- Education and Training: extension, workshop, technical assistance
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development
- Production Systems: holistic management
- Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, sustainability measures
This project developed a training curriculum to help educators deliver business planning workshops. Five one-day workshops were conducted for educators and agricultural professionals. The curriculum includes PowerPoint presentations, an instructors notebook, and a video interview with a farm family discussing the challenges and benefits of developing a business plan. The curriculum helps educators learn how to effectively use the “Building a Sustainable Business Guidebook” and the FINPACK Business Planning software. Educators are provided tools and materials so they can deliver business planning workshops to producers.
1. Develop a replicable train-the-trainer workshop using business planning software and the guidebook. This will build a link between MISA’s (Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture) Building a Sustainable Business guidebook and the FINPACK Business Plan software.
2. Four train-the-trainer workshops will be conducted in Minnesota to equip educators to teach a business planning workshop using the software and the guidebook. The goal will be 70 participants at the workshops.
3. One North Central regional workshop will be conducted describing how to use the software and the guidebook in training workshops.
4. An instructor’s guide will be developed including discussion questions to help educators conduct workshops. The instructor’s guide will help educators teach the FINPACK Business Plan software and the “Building a Sustainable Business guidebook” to groups of producers.
5. Five sample business plans will be developed that reflect different sustainable farming operations and that can be used by farmers looking for an example of how to start a business plan.
6. Educators that participate in the train-the-trainer workshops will deliver workshops to producers describing how to develop professional business plans that communicate and present alternative enterprises and business activities.