Analyzing farm businesses and planning for success across generations

MSU Extension’s Farm Business Analysis program, in conjunction with TelFarm Accounting, assists growers in maintaining records to track biological inputs and financial transactions and then analyzing the results to guide management decisions.

Farm business

Managing a farm business has become increasingly complex. Price changes, weather and pest outbreaks all present critical risks to farm survival. In addition, crop and animal inputs can take a year or more to produce financial results. Successful farm management requires careful planning using integrated production and financial records. 

Michigan State University Extension’s Farm Business Analysis program, in conjunction with TelFarm Accounting, assists growers in maintaining records to track biological inputs and financial transactions and then analyzing the results to guide management decisions. The data collected in these programs allow MSU Extension educators to generate a comparative analysis for farms across the state to use in evaluating their performance. 

MSU Extension’s Farm Business Succession program enhances the survival of farm businesses across generations. MSU Extension educators assist farm families in developing customized succession plans, focusing on transferring the business to the next generation and ensuring that all successors possess the management skills for long-term business success. 

  • Nearly 300 farms across the state participate in the TelFarm Accounting and Business Analysis programs.
  • 56 farm families developed individualized succession plans through consultation with MSU Extension educators in 2017.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 farm families who participated in the succession planning program implemented their plans by the end of the year.

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