Farm Business Coaching

Farm Business Coaching is a 14-month program aimed at helping you strengthen your established businesses through in-depth expert consultations. The process begins with a farm business assessment to identify areas of opportunity.

Following the assessment, you are paired with a specialized consultant to help you take action on the key recommendations, which may range from upgrading financial record-keeping systems to improving your farm’s web presence and more.

This program is designed for farm businesses that directly market their products, including those that sell produce or meat products directly to consumers or to wholesale markets.

This program is not ideal for farm businesses that are marketing commodity crops through channels such as brokers or grain cooperatives.

Is This Program for You?

Moving a farm business from production to profitability can be challenging. This coaching program helps you focus on only the most important things in your business. You’ll identify the most pressing issues you need to address and get help working through them with individual consulting and coaching.

This program is for you if:

  • Your production is in place and you want to take your business performance to the next level.
  • Your business’ market position and profitability are eroding and you know you need to adapt.
  • Your farm is established and hasn’t reached profitability, and you know things need to change.
  • You need to raise money and know you need to get prepared to be successful.

How It Works

Once you apply and are accepted into the program, the coaching and learning process will take place in various stages over the course of several months:

Current Business Assessment (January 2023 – September 2023)

  • During the first stage, a business coach will do an in-depth evaluation of your current marketing and business practices and analyze growth opportunities.

Growth Opportunity Coaching (October 2023 – March 2024)

  • The second phase features targeted business coaching based on specific marketing and business development goals determined in the business assessment.

Throughout your time in the program, you will connect regularly with other farmers who entered the program at the same time. As part of this peer network, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences and to offer and receive mutual support, encouragement and accountability as you work to strengthen your farm business. You will also be paired with a member of this peer group for one-on-one support.

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for the Farm Business Coaching program, you must:

  1. Currently operate a farm business AND have at least five years of experience farming on your own
  2. Be either a beginning farmer or a direct marketer of local food
  3. Live and farm in Iowa or border counties of neighboring states
  4. Be a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa

Please note: Those who are currently enrolled in PFI’s Savings Incentive Program are ineligible at this time.

How to Apply

Farm Business Coaching program applications are currently open until Oct. 9, 2022. Submit your application with the form below. Please email Greg Padget at greg.padget@practicalfarmers.org for more information.

Trouble seeing the embedded form? Click here to fill out your application directly on Qualtrics.

Questions?

For questions about the program, contact Greg Padget at greg.padget@practicalfarmers.org or (515) 232-5661.