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Farming in the New Year

Farming in the New Year

Farming in the New Year

As we get started in a new year, resolutions abound and we set our sights on making improvements over the previous year. In conjunction, the mission statement of Alabama Extension is to “enable people to improve their quality of life and economic well-being.” One main goal of the Extension farm management team is to reach more producers and enable them to improve the quality of their financial records. In 2018, we met with a number of producers and were encouraged by both the feedback and progress we made.

One question that’s always important to answer is “why?” Why would a producer care to maintain their financial information? There are several reasons, but one major factor is simply being able to make good decisions for the farm. It’s hard to fully understand a situation with incomplete information. In this regard, how could an owner know if the business is doing well or making money without an accurate record of what is happening? Other benefits include: having information necessary for other parts of the business, knowing the value of the business, support in case of an audit, and the ability to discern trends and make associated adjustments over time.

Profitable producers generally are the ones able to make incremental changes to their business from year-to-year. Meaning a small reduction in cost and a small increase in revenue from last year could end up being the difference between making money or not. Good records enable producers to see areas where changes are possible and likely ways that the business can improve upon what they are currently doing. If you think you or someone you know could benefit from improving their farm financial records, reach out to your local Extension office.

As is typically the case, appointments and training received are at no-cost to anyone, part of the Extension mission of helping citizens without regard to compensation, ability/income of producers, or any other characteristic. Training can come in the form of a one-on-one meeting set up at a preferred date and time, or with enough interest classes can be held to accommodate up to 10 farmers in one meeting. Producers should leave with enough knowledge and know-how to set up a simple and effective system for tracking financial information. Again, if you think you or someone you know could benefit from improving their farm financial records, reach out to the Chambers Extension Office at (334) 864-9373 and ask to speak to a Farm and Agribusiness Agent. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Everyone is welcome!

 

Cost-Share Program for Specialty Crop Producers

Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries Announces Cost-Share Program for Specialty Crop Producers

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (November 28, 2018) — The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is pleased to announce a cost-share program for specialty crop growers to alleviate the cost associated with GAP/GHP certification.

 

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits are voluntary inspections that evaluate how fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored. The goal is to ensure that food is produced in the safest manner possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.

 

The cost-share program will reimburse farmers that have successfully passed a GAP/GHP certification for 75% of the cost up to a maximum of $500 per year.

 

“We are always looking for ways to help our state’s producers grow and expand,” said Commissioner John McMillan. “GAP/GHP certification is required by most schools, grocers, and wholesalers. By providing financial assistance, we are helping our farmers reach those markets.”

 

Funds for this program are provided through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Reimbursements are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until the funds are depleted.

 

If you are interested in applying for the program or have questions, please visit agi.alabama.gov or contact Don Wambles at 334-240-7247 or don.wambles@agi.alabama.gov

 

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Brittany Carter

Marketing and Development

Alabama Dept. of Agriculture & Industries

334/240-7107 office

334/546-1488 cell