Farm Futures Re-launches Ag Finance Boot Camp

This Business of Farming

Register now for financial workshop set for Feb. 20 in St. Louis

Published on: February 3, 2014

We won't let Old Man Winter beat us!

After the polar vortex took out the first scheduled Ag Finance Boot Camp in early January, we're fired up and ready to go with a new date. Come join us Feb. 20 at the St. Louis Hilton Ballpark hotel to learn all about balance sheets, income statements, working capital and how to work with lenders and accountants more effectively. This one-day meeting could mean all the difference for your business – now and in the future.

With potentially stressful times upon us, this is a great chance for you to really understand the dollars and cents of your farm. Our most recent survey shows farmers with the best business skills are three times as likely to run high-profit farms.

The sessions will be taught by professionals affiliated with the Farm Financial Standards Council. These folks are experts in the ag finance field, working as accountants, financial planners, CFOs, lenders and more.  

"I am excited that we have this opportunity to work directly and hands-on with a group of farmers and ranchers from across the country," says Jim Kelm, Ag consultant and FFSC president. "While we hope those at the Boot Camp will get great information from what our members present, we also look at this as a way to get some real feedback on the materials we've prepared and the way they are being used."

Topics for the boot camp include:

  • Why farm financial recordkeeping is more than cash-basis accounting
  • Real-life application of the basic principles of ag accounting, including standardization of definitions, measures, ratios, benchmarking and analysis methods
  • How to improve the financial condition of your operation through sound financial analysis and improved financial decision-making skills
  • Understanding balance sheets, income statements, cash flows, liquidity and profitability measures

You'll also hear experts discuss the merits of leasing vs. owning equipment, and how lenders view risk management.

A panel discussion will focus on key financial topics for farmers and ranchers, such as financial literacy required to do accrual-based accounting; accounting on the farm vs. outside services; training available for accounting software and financial management; and how to use recordkeeping to improve borrowing power.

Attendees will receive one of two reports: “Financial Guidelines for Agriculture” or the “Management Accounting Guidelines for Agriculture,” provided by the Farm Financial Standards Council. The “Financial Guidelines” document will be the January 2014 edition, which includes a new, extensive section on hedging.

Will you join us? The Ag Finance Boot Camp is ideal for farmers who want to become better managers and navigate the volatility so common in farming. The event costs just $100 per person. Farm Futures has arranged for a special room rate of $85 per night at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark hotel. To see the agenda and register, go to

The boot camp is sponsored by John Deere and Farm Credit Services with in-kind support from the Farm Financial Standards Council.

This promises to be one of the best meetings you'll attend all year. Great business management starts with a broad understanding of dollars and cents.

See you in St. Louis!