This Southern Sustainable Agriculture Work Group's online course was developed for farmers and for those who help farmers develop more sustainable farming enterprises. While this course will definitely have a vegetable production slant, many of the concepts and principles discussed will be informative to other producers.
SSAWG is providing a range of materials they expect will be helpful to you on your path to growing your farm profits. Many of the educational materials and recordkeeping tools provided here are ones they use in their popular Growing Farm Profits classroom trainings. To ensure that these resources have useful practical application in the real world of farming, these resources were largely developed with considerable input from farmers.
We will be providing this course to you in the following sections twice a week (on Sunday) and Wednesdays):
- Managing Your Farm as a Business — Jim Munsch (Sun 3/8)
- Whole Farm Profit Management — Ellen Polishuk (below)
- Analyzing and Making Decisions with Veggie Compass — Ellen Polishuk (Sun 3/15)
- Using Individual Crop Budgets — Jim Munsch (Weds 3/18)
- Benchmarking: Making Adjustments Based on Comparisons — Ellen Polishuk (Sun 3/22)
- Discovering Prices: What Do Others Charge for Produce? – Jim Munsch (Weds 3/25)
- Setting Your Prices: Making Sure You Make a Profit – Jim Munsch (Sun 3/29)
- Managing Labor Costs — Ellen Polishuk (Weds 4/1)
- Pulling It All Together: Making Decisions for the Coming Season — Ellen Polishuk (Sun 4/5)
Whole Farm Profit Management — Ellen Polishuk via SSAWG (download pdf)
These resources are FREE from SSAWG. They encourage you to share these “farmer-friendly” tools widely.
SSAWG intention is to continue to add to this body of resources, as funding permits.
The first major piece of this online course is a video series that helps farmers understand some of the hidden factors influencing their profitability. This video series is a step-by-step demonstration of how a tool called “Veggie Compass” can be used to give small and mid-scale horticultural farmers a much fuller picture of their farm finances than regular recordkeeping systems provide. This is not a sales pitch for this particular free tool. Whether you actually decide to use Veggie Compass yourself is not as important as learning the concepts this tool allows us to demonstrate.
Interested in supporting education and research to allow aquaponics to be sold in a store near you?