2-Day Financial Planning Workshop for Producers

Title: 2-Day Financial Planning Workshop for Producers
Location: Brandon Research Centre, Brandon MB
Date: February 21 and 22, 2013
Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Cows and grass are important to producers, but so are the numbers that reflect the economics of their farms.

Producers know that holistic financial planning is vital to the success of their operation. Speaker Len Pigott, certified holistic management educator, will show participants how to manage this process right on their computer. This is a hands-on workshop. Computer and spreadsheet program are required.

It is recommended that participants have completed the six-day holistic management course.

FEE: $75 per farm couple

To REGISTER or receive further information:

contact: Michael Thiele, Grazing Club Co-ordinator
e-mail: mthiele@mymts.net
ph: (204)635-6334

Further detailed description of this workshop: 

This two-day course provides a frame work that producers can take home and apply to better manage the financial aspect of their operations. “The attendees will develop complete, profitable financial plans for 2013,” said Piggot. “They will be based on their own operations and goals and they will learn how to track their progress using cash flow projections throughout the year. They will be able to see how profitable their operations are and the steps they need to take to maintain or increase profitability.”

“Recent emergencies like the flooding of 2011 and the drought of 2012 have made a lot of people realise they have few contingencies in place to cover additional expenses or reductions in income that such events cause,” says Piggot. “The workshop is a great place to start learning how to develop a cushion against these kinds of emergencies.”

It begins by turning conventional wisdom on its head. Instead of starting with a plan that deducts projected expenses from income and sees what’s left over, the holistic financial planning approach takes a gross revenue figure to start, deducts the desired profit margin off the top and then allocates the remainder to expenses. “A core holistic goal is to be profitable,” says Piggot. “So you need to turn a psychological step into reality and take gross income and decide what you want your profit percentage to be.” The premise is that if a producer focuses too much on expenses he will prevent himself from increasing profit. “It sounds simple,” says Pigott, “but it’s a big transition in thinking for a lot of people.”

The planning process that Piggot covers will help producers predict their annual income and expenses for each farm operation, i.e. livestock, crops etc. A cash flow is developed from these figures, which forms a blueprint against which actual monthly incomes and expenditures can be compared. The idea is to avoid the “squeeze” of unexpected cash shortfalls where incoming cash may not meet outgoing expenses, so farmers can proactively decide if they need to reduce expenses or borrow more money ahead of time.

Planning shouldn’t just be about immediate cash needs and decisions should meet criteria based upon core holistic principles of lifestyle, protection of the resource and production sustainability.

Although some expenses are fixed such as loan payments and land taxes, it’s “wealth generating” expenses which should get the most attention. Piggot cites an example of converting fence land into paddocks for planned grazing that increases the carrying capacity of the land. “That’s a wealth generating expense,” he says. Piggot estimates that fewer than 5% of farmers go through a formal financial planning process, which is why he encourages farmers to attend these workshops and learn how to help themselves become more profitable.

The workshops are funded though the Agri-Extension Environment Program, an initiative of MAFRI (in co-operation with Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the Manitoba Forage Council), which aims to encourage the adoption of environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.

Start Date: 2013-02-21
End Date: 2013-02-22