The educational materials listed on this page are about Farm Business Management.
Growing and selling products profitably is critical to an agriculture business, but there are other aspects that are essential to farm business management. While it is difficult to find grants to start a farm, operating or starting a farm require a basic understanding of ag credit, including FSA loans (and other farm loans), and how to obtain farm credit for an agriculture loan. Savvy producers understand agricultural finance and agricultural accounting, and keep a close eye on farm finances. Farmers need to understand agricultural marketing and may need to know demand for a specific crop, such as with apple marketing. Starting a small farm may include finding land through FarmLink. While some new farmers may get started with a farm internship, others may useless formal farming training or more formal agriculture education. Ultimately, farmers also need to learn about farm labor, farm labor laws or farm succession planning at some point in their career. Key practices include marketing management, financial management, community-supported agriculture, risk management, agricultural finance, whole farm planning, farm succession, land access, labor/employment.
SARE’s bulletin Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Wholesale Markets offers alternatives for producers to market their products through unconventional channels. Building a Sustainable Business aids producers in developing a sustainable and profitable business plan for their enterprise. Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities gives producers options for agricultural loans, grants and technical expertise. Farmers looking to transition to organic will find Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs useful for business planning.
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Farmers Testing Elderberry Varieties for Florida Cultivation
CHIEFLAND, Florida – Elderberry, internationally utilized and popular for centuries for its perceived medicinal and health benefits, may have potential as an alternative crop in Florida. Farmers Heather Martin and David Jarnagin of Hyldemoer + Co. in north central Florida have been testing elderberry (Sambucus spp.) varieties for the past several years for commercial production. […]
Diversifying Small Farms with Cereal Grains
FOREST, Virginia – Virginia farmer Michael Grantz is testing what it takes to incorporate cereal grains into a small-scale, diversified vegetable and cut flower farm for soil health as a cover crop and a value-added product for local markets. Grantz has managed a quarter acre plot of wheat and rye on he and his wife’s […]
USVI Cooperatives Development towards Sustainable Agriculture
Getting ‘back to the basics' is a common phrase heard throughout the community. The basics or pillars of sustainable agriculture based on the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program are quality of life, stewardship, and profitability. In 2021, Louis E. Petersen, Jr. state coordinator at the University of the Virgin Islands School of Agriculture was […]
Farm to Fork in North Carolina
This guide provides key action ideas for building a sustainable food economy in North Carolina.
Sustainable Food Systems for Georgia’s Agrarian Future
In Georgia, demand for local, sustainable food exceeds the supply, but a lack of infrastructure limits the development of a local, sustainable food system. Through a Southern SARE planning grant, the Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium was formed to coordinate and leverage resources across the state of Georgia and to determine the necessary components of a […]
Mount Pleasant Local Food and Farm Assessment
Download the Mount Pleasant Local Food and Farm Assessment. The Town of Mount Pleasant Planning and Development Department and Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) collaborated to assess the needs and opportunities in Mount Pleasant, S.C. associated with developing a regional food system. To complete this assessment, they used qualitative and quantitative data on the region’s agricultural […]
Sweetpotato Production for Kentucky
This 16-page guidebook, produced by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service, covers all aspects of sweetpotato production in Kentucky. Topics include variety selection, production techniques, insect and disease management, harvesting, storage, marketing, and budgets. Full of colorful photos and helpful charts, this publication is designed to be a comprehensive guide for […]
Private Landowners Guide to Forest Certification in the South
"Private Landowners' Guide to Forest Certification in the South," developed by the LSU Ag Center and Mississippi State University Extension, helps forest landowners understand forest certification.
2021 SSARE Graduate Student Grant Call for Proposals Now Open
GRIFFIN, Georgia – The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program has released the 2021 Call for Proposals for Graduate Student Grants. Southern SARE Graduate Student Grants are open to Master’s and PhD students, enrolled at accredited institutions across the Southern region, who are interested in exploring areas of sustainable agriculture through quantitative and […]
New Online Training Tool is Available Free to Farmers
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, 85% of new farm businesses fail within their first five years of production. Despite this, few programs exist to help develop the business and financial management skills needed to establish a successful farm business. After receiving feedback about the need for a program like […]
NCSU Researchers Develop Protocol for Measuring Food Waste on the Farm
RALEIGH, North Carolina – A North Carolina State University study quantifying food waste on the farm seems to suggest that the amount of edible and marketable vegetable crops being left in the field after primary harvest is much higher than previously thought. In a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant, researchers […]
Business Decision-Making Tools Available from Southern SAWG
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – Ag service providers working with small to mid-scale producers on business decision-making have a series of resource tools available to them that address profitability management challenges faced by those in the industry. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Professional Development Program Grant, the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) […]
North Carolina Study Shows Local Foods a Driver for Economic Development, Especially in Rural Areas
RALEIGH, North Carolina – North Carolina farms that sell directly to consumers are more interconnected with their local economies than non-direct-to-consumer farms, and have a greater multiplier effect of generated revenue, based on the results of a North Carolina State University survey. The results, which could have applicability on a regional level, are intended to […]
Economics of Cover Crops I: Profitability of Cover Crops in Row Crop Production and Federal Cost Share for Cover Crops
Many agronomic benefits of covers are also economic benefits. But there are real and perceived agronomic and economic challenges to adopting cover crops. Researchers at the USDA-ARS, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory (NSDL) in Auburn, Alabama and at the University of Georgia—Tifton have past and current research that addresses the challenges faced by producers.
Economics of Cover Crops II (Part 2): Benefits of Cover Crops and No-Till Vegetable Production in North Alabama
While the benefits of cover crops are similar regardless of cash crop, there are a number of benefits that are particularly important to vegetable producers. The main benefits of cover crops in vegetable production include increased organic matter; additional N through the use of legumes; suppressing disease, nematodes, and weeds; reducing soil erosion; providing habitat for beneficial insects; and improving soil tilth.
Economics of Cover Crops II (Part 1): USDA-NRCS Cover Crop Economics Decision Support Tool
Developed by USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) economists, Lauren Cartwright (Missouri) and Bryon Kirwan (Illinois), The Cover Crop Economic Decision Support Tool is designed to help producers, landowners, planners, and others make informed decisions when considering adding cover crops to their production systems.
Sustainable Blackberries and Raspberries
A handbook to guide growers in sustainable practices of fruit production from production practices to business management to marketing, for high tunnel and field production.
Black Soldier Fly Integral Component of Sustainable Ag at Georgia Farm
BLUFFTON, Georgia – The black soldier fly has turned out to be a key contributor to the sustainable agriculture efforts of one South Georgia farm. For the past two years, the indigenous insect has been at the center of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Producer study at White Oak Pastures to determine […]
Cool Season Forages for Sustainable Goat Production
A guide developed by Tuskegee University on cool-season forages for sustainable goat production.
Growing American Ginseng in Forestlands
A fact sheet from Virginia Cooperative Extension on growing ginseng in forestland as an alternative crop.