The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook

The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook

A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff--and Making A Profit

Book - 2009
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Chelsea Green Publishing

Contrary to popular belief, a good living can be made on an organic farm. What’s required is farming smarter, not harder.

In The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, Richard Wiswall shares advice on how to make your vegetable production more efficient, better manage your employees and finances, and turn a profit. From his twenty-seven years of experience at Cate Farm in Vermont, Wiswall knows firsthand the joys of starting and operating an organic farm—as well as the challenges of making a living from one. Farming offers fundamental satisfaction from producing food, working outdoors, being one’s own boss, and working intimately with nature. But, unfortunately, many farmers avoid learning about the business end of farming; because of this, they often work harder than they need to, or quit farming altogether because of frustrating—and often avoidable—losses.

In this comprehensive business kit, Wiswall covers:

  • Step-by-step procedures to make your crop production more efficient
  • Advice on managing employees, farm operations, and office systems
  • Novel marketing strategies
  • What to do with your profits: business spending, investing, and planning for retirement

A companion CD offers valuable business tools, including easy-to-use spreadsheets for projecting cash flow, a payroll calculator, comprehensive crop budgets for forty different crops, and tax planners.

Book News
Himself a farmer in Vermont, Wiswall also speaks and writes widely about farm profitability and appropriate business tools. Most people who take up organic farming do so for the love of the land and good food, he says, and that love is essential, but the effort too often comes to naught because the farmers neglect business aspects of making a living at it. His topics include farm for profit not production, crop enterprise budgets, effective management, office paper flows and leaky finances, retirement and business spending tactics, production efficiencies, and writing a business plan. The disk contains spreadsheets and other documents in Microsoft form. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: White River Junction, VT : Chelsea Green Pub., c2009
ISBN: 9781603581424
Branch Call Number: 631.584 W769o
Characteristics: 184 p. : ill. ; 26 cm. + 1 CD-ROM (4 3/4 in.)


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Apr 13, 2018

An excellent, comprehensive work for the beginner, small farmer.


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