UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — “Farm Sense,” an online course aimed at helping agricultural businesses learn to manage finances, will be offered by Penn State Extension from Oct. 3 through Nov. 11.
Organizers note that agricultural businesses are different from other types of businesses, and producers need to develop and maintain accurate, consistent financial and production records.
In addition to serving anyone interested in developing financial statements, the course is designed to assist U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency loan recipients who need to fulfill borrower training requirements. Farm Sense satisfies requirements for the production and financial training modules for borrowers.
This instructor-led course is intended to help participants gain a better understanding of cash management, net worth, profit and loss, budgeting, risk management, and production planning through readings, educational videos and practice questions.
Participants will create a cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement and will use these documents to determine their business’s liquidity, solvency and profitability. The course instructor will review participants’ financial documents and offer advice for improvements, regularly checking in on progress throughout the course.
The course will cover how to:
— Build a cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement.
— Organize and use financial records to make informed financial and production decisions.
— Use financial ratios to determine a business’s financial strength.
— Create a partial budget to examine whether an opportunity or change has the potential to be profitable.
— Develop a risk management plan for a business.
The course will take approximately 14 hours to complete. Course work must be finished between Oct. 3 and Nov. 11.
To pass the course, earn a certificate of completion and qualify for USDA Farm Service Agency borrower training, participants must pass the section quizzes with a 70% overall score; demonstrate the ability to build a cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement for a business; calculate mathematical formulas that show a business’s liquidity, solvency and profitability; and complete the FSA borrower training course evaluation survey.
Participants can register through Oct. 3 for a fee of $299. More information is available on the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/
–Penn State Extension