farmers. Their approach is practical with a solid foundation in the science, social science, and practice of agriculture and business management. In addition, the material has been thoroughly tested in face-to-face workshops since 2007. Profiles case study farms. In-depth profiles of nine "case study" farms provide real-life examples of how the business practices play out in the real world.
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