Where would you like for your farm business to be in five years? Ten years? The pressure on farm owners to develop a business mind-set and financial understanding of their operation has never been greater.

Planning has never been more critical — or more necessary — for farmers wanting a firm foundation and a direction for the future growth of their operations.

No matter where you turn, you're hearing experts talk about the need to develop a business plan, to work that plan, and to use it to drive all facets of your operation.

If you've read articles and listened to your banker and others, saying, “This is how it's got to be,” the logical question in response is, “Where do I get this knowledge and training?”

Primedia Business Magazines and Media and Deere & Company are offering a series of two-day business management/planning seminars in 2002.

Led by Allen Lash, chief executive officer and founder of AgriSolutions, the seminars will offer insight into modern farm management and an understanding of the dynamics that drive your business and how you can control them.

Lash is a widely recognized leader in financial management for agricultural producers. He started AgriSolutions in 1968 and was one of the first to design user-oriented, computerized farm financial management systems.

Active as a consultant and educator, he has worked with many farm and agribusiness groups in the United States and Canada, and has served as trainer at educational workshops sponsored by agribusiness and agricultural commodity organizations.

He will lead seminar participants through the creation of their business plan and provide insight into effective financial and capital management strategies.

The seminars will help you to:

  • Understand how a business plan can work for you.

  • Calculate your operational efficiency.

  • Improve your management skills.

  • Develop a risk management plan.

  • Provide the basis to write a business plan for your specific operation.

  • Improve access to capital.

Whether your primary farming enterprise is crops, livestock, or a combination, these business planning seminars can provide a road map to get you where you want to go.

They provide the foundation for developing a three- to five-year business plan that can help to achieve your goals. It can improve internal business and family communications and open the door to new opportunities with lenders, investors, landowners, and farm managers.

You will be encouraged to think in new — and sometimes unconventional — ways in order to help define your goals and build a plan to accomplish them.

The initial seminar will be Feb. 26-28 at the Kansas City Airport Marriott, Kansas City, Mo.

A fee of $295 assures you of two seats at the seminar and all materials/handouts (additional persons may attend for $100 each). Prior to attending, you will receive a series of worksheets to complete and bring with you. These will provide the basic information you'll need to begin developing your unique business plan.

The fee also includes a welcome reception, lunch and refreshments both days, and dinner the second evening. Airfare, hotel, and other travel charges are the responsibility of attendees.

For additional information, contact Mary Whitcomb at AgInsight, telephone 515-251-8992, e-mail mwhitcomb@iasoybeans.com.