Completed Project Report


Putting the Tools to Work: Strategies and support for sound business decision making

  • Award Amount: $33,193
  • Regional Center: Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center
  • Grant Program: 2020 Education Projects

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Project Overview

This project helped western Massachusetts farmers address financial risk. Participants learned to use financial decision-making tools to support real-life farm decisions such as whether to expand or downsize or whether to diversify or specialize. Thirty-seven small, sustainable, or beginning producers participated in workshops, peer cohort groups, and/or individualized support to reduce the financial risk of major farm decisions. Topics included Holistic Management Decision-testing, weak-link analysis, financial record-keeping, break-even analysis, enterprise analysis, and partial budgeting. Workshops were followed by a cohort conversation so that participants learned about decision making tools, practiced using them, and could share real-world implementation challenges with peers. Upon completion, farmers understood how to assess the risks and opportunities of major business decisions, had tools to evaluate specific opportunities, and implemented new record-keeping and/or decision-making strategies. The information and tools has been adapted and will be made available online to reach 100 additional farmers. As a result of this project, at least 16 farmers applied new tools to a decision and 16 implemented at least one change in their business by the end of the grant period.

Number of Participants: 37

Results

Project Steps

PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

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EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

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REPORTS & EVALUATIONS

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DELIVERY AREA

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