New business planning manual for organic transition

The booming profit potential of organic production has farmers, ranchers and SARE logofood business owners nationwide switching to organic production. But successfully managing the risky multi-year transition requires careful business planning.

SARE’s new Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs is the perfect tool to help business owners develop an actionable organic transition plan suitable for management teams and lenders. The Organic Transition Planner explores organic transition strategies and asks critical questions that help you decide whether organic makes sense for your farm or business.

Farmers bring the planning process alive by sharing their personal transition challenges and the business plans that helped them succeed. Minnesota dairy producers Nate and Angie Walter relate that going organic “was a way for us to remain a family farm. We were considering growing the farm (conventionally); getting bigger in hopes of paying off our debt. We knew that might be a losing proposition.” Organic Transition also includes an overview of certification, helpful worksheets and AgPlan, a business planning software program that facilitates the business planning process.

Organic Transition is available as a free download at this website. Print copies can be ordered for $16 plus shipping and handling by calling (301) 779-1007. Discounts are available for orders of 10 items or more.

Organic Transition can be used as a companion to SARE’s popular business planning guide, Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses. Both were written by University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics Research Fellow Gigi DiGiacomo, University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics Professor Robert P. King and Center for Farm Financial Management Associate Director Dale Nordquist.
Organic Transition was developed as part of the Tools for Transition Project, a four-year research program on the economics of organic transition funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, with support from the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. It is published by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE).

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