Coming Feb 25, 2016 to the UGA Conference Center in Tifton, GA
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Successful farmers are first and foremost business people. To be successful, today’s farmers must be able to manage their resources to meet the challenges of varying costs, prices and climatic changes. Farm business management goes beyond growing and selling products. There is a defined decision making process and it will be applied to the business, people and market sessions that will be discussed in this series. This conference allows participants to choose the topics that matter most to them. There are three tracks that can be followed or combined in any way to meet individual needs. Throughout the day, our experts will conduct sessions on topics relevant to both commercial farmers and value-added agricultural ventures. Sessions will include:
- Forecasting Cash Flow
- Agritourism as Value Added Income
- Considerations to Begin Transition
- Managing Risk in Farming
- Getting Your Food Product to Market
- Funding Options and Expectations
- HR Solutions for Agribusiness
- Managing the Margins with Enterprise Budgets
- Creating a Comprehensive Market Strategy for Value Added Ag
- Exporting to Reach New Customers Worldwide
- The Future of Farming Trends
COST: Early Registration: $49.00 (price will increase to $69 after February 12, 2016)
HOURS: 7:30 AM to 4 PM
The Georgia Farm Business Education Conference
One size does not fit all in the agriculture business. This conference allows participants to choose the topics that matter most to them. There are three tracks that can be followed or combined in any way to meet individual needs. Throughout the day, our experts will conduct sessions on topics relevant to both commercial farmers and value-added agricultural ventures.
7:30-8:00 Registration and coffee
8:00-8:15 Welcome and opening remarks – Don Monk, Ameris Bank
8:15-9:15 General Session
You are the CEO!
Becky Brownlee, UGA Small Business Development Center
Successful farmers are first and foremost business people. To be successful, today’s farmers must be able to manage their resources to meet the challenges of varying costs, prices and climatic changes. Farm business management goes beyond growing and selling products. There is a defined decision making process and it will be applied to the business, people and market sessions that will be discussed today.
9:30-10:30 Session 1
Forecasting Cash Flow
Josh Walton, UGA Small Business Development Center
- Managing cash flow can be challenging in agriculture. Crops often require large capital outlays months or in some cases years in advance of any cash inflows. Also, cash inflows are often delayed after harvest depending on the customer and market. The ability to accurately forecast cash needs is critical to the success of any Ag venture. This session discusses variables that effect cash flow and demonstrates strategies and computer based tools that can be used for effective forecasting.
Agritourism as Value Added Income
Kent Wolfe, UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development
- Agritourism and Agritainment can be a great way to add value to your business without adding acreage. But is it right for your farm? The skill set needed to operate an Agritourism venture is different than those needed to run a farm or ranch. This session takes a look at a few things to consider as you plan, launch, and grow a hospitality side to your business: Determining your Goals, Opportunities and Challenges, Resources that you have and Resources you may need, Risk Management and Marketing and Event Coordination.
Considerations to Begin Transition
Will Thompson, James-Bates-Brannan-Groover-LLP
- Farm succession plans focus on the future of your farm and are an integral part of an estate plan. This takes time, resources and often requires difficult decisions to be made. This plan will guide the life of the farm as you transition yourself out or are transitioning into a new leadership role. This session will breakdown the process and discuss manageable first steps such as assessing your financial and family situation to help guide you through the process.
10:45 – 11:45 Session 2
Managing Risk in Farming
Don Shurley & Amanda Smith, UGA Cooperative Extension
- Farmers have many options in managing agricultural risks. They can adjust the enterprise mix (diversify) or the financial structure of the farm (the mix of debt and equity capital). In addition, farmers have access to many tools – such as insurance and hedging – that can help reduce their farm-level risks. This session focuses on using commodity price volatility to create opportunities. Knowing when to accept risk (retain ownership) and when to pass off risk (hedge it) while maintaining ownership of a crop can be a profitable market strategy.
Getting Your Food Product to Market
Joe Hynes, Joe Hynes Consulting Company
- Do you have a food product that you would like to introduce in the market? Learn more about process approval and regulations surrounding your product, as well as avenues for reaching your target audience. Find out if you would benefit from using a broker and how to manage the relationship with your co-packer.
Funding Options & Expectations
Walt Moore, UGA Small Business Development Center
- Sometimes the funding process for an Agribusiness can differ from that of a traditional business. Whether through specialty Ag lenders, traditional bank sources and government guarantee programs, there are many things to consider when trying to obtain money for your agribusiness. What do you need to know as you move forward to expand your business? In this session, learn the process of Ag lending and find out more about the Farm Bill and how it affects payments to your lenders and vendors.
Lender Info Panel featuring: Frank Cox, Ameris Bank & Ben Pitts, FDIC
12:00-1:30 Lunch and General Session
HR Solutions for Agribusiness
Lawton Pearson, Pearson Farms
- Being in the Agriculture industry has unique staffing and Human Resource issues. These issues go far and beyond the hiring and firing of employees. In this session learn rules and tips that will protect your business. In addition, learn HR best practices for your business that you can implement to improve your operations. This session will also discuss H2A; what is required by law and the necessary steps that must be followed.
Bo Warren, Georgia Department of Agriculture
1:45-2:45 Session 3
Managing the Margins with Enterprise Budgets
Don Shurley & Amanda Smith, UGA Cooperative Extension
- Enterprise budgets estimate profitability for agricultural enterprises while documenting management practices and the resources and technology used. Each farm should develop budgets based on its specific situation. Managing margin risk has become increasingly significant for producers given enhanced volatility in commodity prices and input costs.
Creating a Comprehensive Market Strategy for Value-Added Ag
Vanessa P. Shonkwiler, UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development
- Marketing is the part of the farm’s business that transforms production activities into financial success. It starts with producing a product and service that customers want, then promoting and selling it to them in an efficient and effective manner. In recent years, it seems that the rules of marketing strategy have changed, but in fact, they have just evolved. Learn how to create and implement a comprehensive marketing strategy and plan for your growing agribusiness.
Exporting to Reach New Customers Worldwide
Rick Martin, UGA Small Business Development Center
- Exporting and selling your products worldwide can increase your sales and transform your business. Do you know what overseas markets are best suited for your products? In this session you will be taught how to identify markets, minimize risk, and ensure success. Resources will be provided to help catapult your agribusiness to new countries.
3:00-4:00 General Session and Closing
The Future of Farming Trends
Glen Rains, UGA College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
- Farming has changed, have you changed with it? This session focuses on new agricultural trends and precision Ag tools that are available on the market to assist you in running a more efficient operation. We will talk about some of the technology that you may be familiar and introduce you to others that you may not have heard about.