As a farmer, you may be really good at producing food, fuel and fibre. However, as the industry grows in both size and complexity, there are other skills we need to focus on such as business and transition planning, marketing, human resource management and leadership development. These skills play a key role in the success of our farms.
To help, we share business management tools, information, resources and training for agri-food and agri-based producers and their business advisors.
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Farm transition can mean passing the operation to the next generation in the family, selling it to new owners who aren’t family members, or looking at innovative ways of bringing new partners into the business. Letting others start to make decisions and take responsibility for the family farm business is not easy. For young people wanting to get started, considerations include availability and adorability of the business, lifestyle, and becoming part of the farm’s management processes.
FarmLINK’s MatchMaker tool brings together new farmers who are looking for land or mentorship with farm owners who have land available or expertise to share.
This questionnaire provides a benchmark of where the business is now in terms of its daytoday management and succession planning activities.
A business plan is a written document that outlines where your farm business is going (production, customer base, future opportunities, impact of technology, etc.) and how it’s going to get there. The plan is a living document that covers all aspects of your business. It should be referred to often and change with the times.
Having an updated business plan assists you in accurately communicating farm financials to your business partners, family members and advisors. It allows your lender to make a timely, accurate decision when it comes to your lending needs for the year. Sharing this information also creates a forum for outside perspectives to consider your operation objectively and create new opportunities through innovation and knowledge sharing.
Preparing your business plan can help you create financial forecasts, identify and manage risks, make production and marketing decisions and communicate effectively with your team.
To help you achieve your goals and use sound financial information, farm business planning can be done with the help of a professional farm business advisor.
Advanced Business Planning
The Advanced Farm Management Program provides a unique combination of advanced farm business management training and a practical approach that can be immediately applied to your farm to improve the performance and sustainability of your farm business.
Training and Workshops
Finding and keeping good workers has long been an issue for farmers and as the sector expands, so will the need for more employees. People are what keep your operation running smoothly, efficiently and profitably. AMI has worked hard to curate resources that can help your hire and retain quality staff.
The Canadian Agricultureal Human Resource Council has a comprehensive toolkit for farm business managers.
Workshops are also available.
Developing a new business venture starts with a strong idea and a solid business plan. The benefits of planning include reducing stress, establishing a better lifestyle or f the exiting party, having a business continuity plan in place if disaster strikes (such as death or divorce) and discovering alternative business structures to help suit your needs and get your farm business up and running.
Not everyone who dreams of a career in farming is lucky enough to have a viable farm business in the family to enter into.
Whether its mentorship or a workshop, Ontario hosts a variety of training programs to help you start your farm business off right.
Funding and Grants
The AgriInnovation Program is a fiveyear, up to $698 million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 policy framework. Of this, $468 million is available for funding projects based on applications from industry.
The AgriMarketing Program helps farmers and food processors compete in markets at home and abroad. It supports the agriculture industry by creating and maintaining access to markets and taking advantage of market opportunities.
Growing Forward 2 is a federalprovincial initiative that encourages innovation, competitiveness and market development in Canada's agrifood and agri products sector. Whether you are starting out, or have been in business a long time, GF2 can help you reach your goals.