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 CIAS 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: www.cias.wisc.edu (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.