WNC AgOptions/USDA-RMA Community Outreach Program
AgVenture Feasibility, Risky Business and Agribusiness Planning 101

What will your farm be like in 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?

If you have ever asked yourself these questions, then you know that farming is both a lifestyle and a business in Western NC, and we are facing increasing pressures that include skyrocketing land values and expanding global competition.

If you’ve got concerns about agritourism issues or product liability, stabilizing your annual farm income, or other concerns about the value of your products, then you don’t want to miss the following events!

Thanks to funding from USDA, and in partnership with NC Cooperative Extension, a series of workshops has been designed specifically for WNC producers to help you become better managers of resources, including your money, time, and the people around you.

Questions about this grant or about the series? Contact your local County Extension Office.

Part I:

AgVenture Feasibility
What Else Can I Do with What I’ve Got?

Part II:

Risky Business
How Do I Protect My Farm Business and ME?

Part III:

AgriBusiness Planning 101
Building a Practical Business Plan that Works for My Farm and ME!


Part I: AgVenture Feasibility

What Else Can I Do with What I’ve Got?

This workshop is designed to walk you through the decision-making process that is necessary before you add to or change what you do on your farm. This decision process is based on an assessment of market opportunities and an analysis of resources available to meet them. Additionally, this workshop outlines a larger course curriculum that combines whole farm planning concepts, site planning process, self assessment tools, and business planning principles that will be arranged in component parts at a later date.

February 1, 3-6pm
at Tri-County Community College, Telecenter Bldg, Room 103, Murphy

February 8, 3-6pm
at the Henderson County Cooperative Extension Center
(Directions can be found on http://henderson.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=contact)

February 15, 3-6pm
at the Bakersville Fire Department


Teaching Team:
Tammara Cole – Area Specialized Agent, Small Farm Management;
David Kendall – Madison County Extension Agent;
Diane Ducharme – Area Specialized Agent, Small Fruits and Vegetables

Welcome and Introductions

Assessing Yourself and Your Farm: Should I be an Agri-preneur?
o Skills, knowledge and resources;
o Rewards and risks:
o Personal preferences and capabilities

Can I Make a Living off my Farm
o How much do I need to make each year;
o Balancing on/off farm income;
o Determining how much is it going to cost me to farm each year

What is the best agricultural “mix” for your farm?
o Trends in agricultural options;
o How to research new agriculture opportunities;
o Location/types of buyers

How to Keep from Going Broke and Not Knowing It
o Handling financial and business risk;
o Indications that your farm is or is not performing


Part II: Risky Business

How Do I Protect My Farm Business and ME?

What do you think of when you hear the word, “spinach”? Healthy green vegetable or E.coli outbreak? As a farmer, you understand that product liability is a real challenge! This workshop is designed to provide information on different forms of managing and minimizing risk, from insurance options to disaster assistance to liability issues concerning agritourism and farm products. If you want to protect yourself and your farm, don’t miss this one!

March 8, 3-6pm
at Murphy High School, Vocational Building, Teleconference Studio

March 8, 3-6pm
at UNC-A

March 8, 3-6pm
at Mayland Community College, Main Campus, Spruce Pine


Teaching Team:
Farm Service Agency personnel, USDA Risk Management Agency, John O’Sullivan (NCA&T), Martha Glass (NCDA&CS Agritoursim Division), Local Insurance Agents, and NC Cooperative Extension Agents – Rob Hawk and David Kendall


Welcome and General Session on Risk Management
o Emergency Disaster Assistance – FSA Personnel
o Commodity Insurance – RMA Personnel
o Revenue Insurance – John O’Sullivan


Introduction to Liability Session
o Product Liability – Ted Feitshans
o Agritourism & Limited Liability – Martha Glass
o Agritourism Checklist – Rob Hawk, David Kendall

Local Insurance Agent Q&A Panel


Part III: AgriBusiness Planning 101

Building a Practical Business Plan that Works for My Farm and ME!

Who buys your products? Who do you compete with for the best prices? Who are the people who make your farm business work? Do you ever plan to expand? Where will you find the financing you need? All of these questions need to be answered BEFORE you invest time, energy and money into a venture. No matter how much experience you’ve had with business plans, you’ll find information, examples, and one-on-one coaching for your individual needs!

Pre-Registration will be required by March 10th, $15/person,
Make checks payable to “Buncombe County Extension Education Fund”

March 24, 9am-3pm
at Tri-County Community College, Telecenter Bldg, Room 117

March 24, 9am-3pm
at the Mtn. Hort. Crops Research & Extension Center, Fletcher

March 24, 9am-3pm
at the Bakersville Fire Department


Teaching Team:
Guido van der Hoeven (NCSU Agriculture & Resource Economics);
Annette Dunlap (NCSU Value-Added and Alternative Agriculture),
Cecilia Crawford (Tri-County Community College Small Business Center);
and other NCSU and NCA&T Extension Agents.


Welcome and Introduction

General Keynote Session on Business Planning Basics
Central Region – Guido van der Hoeven, NCSU
Far West – Cecilia Crawford, Tri-County SBC
Northwest – Annette Dunlap, NCSU


General Session (cont’d)

Lunch (provided on-site)

Coaching Room Assignments by Topic or Case-Study

Business Plan Coaching Sessions and Novice Case-Study Session