While things are slower in the winter for most operations, now is a good time to review the prior year and plan ahead. Think back to some of the conversations with customers, is there a new product or item they are wanting? Now is a good time to crunch the numbers and do some research and see if that is something you can offer this year. It is also a good time to create or update your enterprise budgets. An enterprise budget can help you figure out break even pricing on products, and if an enterprise is costing you more than you realize. Make sure to write a budget for each enterprise you have. For example, if you have hogs and cows, draw up a budget for both. Don’t forget to include things like transportation costs, fuel, advertising, and the cost of your time in your budgets as well.
Another good thing to work on this winter is a business plan. This doesn’t have to be lengthy, detailed document, just enough to get your ideas down for the future. This can help you plan your growth and expansion. Figure out your vision for your farm, where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years, and how do you want to see your farm grow? Figure out what products or things you might want to offer in the future, and figure out how you will expand into those, whether it be paying off a loan, moving to work on the farm full time, or transitioning to the next generation. Business planning seems like a daunting task, but for most, it is just a plan for growth and the future. Of course, if you are looking for financing options with banks or other creditors, a polished, well written business plan is a great thing to have. As always if you need help or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!
Upcoming Events, all FREE
WV Small Farms Conference: February 21-26th.
The annual Small Farms Conference will be held virtually again this year. The conference brings together producers from across the state and industry experts providing their insight on timely topics within the agriculture industry. Registration is now open! To learn more and register, visit: https://extension.wvu.edu/conferences/small-farm-conference
Craft: A Farm to Bottle Summit: January 27th, 6-8 PM
This summit, hosted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute of Marshall University, gives an overview of the growing craft beverage industry in WV. Industry experts will give an overview of the market and potential opportunities, as well as a holistic planning approach to the industry. Keynote speaker Brooke Glover, CEO of Swilled Dog Hard Cider and Spirits, will speak on her experiences starting and operating a successful craft beverage company in WV. Registration and more information can be found here:
Sustainable Tourism Webinar Series: Monthly, all year
WVU Extension has implemented a monthly webinar detailing various portions of agritourism and rural hospitality. Each webinar will start at 11 AM. For more details on topics and to register, visit: https://rebrand.ly/agritourism
Ag. Action Network, Far Eastern Panhandle: February 1st
Ag. Action Network brings together producers, assistance providers, and those interested in agriculture in a collaborative nature to move agriculture forward. This meeting will be virtual, links will be available soon