Farm Administration Series – Kick-off in November

Ready to get some indoor farming done?

Let’s do it together this winter – way more fun!  The series will kick-off mid-November and will cover financial and business planning, advanced welding, accounting, decision making, draft power teamster training, plant and human nutrition, and farming with carnivores and farming with kids!

All events are FREE for Adirondack Farmers, and suggested donation of $25 for non-farmers and those from out of the area.

# 1 Holistic Financial Planning

November 16th, 9-12 @ The Whallonsburg Grange

Holistic Financial Planning is all about how to make a profit that is healthy for you and your farm business. During this workshop farmers will learn to use Holistic Financial Management to guide their farm towards profitability, increased quality of life, and environmental sustainability.

We will briefly cover the framework of Holistic Management and then work through examples of how to use HM with a focus on financial management. Topics will include:

  • Evaluation of financing sources
  • Prioritizing investments for the greatest impact
  • Determining how much money you need to make to live the way you want.

No previous farm financial knowledge is required, but for those working with actual farm budgets please bring financial data you are willing to share and to use to create the beginning of a Holistic Financial Plan.

This event is FREE to farmers in the Adirondacks and north to the border with Canada thanks to generous donations from Essex Farm Institute Supporters. A $25 donation is suggested from those outside this area or not actively farming.

Coffee, Tea and light refreshments will be served.

Register by emailing essexfarminstitute@gmail.comInclude your farm name in the email.

About the facilitator: Crystal is a regional vegetable specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program. She focuses primarily on assisting organic, diversified vegetable growers and also works with Amish growers in the western part of the region. Her research focuses on root crops, garlic, and sustainability issues facing small farms.

Crystal has been working with Holistic Management International since 2009 to help farmers balance the social, environmental and economic aspects of farming. She has taught beginning women farmer groups various aspects of HM throughout the northeast during this time. Her favorite parts of HM to teach are financial management and leadership and communication.

#2 On Farm Welding 201

December 4th, 9-1:30 @ Farm TBD

The second in a series, Welding 201 will build off the first course taught by Ryan Weidenbach in October. Prior experience Welding is required. The course will take place on a farm working on a real-live welding issue. Space is limited to 7 students; registration opens November 1.

Register after November 1, by emailing  essexfarminstitute@gmail.comInclude name, experience, and farm name.

#3 Farming Smarter, not Harder: Planning for Profit

with Richard Wiswall,

author of acclaimed Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook

December 6th, 9-1:30 @ The Whallonsburg Grange

Have an allergic reaction to business? Want to work less and make more money? Wonder where all the money comes and goes?

Find out your farm’s profit centers- which parts of your farm make the most money and which may actually lose money. Learn about efficient farm planning and analysis, efficient farm office management, key financial statements, employee management, and financial tips for success. Set aside the day to finally work on these, and other important farm business concerns.

Co-sponsored with The Hub on The Hill, this workshop will be part lecture, part group work sessions, and part demonstration. The target audience is any farmer in Year 1-10 who feels the need to sharpen their pencil and focus a little more on the business side of farming.

Richard will use financial data from three area farms to teach us how to farm smarter not harder. The first three farms to send their Profit and Loss statement and Balance Sheet to will have these documents analyzed for no cost to the farm!

Register by emailing essexfarminstitute@gmail.comInclude your farm name in the email.

About the facilitator: Richard Wiswall is owner/operator of Cate Farm in East Montpelier, VT, where he has been farming organically for 35 years. Known for his work on farm profitability and appropriate business tools, he has consulted with over 90 farmers in New England and beyond, helping them increase profitability and meet their long term goals. Richard is author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook- A Complete guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff- and Making a Profit, and gives workshops frequently on the subject of farm business. To learn more about Richard and Cate Farm, visit and .

Winter Farm Administration Series Continues through March!

  • Basic Farm Accounting Techniques and Software, January TBD @ Whallonsburg Grange – This workshop will cover the fundamentals of farm accounting with specific reference to agricultural enterprises and their particularities. A wide range of topics will be covered including accounting principles, book-keeping methods (including software), tracking of inventory, depreciation. Preparation and presentation of financial statements and basic ratios for analysis of farms financial health.
  • Structured Decision Making Workshop by SUNY Plattsburg, January TBD @ Whallonsburg Grange – Structured Decision Making (SDM) is a decision making process that integrates empirical and on-the-ground data with values-based objectives. SDM provides outcomes that are grounded in reality and represent the ethics, values, and desires of those individuals involved in decision making. SDM is the standard decision making process used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and this workshop transfers the steps of SDM from the field of wildlife conservation to the field of sustainable agriculture. During the workshop you will learn about, practice, and apply the steps of SDM to specific on-farm decisions thanks to Assistant Professor, Curt Gervich from SUNY Plattsburgh. At the end of the session you will have the skills you need to implement and adapt this process to your specific farm
  • Draft power Teamster Training Series: (1) Logging and Farming with Draft Horses @ Reber Rock Farm, January TBD – two half day workshops will cover the very basics of working and training draft horses. (2) Draft Horse Farming Intensive Workshops @ Northland Sheep Dairy, Marathon, NY, February, March, April – 4-day and 8-day courses available for beginner and advanced teamsters. Discounts available from EFI.
  • Farming with a Family discussion series, February TBD @ The Whallonsburg Grange during Winter Play Gym: Weekly informal discussion group during Winter Play Gym put on by Lakeside School. Kids can play while caregivers discuss tips and tricks for farming with kids. All ages of kids are welcome and all stages of care givers – past or present or future!