Ag Finance Boot Camp: Sharpen Your Financial IQ

By Mike Wilson

Ramping up your business skills makes sense any time, but especially now, with thin projected margins for agriculture. If you can spare a day, join us for the 2017 Farm Futures Ag Finance Boot Camp, taking place Jan. 18 at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. This one-day workshop, sponsored by FarmerMac, Farm Credit and Grinnell Mutual, is designed for business-focused farmers, bookkeepers and office managers of all skill levels. In just one day you will:

— learn to more accurately assess the strengths and weaknesses of your farm operation, and understand how to work with lenders to get what you need; 

— be able to use financial information to improve, year-over-year, and learn the importance of accurate year-end information; 

— learn why working capital is considered a risk management tool for your operation, how your decisions impact working capital, and why it matters to your agricultural lender; 

— learn the difference between cash and accrual accounting and how to use them both in management analysis; 

— learn why contribution margin analysis is more valuable to your operation than net income; 

— learn how to determine if you need to employ management accounting in your farm business. 

Using financial standards in your business.

Today’s business environment in agriculture is becoming increasingly complex. The accounting systems that farmers and ranchers use must generate information for external reporting to creditors, government agencies and others. You also need good information to make good business decisions.

The Farm Financial Standards Council (FFSC) offers two sets of guidelines to aid farmers in capturing this information, preparing reports and performing financial analysis in a uniform manner. Attendees will be able to get these guidelines for free by attending the boot camp. Perhaps even more important, FFSC experts will be on hand to lead sessions and help answer questions on how the standards can help make your business more profitable. 

Time is running out. To register, go to or click the boot camp tab at The boot camp is just $225 per person, and room rates at the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf are just $69.99 per night. While you’re browsing, be sure to register for the Farm Futures Business Summit, Jan. 19-20 at the same venue and convention center. 

We are bringing experts to the workshop to help you learn how to manage the business of farming. If you fully engage and take advantage of this opportunity, you will master new skills that will help you the rest of your career. 

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