Northeast Ohio Small Farm Financial College Registration Now Open!

By: Andrew Holden, Extension Educator – Ag & Natural Resources in Ashtabula County


 Small and beginning farmers in NE Ohio are encouraged to participate in the new in-depth farm management educational program! The college will consist of two Saturday courses to be held on the Saturday of October 28 and the Saturday of November 4, 2023. Both days will run from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM with lunch included. Both days will be held at 4-H Camp Whitewood at 7983 S Wiswell Rd, Windsor, OH 44099. The cost for the college is $100 per participant, with the option to bring an additional family/farm member for $50. This program also qualifies attendees for the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program. Those interested in receiving this credit would be subject to additional requirements and fees (More information is available later in this release and online). Those interested in participating in this college or those seeking more information are encouraged to check out our website at:

This course will offer 10 hours of farm management education that will help start your farm on the path to financial success. The college is designed to help landowners examine potential ways to increase profits on their small acreage properties. The program is open to all new or aspiring farmers, new rural landowners, small farmers, and farm families looking for new ideas.  During this college, participants will be challenged to develop realistic expectations for their new farm business. They will receive information on getting started, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their property, and developing a farm business plan. Information on farm finances, insurance, liability, labor and marketing will be covered during the college. Instructors include OSU Extension Educators Andrew Holden from Ashtabula County and Lee Beers from Trumbull County, and David Marrison, Professor and Field Specialist in Farm Management, Interim Director for the Farm Financial Management & Policy Institute.

The two days will consist of four sessions:

Session I Getting Started on Your New Farm Business

  • Developing real-life expectations for your farm.
  • Assessing your property and resources.
  • Developing a farm business plan, including setting your family and farm mission, goals and objectives.
  • Understanding farm business structures.

Session IIYou Can’t Measure What You Don’t Track. Farm Recordkeeping, Budgets and Taxes.

  • Recordkeeping for farm businesses.
  • Using enterprise budgets to project farm income.
  • Developing cost of production projections.
  • Introduction to farm taxes.

Session III Money, Money, Money! Managing your Small Farm’s Finances

  • Developing a family and farm balance sheet.
  • Developing financial statements including cash flow and income statements.
  • Managing family and farm income and expenses.

Session I – The Legal Side of Farm Financial Management

  • Legal instruments for farm financing.
  • Loan options for small farms.
  • Farm leases and contracts.
  • Overview of risks on the farm.
  • Liability insurance needs for small farms.

This two Saturday course will feature both live, in-person lectures, recordings from other state specialist, hands-on activities, take home assignments, and the ability to apply what is taught directly to your new or current farming operation.

Thank you to our Sponsors:

OSU Extension-Ashtabula & Trumbull Counties

OSU Beginner and Small Farms Program

Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute (FFMPI)

Risser Farm Management Fund

Bruns Insurance Services

 Beginner Farmer Tax Credit Program

Created through House Bill 95 and signed into law on April 21, 2022, the Beginner Farmer Tax Credit Program offers two income tax credits beginning in tax year 2023 in following two categories:

Beginning Farmers

Beginning farmers who attend a financial management program will receive a tax credit for the cost of attending an approved farm financial management program. This college is an approved program.

Asset Owners

Individuals/business that sell or rent farmland, livestock, buildings, or equipment to beginning farmers will receive a tax credit of 3.99% for one of the following:

  • In the case of a sale, the sale price.
  • In the case of a rental, the gross rental income that the individual or business received during the first three years of the rental agreement.
  • In the case of a rental through a share-rent agreement, the gross rental income received during the first three years of the share-rent agreement. A share-rent agreement is an arrangement by which, in exchange for the rented assets, the beginning farmer provides the owner of the assets with a specified portion of the farm products produced from the assets.

For more information on the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, go to

Those who would like to be eligible for this credit must complete some additional work and pay an additional $200 to receive the certificate. More information on this or the course in general, is available online at or by contacting Andrew Holden at or calling 440-576-9008.


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