Compass Toolbox is an ongoing project at CIAS that involves the development of whole farm profit management tools and workshops. Our tools are designed to help growers improve on-farm decision making and financial farm planning in order to maximize profitability and ensure the continuation of sustainable farms.
The system focuses on comprehensive spreadsheets designed to facilitate the analysis of farm records. Using cost, sales and labor data, the tools calculates the costs of production and the profitability of market channels (e.g., CSA, farmers market, wholesale, retail). For example, a grower can learn if broccoli sales are more lucrative at farmers markets or through wholesale distributors. The spreadsheets require farmers to enter financial, labor and sales data, creating a holistic picture of their farm financials. The tools can also be used to predict the financial impact of different farm scenarios for the future and to assess financial progress. Such information can help farmers locate their efficiencies, set prices based on actual costs of production, and increase farm profits.
A new and improved Livestock Compass spreadsheet is now available for meat and egg producers on the Compass Toolbox website.