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Business planning workshop for farmers slated Saturday in Hutchinson, Minn.

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture encourages specialty crop growers and small farm operators to take part in an intensive, one-day workshop March 9 in Hutchinson for writing a business plan.

“Heading into a farm venture without a business plan is like setting off on a trip without a map. Having a business plan can help you make sound decisions and if you veer off course, it can help you get back on track,” said Department of Agriculture administrator Meg Moynihan.

Ridgewater College Farm Business Management instructors Steve Zenk and Mike Mastey and several others will teach the hands-on workshop. By the end of the day, attendees can expect to have a full business plan in a form that is ready to be implemented on their farms. Spouses or farm partners are strongly encouraged to attend together.

Workshop topics will include: mission and goals (writing a mission statement, goal statements, and background); organizational and operational plans (writing organizational and operational plans, business structure, defining job duties); marketing plans (market channels, volume, pricing); and financial statements (balance sheet, cash flow, profit and loss).

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson. Registration cost is $50, and additional people from the same farm operation pay $25 each. The fee includes noon lunch, breaks, materials and half an academic credit at Ridgewater College.

A brochure is available at or by calling call instructor Steve Zenk at 320-523-5468.

This workshop is hosted by Ridgewater College’s Farm Business Management Program, with assistance and funding support from other agencies and organizations.