Get Help Writing Your Farm Business Plan


Trying to run a farm without a written plan is like going on a wilderness adventure without a compass: The perils are many, and the chances are that even if you manage to arrive somewhere safely, it won't be where you intended to go. And if you ever plan to borrow money for your farm, a business plan is even more essential, as you generally can't get a loan without it.

Many new farmers are intimidated by the process of writing a business plan. The online course BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business demystifies the process and provides students with feedback on their plans each week. This course, taught by an experienced farmer and a Cornell Cooperative Extension educator, is six weeks long and consists of weekly webinars followed by homework, readings, and discussions in an online setting.

The course runs from September 25 through October 30, with webinars on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. EST. The cost is $200, but multiple people from the same farm may participate without paying extra. See for more on the course learning objectives, instructors, and outline.

BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business is part of the lineup of 12 online courses offered this fall, winter and spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. If you complete the assignments, by the end of this six-week, fast-paced course you will have the majority of your business plan completed.

To learn more about each course, please visit From this site you can learn more about the instructors, see answers to frequently asked questions, read details for each course, and view the calendar of course offerings for 2013-2014.

Courses often fill very quickly, so don't miss your chance to sign up today.