Extension education in Farm Management is conducted by Dale Johnson, Farm Management Specialist. Dale holds a B.S. in Agribusiness Management from Utah State University and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Cornell. He has been with the University of Maryland Extension since 1985.

The objective of Farm Management Extension programs is to help Maryland farmers improve their business management skills to improve management productivity, increase profitability, and fulfill their long-term goals. It is accomplished through workshops, seminars, and individual on-farm consultations involving farm business management, strategic and tactical planning, recordkeeping, financial analysis, and computer applications for farm managers, educators, lenders, and others. Workshops and seminars are prepared and conducted at the request of, and in teamwork with Extension Educators, Specialists, and others. The program involves adaptive research on business planning techniques, crop and livestock enterprise analysis, farm machinery economics, crop insurance, computer use in agriculture, the economics of alternative agricultural enterprises, and economics of sustainable agriculture methods. The program is also carried to the College Park campus through the AREC 306 Farm Management and AREC 435 Futures Marketing courses.

Outreach And Extension Programs

Business Planning for Maryland Agribusinesses

This program provides managers of commercial farms, small farms, greenhouses, and nurseries with education and assistance in developing effective business plans for their businesses. A business plan is a detailed, written document that will help them manage their operations in the short-term and long-term. It is an organized collection of all the important ideas that include mission statements, annual goal statements, resource inventories, marketing plans, production plans, financial plans, and business structure plans. Hardcopy and electronic materials on business planning are available to Maryland farm managers.

Dairy Farm Management Program

This program provides specific financial and business planning tools to Maryland dairy farm managers. Workshops are tailored specifically for dairy farm managers. Additional analytical tools have been developed to help dairy farm managers manage their operations. The Maryland Dairy Farm Business Summary is a major component of this program. In this summary, dairy farmers are taught how to use their IRS Schedule F tax forms to analyze the financial condition of their farms. The information on their tax schedules is converted to a per cwt (hundredweight) basis so that they are able to see the specific strengths and weaknesses of their businesses. They are also able to compare their businesses with other dairy farms in Maryland and in the northeast to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Enterprise Budgeting for Maryland Farms

This method involves

  1. identifying alternative crop, animal, and recreational enterprises for Maryland farm managers, 
  2. estimating output levels, output prices, input requirements, input prices, and profits from alternative enterprises, and
  3. estimating labor, management, and financial requirements for different enterprises.This program resulted in Maryland farm managers having objective methods for evaluating alternative enterprises that they are considering.

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