Whole Farm Management: From Start-Up to Sustainability
This essential guide leads aspiring and beginning farmers through the business aspects of starting, growing, and maintaining a successful farming enterprise, from goal-setting and thinking like an entrepreneur to selecting equipment, evaluating markets, managing financials, farming with natural systems, and dealing with the day-to-day challenges of operation. Farming is a business, as well as a way of life. Whole Farm Management is a comprehensive guide developed by the Small Farms Program at Oregon State University to help aspiring and beginner farmers make smart business decisions to ensure lasting success. In clear, accessible language, this book covers every essential step, from developing a strategic plan to acquiring equipment, establishing infrastructure, finding markets, budgeting, managing day-to-day operations, and selecting a business structure for long-term viability. The emphasis throughout is on using sustainable agricultural systems and managing the whole farm, whether raising grass-based livestock, perennial food crops, or annual crops such as flowers. Case studies of successful farms, along with guidance and solutions to common problems from long-time farmers, round out this essential handbook.