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Do You Have a Plan?

University of Minnesota Extension, Stearns County News
August 24, 2016        
Source:  Emily Wilmes, Extension Educator-Livestock
University of Minnesota Extension
Stearns, Benton & Morrison Counties


Do You Have a Plan?
By Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (8/24/2016) — Farms in Minnesota are as much about family as they are about business.  However, at the end of the day, your farm is still a business, and decisions need to be made with that in mind.  Have you ever created a business plan for your farm?  A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization attempting to reach those goals.  We actually make program business plans in Extension, and I find them incredibly useful!  It’s nice to have something I can go back to that will tell me what the goals are and what the plan is to achieve them. 

Making a business plan can be a group effort, and it doesn’t have to be a large, daunting task.  There is also a GREAT resource for creating a business plan from the University of Minnesota.  The best part is, it’s FREE!  It’s called AgPlan, and you can access it online at  I have used AgPlan on multiple occasions and it is a great tool.  On AgPlan, you can:

  • Develop your own Business Plan
  • Learn what you need to include in your Plan with Tips & Resources
  • View Sample Business Plans for ideas; and
  • Share your Plan

Some features of AgPlan are:

  • Business type templates.  AgPlan is designed to provide customized assistance to different types of businesses.  Templates include Ag - Commodity, Ag - Value-Added, Organic Transition, Personal Plan, and Small Business
  • Editor.  The feature-rich type editor acts just like your computer's word processor. For each section of your business plan write a concise statement that will let readers quickly understand the key points you want to communicate.
  • Tips, Resources, and Samples.  Each section of your business plan includes Tips, Resources & Samples to help you create the best business plan possible!
  • Share. AgPlan allows you to share your business plan and interact with your business advisors, educators, or consultants.

So, what are you waiting for?  Visit today and start creating a business plan for your farm!


Emily Wilmes
Extension Educator, Ag Production Systems - Livestock
(320) 255-6169
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