Developing Sound Financial Data for the GrassRoots Discussion Group

2007 Annual Report for FNC06-645

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2006: $3,840.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: North Central
State: Indiana
Project Coordinator:

Developing Sound Financial Data for the GrassRoots Discussion Group

Summary

WORK ACTIVITES
* Nine members completed their data entry by January 30. One more is in the process.

* Two data summary charts were developed so that members could compare fourteen (14)
profitability factors within the group.

* A financial /farm management discussion was held with the group’s members on January 31.

* The group’s coordinator was given the names of two farm couples that indicated interest in
joining the record keeping group and the record keeping project. A phone call to each couple has resulted in each one of them definitely joining the group. Worksheets have been emailed to both couples and an account has been set up for each couple.

* Grant funds have been used to pay the salary of the group’s coordinator

RESULTS
The coordinator politely encouraged all members to enter their data via the Cornell Dairy Farm Business website by January 30. All but one, (9 of 10), complied with that request.

There is no substitute for personal contact when it comes to a technical activity like recordkeeping. That activity takes diligence, discipline and a sincere desire to have good records to enter and a desire to go the next step and interpret the results that the computer generates.

Please see answers to item number 1.

WORK PLAN
Assist the two new members of the group as needed to build their confidence and to get their 2007 data entered completely and correctly.

Encourage current members to identify additional members and contact them with information and offer them the opportunity to ask questions.

Plan and execute three farm visits/Pasture Walks/farm management discussions.

Have all members enter 2008 data in January so that a group meeting can focus on the group’s record information in late January 2009.

Check out the possibility of forming a group in Ohio or Michigan.

OUTREACH
The two new members were enlisted into the group via two existing members – people talking to people and sharing their positive experiences.

Amish farmers in northern Indiana listened to a farm management specialist from Cornell who spoke at a grazing conference. He focused on the value of farm records and their usefulness in making financial decisions. Their interest was peaked, and they talked to Indiana members of the GrassRoots group for more information. They also checked out other recordkeeping opportunities and methods. Twenty-four of them have decided to form a group and use the services of a firm in Ohio. I believe that is based on the fact that they can do things on paper and will not have to hire someone to enter their data via computer.

One GrassRoots member has used collective numbers of our group as he has spoken to three groups — 60, 12, and 30 people were in attendance at those groups. He also discussed the activities, objectives and opportunities of the GrassRoots group.

A presentation at the 2009 Northern Indiana Grazing Conference may be a possibility.

There is a series of Pasture Walks in northern Indiana where we might review the philosophy and activities of the GrassRoots group.

We may include something in the Hoos–Your Grazing Network newsletter that circulates to 1,672 recipients in Indiana and the Midwest.