CSU programs scheduled to aid agricultural financing

Charlotte Lang

Farmers and ranchers can now look forward to two programs focused on handling the stresses of current difficulties in finances.

The two programs, Financial Management Strategies and Agricultural Outlook and Strategy forums, have been running from January to mid-February with the shared goal of allowing those in agriculture to discuss and learn about the financial tactics and outlook of their field.

Ad

Ag Outlook is hosted by Colorado State University Agricultural and Business Management Economists Brent Young, Steve Koontz and Jenny Beiermann. Financial Management Strategies is hosted by Jenny Beiermann, Brent Young and Norm Dalsted.

The two educational efforts are designed to provide training and education in the areas of financial management and marketing.”

Norm Dalsted, professor and extension farm/ranch management economist

The programs are funded by a research grant partnership with the U.S. Department of Agricultural Risk Management Agency.

Topics for the Financial Management Strategies program include: risk management, business planning, enterprise budgeting, record keeping, interpretation of financial statements and farm financial software, according to a flyer for the event.

According to a similar flyer, the Outlook and Strategy Forums program will focus on market outlook, breakeven analysis, risk management and the use of commodity insurance as part of a comprehensive marketing plan. Other topics include: common commodities in the area, whole-farm revenue protection, crop revenue protection and cross-hedging calves.

Dalsted, a CSU professor in agriculture, said that the hope is to provide training and education to approximately 100 farmers and ranchers across the state.

“The two educational efforts are designed to provide training and education in the areas of financial management and marketing,” Dalsted said. “We will discuss the decision tools that can be used to evaluate the statements and how they might incorporate what they learn into their business operations.”

The marketing aspect of the training is focused on providing an understanding and application of various marketing strategies an agricultural producer can utilize in their respective operations, Dalsted said.

Beiermann, agriculture and business management specialist and the principal leader of the programs, said that these programs are CSU Extension events and were developed by the Agricultural and Business Management team in response to the difficult financial times that agricultural producers are currently facing.

Young, a regional extension specialist in agriculture and business management, said the difficult financial times are related to commodity prices going down while the price of materials, such as fuel and fertilizer, go up. The difference results in a slimmer profit margin for producers.

“It costs more to produce than what is being sold,” Young said. “That causes some financial stress. In order to keep in business, producers may have to reduce the size of their operations.”

Ad

In family situations, Young said as an example of the effects, some members may need to seek out off-farm employment. This, as well as the combination of low commodity and high prices, has created both mental and financial stresses for those in agriculture.

Young said that the goal for the financial management program is for the producers to be able to keep and analyze records, as well as be able to understand the current strengths and weaknesses in the business.

The Outlook and Strategy program goal, Young said, is for attendees to have an idea about commodity prices in the next 12-18 months. Other goals include: the hope for farmers and ranchers to learn to use marketing tools and crop insurance to pre-price commodities and get better prices.

Upcoming dates for the Financial Management Strategies program can be found on the Eventbrite web page with the next seminar scheduled for Feb. 18 in Sterling. The registration fee is $25 per person.

Dates for the Ag Outlook and Strategy program are also online. The next session will be Feb. 19 in Sterling. Registration is $15 per person.

Charlotte Lang can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chartrickwrites.