|Participants at a recent AgBiz Professionals meeting in Chambersburg interact over the videoconference with speakers and other attendees.|
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- There are few other educational programs targeted at helping today’s experienced farmers take their business management skills to the next level. But AgBiz Professionals is doing just that.
More than 50 farmers gathered in seven different locations on January 9 to participate in the same meeting. Linked together with videoconference technology, they learned valuable lessons and skills about farm and family transitions from the main speaker, Mike McGrann of the Center for Family Business.
Participants in this first AgBiz Professionals workshop described it as “thought provoking” and “extremely important and helpful.” Local facilitators at each site led hands-on activities and discussions, helping the farmers to apply the concepts to their unique situations.
Upcoming AgBiz Professionals workshops include:
• Profit Protection Series – Friday, February 15, and Thursday, February 28.
Your farm’s profitability is impacted by many factors, from the volatility in markets to unknown weather conditions. This three-day series is designed to help you better understand how to manage risks on your operation. On February 15, Dr. Laurence Crane of National Crop Insurance Services will share his insight on today’s risk factors. Participants will complete a risk assessment, and a panel of presenters will share stories about managing risk on their operations. February 28 will include a hands-on workshop where participants will calculate their individual costs of production and learn strategies to use that information. A third, informal follow-up session will be held during the week of March 18 at the participants’ convenience.
• Managing People in Agriculture workshop – Thursday, February 21.
The success of your farm business depends on the people involved. You will learn skills to build a more engaged and productive workforce. This workshop will feature Dr. Robert Milligan, professor emeritus from Cornell University, and Dr. Richard Stup, AgChoice’s director of business management services. Real-life case studies will be used to simulate managing people on today’s farming operations.
• Financial Leadership workshop – Monday, March 11.
Looking for ideas on how to manage your finances more effectively? This must-attend workshop will feature Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus with Virginia Tech, discussing the importance of financial leadership and tools of the trade. Mike Hosterman, AgChoice’s ag business consultant, will then lead the group through case studies and discussions on financial analysis, benchmarking and budgeting.
Workshop locations will include AgChoice Farm Credit offices in Chambersburg, Curryville, Lewisburg, Lewistown, Meadville, New Stanton, Towanda and York, and the Penn State Extension office in Lancaster. All workshops will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
AgBiz Professionals is priced at $75 per workshop. The new Profit Protection Series is being offered at a special rate of $75, even though it is a multi-session series. Your registration for any workshop covers up to two people from your farm business, so you are encouraged to participate with your spouse or business partner. Registration closes 10 days prior to each workshop.
To learn more about AgBiz Professionals and to register for one or more of the upcoming workshops, visit www.AgBizProfessionals.com or call 800-349-3568 ext. 6016. Each workshop qualifies for two SmartStart credits through AgChoice Farm Credit.
AgBiz Professionals is offered by a network of agricultural organizations. This year’s program is supported by grant funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.