Perspectives Online

AgBiz Planner program helps farmers learn how to grow their business


 Dr. David Kohl (far right) talks with four N.C. State College of Agriulture and Life Sciences experts who appeared on a panel at the AgBiz Planner Conference. From left are Dr. Guido van der Hoeven, Dr. Nancy Creamer, Dr. Ted Feitshans and Dr. Arnie Oltmans. Kohl, a Virginia Tech professor emeritus of agricultural finance and small business management, developed the AgBiz Planner program that is now a part of AgFirst Farm Credit’s Farm Credit University.

Photo Courtesy AgriBusiness Communications Group

A group of young, small, beginning and minority farmers from throughout the state have successfully completed a new AgBiz Planner program. Among the 29 participants were numerous N.C. State University alumni and graduates of the Agricultural Institute in N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The 10-module course was co-sponsored by AgCarolina Financial, Carolina Farm Credit and Cape Fear Farm Credit, with a grant funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

In the college-level, online course conducted over several months, participants learned how to develop business and financial plans, as well as budgeting and management skills. Each participant was paired with a mentor (a farm credit employee) to provide face-to-face support and guidance. Several of the 29 mentors from the three farm credit institutions were also N.C. State graduates.

One of those mentors is Maggie Hamm, Carolina Farm Credit’s senior vice president and marketing officer and a past president of the CALS Alumni & Friends Society.”We are pleased to help these young, beginning, small and minority farmers gain the business and financial skills needed to successfully manage and grow their operations,” she said.

The three financial farm cooperatives will be co-sponsoring a second program starting this fall.

-- AgriBusiness Communications Group.