Starting and Running Your Own Small Farm Business

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You Can Farm for a Living

With entrepreneurial drive, a practical business plan, and some marketing savvy, you can run a successful small-farm business that brings your products to your target audience. The demand for fresh, local, ...

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Starting & Running Your Own Small Farm Business: Small-Farm Success Stories * Financial Assistance Sources * Marketing & Selling Ideas * Business Plan Forms & Documents

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You Can Farm for a Living

With entrepreneurial drive, a practical business plan, and some marketing savvy, you can run a successful small-farm business that brings your products to your target audience. The demand for fresh, local, organic, naturally raised, lovingly crafted, or sustainably produced small-farm products is on the rise. With seasoned farmer Sarah Beth Aubrey as your guide, discover how you can make the most of these opportunities.

Learn how to:
*Develop a viable business plan
*Conduct market research
*Secure financing
*Comply with USDA and other food safety guidelines
*Protect your assets
*Determine correct product pricing
*Choose your selling venues: farmers' markets, farmstands, the Web, direct mail, wholesalers
*Create a marketing plan that tells your story
*Adjust and revise your plan as your business grows

Throughout, Aubrey includes profiles of successful farm businesses for inspiration, as well as checklists, contracts, and sample forms to keep you on track.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Great tips for newbies who need to determine the feasibility of following their dreams, and still helpful to those who have been at it awhile.”


“Aubrey leads the agri-preneur from business plan to market research, from USDA guidelines to product pricing and into the strange world of marketing….This book will help farm operators find a plans that works for them.”

Berkshire Eagle

“Here is everything you need to know about launching a small agricultural enterprise, from initial start-up to consumer marketing.”

American Small Farm

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580176972
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 1/16/2008
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 223,884
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Beth Aubrey is the author of Starting and Running Your Own Small Farm Business and The Profitable Hobby Farm. She holds a B. S. in Agricultural Communications from the University of Illinois. Aubrey is also the owner of Prosperity Consulting, LLC, a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise.

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Table of Contents



1 Build a Plan
Components of a Business Plan
Altering Your Business Plan
Profile: Sweeter Song Farm CSA

2 Test the Waters
Choosing Your Research Methodology
Questionnaire Development
Administering the Questionnaire
Profile: Leelanau Natural Beef

3 Get the Money
Financing Options
Simple Financial Statements
Profile: Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, LLC

4 Choose Your Business Type
Professional Financial and Legal Advisors
Business Entity Types
Profile: Chaney's Dairy Barn

5 Follow the Rules
Make the Rules Work for You
Common Practices and Where to Find Information
Food Safety
Profile: WaxinkMoon Artisan Goat Cheese

6 Protect Your Assets
Selecting Liability Insurance
Insurance Recommendations and Limits
Other Ways You're Covered
Profile: Tulmeadow Farm Store, Inc.

7 Price Your Products
Setting Your Prices
Wholesale versus Retail
Comparative Prices
Pricing for Breakeven
Money Collection Options
Profile: Lee Farms, LLC

8 Select Your Selling Venues
Types of Selling Venues
Profile: Homestead Growers, Inc.

9 Spread the Word
Creating a Marketing Plan
Effective Branding
Other Brand-Building Ideas
Profile: Huber's Orchard and Winery

10 Reflect and Revise
Years Two through Five
Profile: Chileno Valley Ranch


A: Business Plan
B: Sample Market Research Questionnaire
C: Simple Advertising and Marketing Budget for New Business
D: Press Release/Customer Correspondence
E: Sample Venture Capital Agreement
F: Profit and Loss Statement
G: Cash Flow Comparison
H: Resources


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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    H R

    Great book by a knowledgable author. Has lots of info you can use....excellent

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