Farm Business Overview

A pair of eyeglasses sitting on a book. (Copyright IStock)Business options for small-scale producers are diverse. Find the business planning tools you need to enhance your farming or ranching success.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Small and midsize producers provide new opportunities for American agriculture across the country. This page provides small and midsize producers valuable resources and program information about access to capital, land management and conservation practices, managing risk, finding local markets, and other educational resources."

Renewing the Countryside Project.

Stories from people in every state who are "making a difference" in rural communities along with a comprehensive list of information and assistance resources.

Community and Rural Development Institute.

CARDI, based at Cornell University, features publications and other resources that focus on land use, "Main Street Revitalization," health and safety, community capacity and economic development.

USDA. Economic Research Service.

One chapter of this report examines farm numbers and size, major land uses, farm real estate values, and the relationship between land ownership, farm size and other characteristics. Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2012 Edition, describes trends in economic, structural, resource, and environmental indicators in the agriculture sector, focusing on changes since the release of Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2006 Edition.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Center for Applied Rural Innovation.

CARI, an "interdisciplinary research and extension center, uses a holistic approach to development that focuses on the economic and social interdependence of agriculture, communities and families." Research and reports on entrepreneurship, rural issues, sustainable agriculture and more.

Center for Rural Affairs.

Private, non-profit organization, working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches and rural communities. Research and publications focus on corporate farming and market access, entrepreneurship and economic development, conservation, high value markets, beginning farmer and rancher opportunities and rural schools.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

This guide identifies Federal programs and policies related to sustainable agriculture and describes how they can be used by U.S. farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations. Program areas include: Socially Disadvantaged Farmers, Conservation and Environment, Credit and Crop Insurance, Food Safety, Local and Regional Food Systems, Organic Production, Renewable Energy, Rural Development, and Sustainable and Organic Research,

USDA. NAL. Rural Information Center.

RIC's comprehensive list of documents and Web links are arranged by topic including Business; Community Utilities; Economic and Rural Development; Environmental and Sustainable Development; and Labor, Employment and Job Growth.