Farm to Fork


2017 Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

Date: November 28-29, 2017
Location: UW-Madison Pyle Center

Midwest CSA Conference

Date: December 7-8, 2017
Location: Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference

Date: January 21-23, 2018
Location: Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, WI

more events


The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more

Enterprise Budgets Help Farmers Plan for Profits

Posted April 2006


Are you considering a new value-added business for your farm? Budgeting tools from the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison can help you make informed decisions about a variety of livestock and specialty food enterprises.

CIAS has created a set of budgets to help farmers plan for new or existing poultry, dairy goat, dairy sheep and specialty food enterprises. By entering specific data from their operations, farmers can use these budget spreadsheets to weigh the pros and cons of starting or expanding these types of businesses.

“”Before starting a new enterprise, it is critical to know whether or not it has potential to make money for you,”” said farmer and economist Don Schuster, who developed the budgets. “”These enterprise budgets can help reduce some of the risk involved in a new business venture by helping growers see the potential for profit before they spend any money,”” he added.

The enterprise budgets and detailed instructions are available on the CIAS web site: (type “enterprise budget” into the search engine). The budgets are Excel 2000 spreadsheets. County Extension offices may be able to help farmers download and work with the budgets if they are unable to access them at home. Schuster recommends reading the instructions thoroughly before using the budget spreadsheets, which were developed for people with some farm management experience.

The enterprise budgets were developed with support from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, a USDA Agricultural and Entrepreneurship Education Extension Grant and the UW Cooperative Extension Emerging Agricultural Markets Team.

Links to specific enterprise budgets
Poultry enterprise budget
Dairy sheep enterprise budget
Dairy goat enterprise budget
Specialty foods enterprise budget