Making improvements each year, even small changes, can add up to whether your farm is profitable or not. In conjunction, the mission statement of Alabama Extension is to ‘enable people to improve their quality of life and economic well-being’. One goal of farm management agents is to reach producers and enable them to improve the quality of their financial records.
One question that’s always important is: why? Why would a producer care about organized financial records? There are several reasons, but a major factor is being able to make good decisions for the farm. It is hard to fully understand an operation with incomplete information. Good financial data is a great starting point for the farmer to be able to review, analyze and implement plans for the farm. Other benefits include: knowing the value of the business, the ability to expand / make changes, support in case of an audit, and guiding the business over time. Profitable producers generally are able to make incremental changes to their business from year-to-year. A small reduction in cost and a small increase in revenue from last year could end up being the difference between being profitable or not. Good records enable producers to see areas where changes are possible and ways that the business can improve upon what they are currently doing.
If you think you or someone you know could benefit from improving their farm financial records, reach out to your local Extension office. As is typical, appointments and training received are at no-cost, part of Extension’s mission to help citizens without regard to compensation, ability / income of producers, or any other characteristic. Training can come in a one-on-one meeting set up at a preferred date and time, or with enough interest, classes can be held to accommodate up to 10 farmers in one meeting. Producers should leave with enough knowledge and know-how to set up a simple and effective system for tracking financial information.
Again, if you think you or someone you know could benefit from improving their farm financial records, reach out to Kevin Burkett, Ksb0002@auburn.edu, 205-245-5365.