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  • 1. Evaluating a Rural Enterprise Marketing and Business Guide Abstract: Evaluating an enterprise boils down to asking a series of good questions. Among these questions are: Do I have the resources to do this? Do I really want to do this? Do I have the experience and information to do this? How much profit can I make? How will I market the products? This publication seeks to provide enough information to help you judge whether a new enterprise is right for your operation. Additionally, we provide a resource section of additional information on relevant topics.By Preston Sullivan and Lane Greer of land is different and there is no single pre-NCAT Agriculture Specialists scription to tell you what enterprise is right forMay 2002 you. Any new enterprise will, however, require an investment of your time, money, and other resources. And there will always be risks in- volved. TABLE OF CONTENTS There are thousands of books, Extension materi- INTRODUCTION .................................. 1 als, and people who can tell you how to produce EVALUATING YOUR RESOURCES .............. 2 something, whether it’s baskets, bison, or blue- FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT ...................... 3 berries. But these resources can’t help you de- EXPERIENCE AND INFORMATION .............. 4 cide wheather that enterprise is right for you and your farm. MARKETING ...................................... 5 CHOOSING AN ‘ALTERNATIVE’ We reviewed many enterprise planning guides ENTERPRISE .................................. 7 and have condensed their salient points in this REFERENCES .................................... 8 publication. Most of these guides ask entrepre- RESOURCES ..................................... 8 neurs to assess their personal and family objec- tives. They all stress the importance of having a business plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan. The business plan will outline how theINTRODUCTION business should work and generate plans for operation. Perhaps the best thing about a de-This publication is for people who already live tailed business plan is that it causes you to thinkin rural areas and want to add new enterprises in detail about what you are getting into. Theto their operations. New farm enterprises today Resources section at the end of this publicationare often non-traditional—everything from add- provides titles and ordering information for sev-ing pastured poultry to a beef operation to start- eral useful guides to help determine the feasibil-ing a bed-and-breakfast in the barn to making a ity of your new enterprise.cornfield maze to attract tourists. Two of the very best of these publications areThis publication won’t tell you what will make Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating thethe most money. Every person and every piece Feasibility of New Farm Based Enterprises, a work-ATTRA is the national sustainable agriculture information service operated by the National Centerfor Appropriate Technology under a grant from the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S.Department of Agriculture. These organizations do not recommend or endorse products,companies, or individuals. ATTRA is headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas (P.O. Box 3657,Fayetteville, AR 72702), with offices in Butte, Montana and Davis, California.
  • 2. book from Cornell University, and A Primer for Will the new enterprise complement my cur-Selecting New Enterprises for Your Farm, a Ken- rent enterprises?tucky Extension Service publication. These Do I have written objectives describing theguides discuss alternative enterprises and intro- desired outcome?duce a step-by-step process to assess the objec- Do I have the skills and experience necessarytives, resources, markets, production demands, to do this?and profitability of new enterprises. Both include Do I like to supervise people?a lot of useful worksheets to help with these as- Have I managed a business before?sessments. See the Resources section for more Do I have enough personal energy to do this?information on how to order these publications. Can I count on my family members for sup- port?EVALUATING YOUR RESOURCES Do I care what the neighbors think about my new enterprise?Before committing to a new enterprise, there are Why do I want this enterprise?always fundamental questions that ought to beaddressed. These may be practical (What are the After you have determined that the enterprise isbusiness/management skills of those involved?), something you really want to do, consider theseorganizational (Does everyone involved agree on additional questions (for land-based enterprises):how the business should be run?), or philosophi-cal (Does everyone involved know, understand, Landand agree on the objectives, both short- and long-term?). The following are typical of the kinds of What is the water drainage like?questions suggested in the sources we reviewed. Are the soils suitable? What is the seasonal rainfall pattern?Marketing What will happen to my enterprises during a flood or drought? Where am I going to sell the products? Are these plants or animals adapted to this Who is the customer? climatic region? What is the size of the potential customer Are there water resources available for irri- base? gation or for watering livestock? Where do the customers live, and how will Do I want concurrent uses for the land such their location influence my selling to them? as wildlife conservation, fishing, or hunting? What are the customers’ needs and desires? Am I going to sell directly to consumers? Buildings and Machinery Am I going to wholesale to the commodity market? Do I have adequate facilities? What are the seasonal price fluctuations I can What additional machinery will I need? expect? Can I rent or borrow machinery or storage What are the quality standards that I must facilities? meet? How many hours will it take to research di- Labor Needs rect markets? Are there legal or food-safety considerations? How much labor will be required? What is the source of labor?Personal How much will it cost? Is seasonal labor available? Do I have time to devote to this new enter- Will I need housing for my workers? prise? Does this enterprise use existing labor in off- Does the workload correspond with the time seasons? of year I want to work?PAGE 2 //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE
  • 3. There are many resources that can guide you in prise on a per-acre basis. Notice how only theyour search for the answers to these questions. costs directly related to that enterprise are in-See the Resources section at the end of this pub- cluded in the gross profit analysis. Land rentlication for more information. could also be included, but if the land is already owned or mortgaged, it should be left out of thisFINANCIAL ASSESSMENT analysis and considered a fixed cost. With this sweet corn enterprise we have $2,444 gross profitAfter you have answered the above questions, left to pay overhead costs and, ideally, provide ayou’ll have a better idea of what costs will be profit, if a profit was initially projected.involved in a new enterprise, and that informa-tion will help you determine the profit potential.It is advisable to do the following exercise be- Table 1. Gross profit for one acre of sweet corn.fore spending more time or money developingthe logistics of production or a full enterprise Total Income Dollarsbudget. 1,200 d o ze n @ $2.50 $3,000.00One way to compare enterprises for profitability Variable C ostsis to calculate a gross profit analysis (Savory andButterfield, 1999), otherwise known as gross Se e d $ 50.00margin analysis (Kay and Edwards, 1994) or a Fe rti l i ze r $ 35.00contributory margin (Zimmerman andVillanueva, 2001). The gross profit or margin is We e d Control $ 18.00the amount of money left over after all the new Machi ne ry Use $ 83.00costs associated with the new enterprise are sub-tracted from the gross income generated by that Harve sti ng $ 345.00new enterprise. These new expenses are sepa-rate from the general overhead expense, because Hau l i ng $ 25.00they are incurred only if the new enterprise is Total Variable C osts $ 656.00implemented. In other words, these are the vari-able costs associated with a new enterprise. Gross Profit/acre $2,444.00To avoid confusing comparisons, do not proratethe overhead (fixed costs) for enterprises in this To make valid comparisons between enterprisesexercise. You will get more accurate results by using gross profit or margin analysis, use a com-assuming that the entire overhead cost must be mon unit of measure. A common unit for agri-paid out of the gross profit from the enterprise. culture is gross profit per acre. For some otherFor example, if you need to use your tractor in a enterprises, units to consider might be profit pernew venture, the cost of owning the tractor (pay- hour or $/bushel or $/cwt. Using a common unitments, insurance, etc.) is already fixed. But the will allow you to compare dissimilar enter-direct expense of using the tractor in your new prises—such as broccoli for fresh market salesenterprise (fuel, routine maintenance) can be as- and goats sold wholesale. A per-acresigned to the operating cost of the venture that comparision shows the best return on the land.uses the tractor. By subtracting these operating Another good use of the gross profit analysis iscosts from the total sales, you arrive at the gross to compare all your existing enterprises for theirprofit. The gross profit from all enterprises com- contribution to covering overhead costs. Thebined must be at least enough to cover the over- results may surprise you. For example, you mayhead or you will go broke. find that the principal enterprise is actually be- ing supported by several secondary enterprises.Table 1 shows the gross margin for a sweet cornenterprise. Figures are generated on a per-acre In cases where there is no overlap between twobasis and so can be compared to any other enter- enterprises, a direct comparison may not be pos- //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE PAGE 3
  • 4. sible. An example of this would be if you al- EXPERIENCE AND INFORMATIONready had grazing and timber enterprises andwanted to add a lease-arrangement hunting “The most salient requirement for farming is ex-lodge to the same land. The only variable costs perience” (Nation, 1998). Practical experience isassociated with the enterprise might be legal fees, particularly important for a new enterprise, es-renovation costs on the house, and maintenance. pecially if the enterprise is not related to whatIn this case, if the gross profit was still high, and you normally do. You can gain a lot of the nec-you responded positively to the personal ques- essary knowledge from people who are currentlytions above, you would go ahead with the enter- doing what you are considering. Apprenticingprise. with someone who is already farming, or just vol- unteering some time, is a good way to get expe-The gross profit analysis does not preclude full rience. (See ATTRA’s resource list Sustainablefinancial planning for each enterprise and for the Farming Internships and Appenticeships for morewhole farm. If, for example, the overhead costs information on experiential farm work across theare in excess of all the income generated, you will country.) Also, start out small with your owngo broke. If you are buying new equipment enterprise until you learn the basics. Stockman(fixed cost) specifically for an enterprise, that cost Grass Farmer editor Allan Nation (1997) suggestscan be assigned to that enterprise and amortized these four stages when considering a new enter-over the useful life of the machinery. If you bor- prise:row money to buy the equipment, the loan pay-ment can be allocated as a variable expense for 1. Get the knowledge you needthe enterprise gross profit analysis. In the whole- to produce and market the product.farm budget, all the income from all the various 2. Produce it for yourself and yourenterprises will be included, along with the vari- family.able costs for each and the overhead expenses. 3. Produce it for your friends who have tried it, like it, and ask you for it.Full planning budgets used to estimate costs for 4. Do it as a business.many farm enterprises should be available fromyour local Extension service. Others can be found Although this approach may seem slow, it willat: http://www.fbminet.ca/bc/budget.htm, a go faster and require a lot less startup investmentweb site with enterprise budgets for a large num- than jumping in and trying to learn as you go.ber of crop and livestock enterprises. The bud-gets at this web site use the term “contribution Gathering information on specific enterprises ismargin” to describe gross profit. These budgets also an important step when considering diver-are separated into contribution margin and build- sification. Your local Cooperative Extension Ser-ings and machinery replacement costs (over- vice and other USDA agencies can provide fun-head). The budgets are laid out in an easy-to- damental information about some alternatives,read format with an overview preceding the as can non-profit organizations in your state. Youtables. Each enterprise budget contains market- can also contact Extension specialists at youring alternatives, cash flow timing, and key fac- state’s land-grant university. Other sources oftors affecting profit, with margin estimates al- information include websites and publicationsready calculated. When calculating your cost of (books, magazines, and newsletters). The re-production, be sure to use reliable estimates for source list at the end of this publication also pro-your situation and include other costs that may vides helpful information.not be listed in the budget. It is also useful toproject poor, average, and good production sce- Often, however, even though there is productionnarios for each enterprise. If you cannot be prof- information for a specific crop, there is little in-itable with poor production, consider another formation available on budgets or markets. Yourenterprise. best resource in a situation like this will prob-PAGE 4 //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE
  • 5. ably be a farmer who is already raising, or some- • Marketing Optionsone who is already buying, the crop or a similar These include any method used to sellcrop. A good way to find farmers is to attend or distribute your product (Grudens-state or regional workshops or conferences that Schuck and Green, 1991). Examples areare in some way related to your area of interest. selling directly to consumers from theExtension puts on workshops throughout the farm; farmers’ markets; selling directly toyear that provide an opportunity to network with restaurants; cooperative marketing; sell-your fellow growers. The approach to finding ing wholesale to a distributor, broker, orbuyers would be similar. For instance, if you processor; etc. Identify your most promis-are interested in adding cut flowers to your ing options. Also consider transportationfarm’s mix, you might attend a statewide con- needs and distances to market.ference for florists. • Market EntryMARKETING How will you introduce the product to the market? Will it be marketed underAuthor and business consultant Peter Drucker the producer’s or processor’s name?says that only two activities produce results. One What will get the buyer’s attention (ad-is innovation, and the other is marketing (Na- vertising and promotion)? (Schermerhorn).tion, 1997). Marketing may take many forms,ranging from passive marketing into the com- • Existing Market Demandmodity chain all the way up to marketing a re- How many potential buyers are includedtail product directly to consumers. Which mar- in your target market at this time? Whatketing method you choose will have a profound is the average purchase or frequency ofeffect on the price your product commands. service per buyer per year? What are thePrices in many prepared budgets will typically total purchases or number of services perbe wholesale prices. Adjust these prices to your year?local market (retail or wholesale) based on whatyou can realistically expect to get paid. Visit with • Competitionother farmers in your area who are selling the Analyze your competition: businesssame thing you want to sell, or go to the local name, estimated sales volume, qualityfarmers’ market and check out prices. of product, price, customer satisfaction, appearance, type of buyer targeted,There are two important reasons for doing mar- strengths, weaknesses. “Direct competi-ket research: tion” offers the same product you do; “in-• You need to understand your market, your direct competition” is anything your tar- competition, and consumer trends get market can substitute for your pro-• You need to be able to project potential sales duct. Remember: alliances can be formed volume and prices (Grudens-Schuck and with competitors. Green, 1991) • Market TrendsThe Cornell Farming Alternatives guide men- Has consumption been increasing? Is thetioned earlier has marketing worksheets that ad- number of competitors increasing? Whatdress the following considerations: are your projections for market trends in the next five to ten years? What are the• Target Market Descriptions industry trends and emerging markets? The demographics of people you want to sell to (age, gender, family status, income • Expected Price level, class, occupation, children, marital There are many formulas and strategies status, location, ethnic group, education). for setting prices. What is the lowest price you can expect to receive? What is the //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE PAGE 5
  • 6. highest price? Ultimately, pricing will Customer Loyalty. When the consumer knows reflect your competition, costs of produc- the producer personally, the relationship be- tion, quality, service, the convience you tween them is not easily broken. Good sellers provide, and the types of buyers you have know and use their customers’ names. Loy- targeted. alty helps bring in repeat customers.• Expected Sales Volume Lifestyle. As Salatin explains, “I think one of What is the least number of units you the biggest differences between the pressures might sell in a bad year? How many in a I encounter as a small operator and the pres- good year? What is the expected sales sures encountered by the big operators is the volume? How long will it take to build amount of control we have over the situations the market to your desired sales volume? that cause pressure” (Nation, 1997).Direct marketing involves personally connecting Balance. The first rule of business is that thewith consumers, determining what they want or customer is always right, but that doesn’t al-need, and producing the products that meet their ways mean you have the right customer. Inneeds. Author Joel Salatin, who raises pastured some instances, removing a name from yourbeef and poultry in Virginia, suggests several customer list may help to balance the pro-things to think about when deciding on pricing ducer–consumer relationship, so that you canyour products. First, don’t under–price them. concentrate on profitable sales, appreciativeFarm-produced products are superior because customers, people who “get with the program”they are more environmentally friendly and hu- (Nation, 1997).manely produced. Salatin suggests that produc-ers set a rewarding and satisfying gross margin Allan Nation says, “If you are considering get-and then stick to it. This will allow you to build ting into direct marketing, don’t bet the farma customer base with clients who appreciate the on it. Keep doing what you are doing for aproduct for what it is, not for what it costs living and start learning and experimenting on(Salatin, 1998). Your estimated price can be used a small scale. Try the food you produce on yourto calculate returns in any enterprise analysis. family and your friends first. If your family and friends are not crazy about it there is moreDirect marketing depends on building relation- learning to be done. Nation adds that, “A newships with customers. In fact, the term relation- business needs virtually 100% customer satis-ship marketing has been used to describe the best faction from day one to survive” (Salatin, 1998).methods of direct marketing for family farms. Inan article in The Stockman Grass Farmer (Nation, So the bottom line is to establish markets before1997) Joel Salatin sets out five advantages of re- you begin the enterprise. If you are direct mar-lationship marketing. They are: keting, consider these questions before start- ing production: What do the people in my areaConsumer Education. The producer has to tell want? What are their tastes? Are they accus-the consumers why his farm products are differ- tomed to “store bought” eggs, meat, and veg-ent from those bought in the grocery stores. This etables? What matters most to people in myis not only good for business, it is also a small local area—convenience and price? Are theystep toward the development of the consumer’s willing to pay for the quality and freshness ofawareness about farm, social, and health issues locally grown food?that affect our lives. For more complete information on direct mar-Product Quality. When the producer raises crops keting, call and request the three ATTRA pub-or livestock in an environmentally friendly or lications entitled Direct Marketing, Farmers’sustainable fashion, it is easier not to compro- Markets, and CSAs. The direct marketing pub-mise the quality of the products. lication includes information about resources,PAGE 6 //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE
  • 7. market development, market research, market- duce, it also reflects their desire to have a differ-ing plans, niche marketing, product differentia- ent kind of food shopping experience. For simi-tion, farmers’ markets, value-added marketing, lar reasons, community supported agriculture ar-and examples of real farmers who have done it. rangements (CSAs) have become popular. BothIt also provides a list of recommended resources farmers’ markets and CSAs bring shoppers closerto consult when considering your market plan. to farmers and to the land, an experience that is largely lacking in today’s urban society. An ex-CHOOSING AN ‘ALTERNATIVE’ ENTERPRISE tension of these encounters is a farm visit, whether it’s for a hay ride, to go to a petting zoo,There are many kinds of enterprises that can be or to attend an apple festival. Consumers like toprofitable in a rural area. Ken Scharabok’s book feel that they are helping to keep small, family(see Resources) describes 300 specific rural en- farms alive. This kind of experience requiresterprises. Cornell University’s publication Farm- farmers to learn new skills: how to deal with theing Alternatives lists several broad categories: public, the ability to assess unique opportunities on the farm, and the vision to produce a feeling 1. Nontraditional crops, livestock, and as well as a product. other farm products 2. Service, recreation, tourism, food In his 1998 book You Can Farm, Joel Salatin rec- processing, forest/woodlot, and other ommends ten enterprises that he considers ex- enterprises based on farm and natural cellent: pastured poultry, eggs, salad bar beef, a resources grass-based dairy, a market garden, a home bak- 3. Unconventional production sys- ery, a bandsaw mill, and a you-pick small fruit tems such as organic farming and orchard. His criteria for recommending these aquaculture enterprises are: 4. Direct marketing and other entre- preneurial marketing strategies • Low initial start-up cost relative to the abil- ity to generate incomeWhen considering alternative enterprises, you • High gross profit marginshould look first at your farm’s underutilized • Relatively low maintenance requirementsresources and your area’s market opportunities. • High cash flow relative to expensesUnderutilized resources might include unused • History of high success rates among new en-buildings, or manure that could be sold as fertil- terprisesizer. New market opportunities may arise as a • High demand, low supply in the current mar-result of changing demographics in your area— ketplacethere may be an increase in immigrant families • High product distinctivenesswho want specialty foods, or of affluent • Relatively size-neutral profit potentialbusinesspeople who commute to a metropolitanarea (Grudens-Schuck and Green, 1991). “The goal here is to examine what the profitable alternatives are in the current paradigm and howOne very important change in national demo- you can fit in the picture” (Salatin, 1998).graphics is the number of people who have be-come dissociated from the land. Few of the baby There are lots of places to find out more aboutboomer generation and almost none of Genera- specific enterprises. The Missouri Alternativestion X have lived on and worked the land. In an Center’s website provides many links to specificeffort to re-establish that bond, young consum- production information for various alternativeers are often eager to support small farms, and enterprises. This website is extensive and up-they’re willing to put their money where their to-date <http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac>. Ad-mouth is. The huge increase in the number of ditionally, we have listed many valuable re-farmers’ markets around the country not only sources below.means that consumers are interested in fresh pro- //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE PAGE 7
  • 8. REFERENCES Polyface Inc. Rt. 1, Box 281Grudens-Schuck, Nancy and Judy Green. 1991. Swoope, VA 24479Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating 540-885-3590the Feasibility of New Farm-Based Enterprises.Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering The book is also available for $24.50 from:Service, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 88 p. http://www.amazon.comKay, R.E. and W.M. Edwards. 1994. Farm Grudens-Shuck, N. and J. Green. 1991. Farmingmanagement, 3rd edition. McGraw Hill, Inc., Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating the Feasi-New York, NY. 458 p. bility of New Farm Based Enterprises. Farm- ing Alternatives Program, Cornell University,Nation, Allan. 1998. Allan’s Observations. Ithaca, NY. 88 p.Stockman Grass Farmer. Vol. 56, No. 6. p. 13. This publication uses a step-by-step process to assess goals, resources, markets, etc. IncludesNation, Allan. 1997. Paddock Shift. Green worksheets. Available for $8 from:Park Press, division of Valley PublishingCorp., Jackson, MS. 184 p. Media Services Resource Center 7 Business & Technology ParkSalatin, Joel. 1998. You Can Farm. Polyface, Cornell UniversityInc., Swoope, VA. 480 p. Ithaca, NY 14850 607-255-2080Savory, Allan and Jody Butterfield. 1999. FAX: 607-255-9946Holistic Management: A New Framework for http://www.cornell.edu/Decision Making. Island Press, Washington, publications.catalog.htmlDC. 550 p. Farming Alternatives: Innovation on NortheastSchermerhorn, Richard W. No date. Is Your Farms. A 14-minute video produced in 1988.Agribusiness Project Feasible? University of Explores the issues involved in the developmentGeorgia Cooperative Extension. <http:// of farm-based enterprises such as deer farms, farmwww.ces.uga.edu/pubcd/b1066-w.html>. markets, bed and breakfast inns, herb gardens, pet ting zoos, and farm-processed foods. AvailableZimmerman, K. and E. Villanueva. 2001. for $18.95 from the Cornell address above.Fresh sweet corn direct marketed (FraserValley). Planning for Profit. British Columbia Woods, Tom and Steve Isaacs. 2000. A PrimerMinistry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. for Selecting New Enterprises for Your Farm.8 p. Cooperative Extension Service. University of Kentucky. Agricultural Economics - Extension No. 00-13. 28 p.RESOURCES Covers profitability, resources, information, mar- keting, enthusiasm, and risk. Has many usefulPublications and Videos worksheets from which accurate information can be generated to guide your decision making.Salatin, Joel. 1998. You Can Farm: The Available online at:Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and Succeed in a http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AgEcon/publi-Farm Enterprise. Polyface, Swoope, VA. 480 p. cations/ext2000-13.pdf Perhaps the best single resource for beginning farmers, this book also provides good information Scharabok, Ken. 1996. How to Earn Extra Money on enterprise differentiation and evaluation. in the Country. A Country Living Resources Available for $30 from the author at: Guide.PAGE 8 //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE
  • 9. Contains over 300 descriptions of enterprises that Olson, Michael. 1991. Metro Farm: The Guide can be pursued by rural residents. Each descrip- to Growing for Big Profit on a Small Parcel of tion contains information on what the market Land. TS Books, Santa Cruz, CA. 520 p. would be, how to start the business, and additional Contains information on marketing, selecting resources on that particular business. Contains crops, organizing a business, selling, and produc- many innovative business ideas. Available in tion. Available for $29.95 plus $5 S&H from: electronic form only by e-mailing <scharabo@aol.com>. Schatz Publishing Group 11950 W. Highland Ave.Humphrey, Shirley (ed.). 1994. Small Farm Blackwell, OK 74631Handbook. Publication SFP001. Small Farm Pro- 888-474-6397 (toll-free)gram, University of California. 170 p. http://www.agventures.com/ Somewhat regionally specific to California, but contains good information on finances, market- Savory, Allan and Jody Butterfield. 1998. Ho- ing, enterprise ideas, growing crops, raising ani- listic Management: A New Framework for De- mals, postharvest handling, alternative agricul- cision Making. Island Press, Washington, DC. ture, labor management, and keeping the family 550 p. farm healthy. Available for $20 from: Provides valuable information for goal setting, fi- nancial planning and farming in tune with Division of Agriculture and nature’s principles. Available for $30 (softcover) Natural Resources (DANR) or $50 (hardcover) from: University of California 6701 San Pablo Ave. The Allan Savory Center for Holistic Oakland, CA 94608-1239 Management 800-994-8849 1010 Tijeras NW 510-642-2431 Albuquerque, NM 87102 505-842-5252Small Farm Center. 1998. Specialty and Minor 505-843-7900 faxCrops Handbook, 2nd ed. University of Califor- http://www.holisticmanagement.orgnia. Division of Agriculture and Natural Re-sources, Oakland, CA. 184 p. Periodicals Compiled and edited by scientists, University of California Cooperative Extension advisors, and AgVentures: The Magazine of Agricultural Op- growers, this handbook profiles 63 specialty and portunities is published bi-monthly. It features minor crops, including information on produc- new and unusual crops and livestock to raise. It tion and marketing. Available for $35 from is available for $21/year from: DANR at the University of California (see ad- dress above). AgVentures 11950 W. Highland Ave.Thompson, Nancy C. 1994. Sustainable Agri- Blackwell, OK 74631culture Enterprises: Opportunities for Employ- 580-628-4551ment and Economic Development in a Sustain- 580-628-2011 faxable Agriculture System. 21 p. http://www.agventures.com Available for $8 ppd from: e-mail: agventures@aol.com Center for Rural Affairs Ag Opportunities is a newsletter published by P.O. Box 406 the Missouri Alternatives Center (MAC) that is Walthill, NE 68067 devoted to the latest ideas and opportunities for 402-846-5428 those “who want to begin farming, diversify their http://www.cfra.org current operations, or find ways to profit from //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE PAGE 9
  • 10. small amounts of acreage.” Subscriptions cost The mission of CFAP is to support Agriculture$10 a year (free to Missouri residents). An on- and Food Systems-based Community Develop-line version is available free at MAC’s website ment in New York and the Northeast through< http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac>. Contact integrated and multi-disciplinary teaching,MAC at: research, and extension programs. Missouri Alternatives Center NxLevel’s Alternative Agriculture series: Till- 531 Clark Hall ing the Soil of Opportunity Columbia, MO 65211 A Training Course 573-882-1905 (No physical address) 800-433-3704 (MO only) e-mail: Info@nxlevel.org http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac 800-873-9378 e-mail: kelld@umsystem.edu The NxLevel agriculture program is designed toSmall Farm Today, published bi-monthly, fo- help a broad range of small to mid-sized farmers,cuses on small farming, rural living, ranchers, food processors, distributors, retailers,sustainability, community, and “agripreneurship.” food professionals, and others working in the agri-The editor and staff hold an annual conference cultural sector take their business to the “nextin Columbia, Missouri (around the first week of level.” Educators in each region adapt the courseNovember) that concentrates on topics of con- to meet local needs. The materials used in the 10-cern to small farmers considering diversification session course are specifically designed for thosestrategies. The periodicial is available for $23.95/ searching for innovative ideas and better market-year from: ing opportunities in the area of agriculture. Small Farm Today Web Sites 3903 W. Ridge Trail Rd. Clark, MO 65243-9525 Fact Sheets on Operating a Profitable Small 800-633-2535 Farm. University of Maryland. 573-687-3525 http://www.agnr.umd.edu/users/frederick/ e-mail: smallfarm@socket.net pubsOrganizations Planning for Profit. British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.Center for Rural Affairs Numerous two page enterprise budgets.P.O. Box 406 http://www.fbminet.ca/bc/budget.htmWalthill, NE 68067402-846-5428 Alternative Enterprises for Your Forest Land:http://www.cfra.org Forest Grazing, Christmas Trees, Hunting Leases, Pine Straw, Fee Fishing and Firewood. The Center for Rural Affairs, a non-profit or- This is a 1988 publication from the University of ganization, publishes The Beginning Farmer, Florida Extension Service. a free quarterly newsletter. They also pub- http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/Extension/pubtxt/ lished a 118-page book entitled Resourceful cir810.htm Farming: A Primer for Family Farmers, writ- ten in 1987, available for $7. Missouri Alternatives Center. Links to specific production information for numerous alternative en-Community, Food, and Agricultural Program (CFAP) terprises.216 Warren Hall http://agebb.missouri.edu/macCornell UniversityIthaca, NY 14853607-255-9832http://www.CFAP.orgPAGE 10 //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE
  • 11. Enterprise Budget Analysis. Penn State’s Agri-culture Alternatives website.Sample formats are given.http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/ua258.htmlEconomic Analysis of a New Business—Doingit Right. Kansas State University CooperativeExtension Service.http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/library/agec2/MF2184.PDFBy Preston Sullivan and Lane GreerNCAT Agriculture SpecialistsEdited by Paul Williams and Richard EarlesFormatted by Cynthia Arnold062305 The electronic version of Evaluating a Rural Enterprise is located at: HTML http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/evalrural.html PDF http://www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/evalrural.pdf //EVALUATING A RURAL ENTERPRISE PAGE 11
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