Learning the Business of Farming

There’s a lot to keep up with when it comes to the business of farming. Keith Knudson is a Farm Business Management Instructor at the Dakota College at Bottineau. He said the college has programs made for farmers in all aspects of the business.

“We work with more than 500 farmers across the state of North Dakota, working with them on their financial statements and the financial situations that they currently have,” he said. “We help them look back on last year’s financials and compare that with other farmers in their area. Then we also help them work with where they’re going next year and help them work with cash flow statements so that they know when they need the money they need in order to keep farming.”

He said of keen interest is how to keep the family business running for generations to come.

“Succession planning is very important and so we have a program that helps farmers allow them to pass their farm on to their children and their children’s children. It’s very important because we want to keep farms in North Dakota and keep them with the families,” he said.

Knudson explained the classes teach the farmers about several aspects of financial planning.

“Farmers can learn about different types of record keeping systems. They can learn what to look for in the next year as far as costs go. We also help them work with their taxes or Schedule F forms, too,” he said.

With last year’s tax season coming up, Knudson said it’s a good time to be thinking about how to make this year better.

“There’s always planning for this year, of course,” he said. “Last year is pretty much behind us now, so as far as what they can do for last year, it’s a little bit late. But, we always like to help them plan, especially as far as their capital equipment purchases go. We also have a pretty good idea of how markets are going next year so we can help them plan accordingly.”

Farmers and others who are interested in the classes can contact Dakota College and ask about the farm business management classes.


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