November 25, 2004
NDSU Students Seek Farmers, Ranchers for Class
North Dakota State University students are looking for a few good farmers.
As part of an advanced farm management course, students will work with about 14 farmers and ranchers in North Dakota and Minnesota to develop integrated farm business plays, said Eric DeVuyst, an assistant professor in the Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department. He is the course’s instructor.
“Cooperating farmers will come away from this with an extensive analysis of their farming operation that will allow them to see where they stand relative to peer groups and the industry,” DeVuyst said. “They’ll also have a long-range business plan for the next three to five years that encompasses production, financing and marketing.”
DeVuyst said potential cooperators should be within 150 miles of Fargo, and have basic records for their operation, including balance sheets and income statements.
“Farms can be large or small, financially strong or struggling,” he said. “A diversity of farm types and financial condition will give students a broader base of experiences.”
To participate, farmers must make their production and financial records available to the students. The students will keep those records confidential, DeVuyst said. Participating producers also will need to be available to meet with the student team one or two times during the semester to answer questions about records and goals.
A team of two to four students will evaluate a farm and suggest management opportunities to improve long-term viability. Each participating farmer will receive the team’s final report. The report will include detailed production analysis; a five-year production, marketing and financial plan; and recommendations.
This is the sixth year that farmers will be involved in the course.
“The last five years, both the farmers and the students found this to be an educational and enjoyable experience, and many producers expressed interest in being involved in future classes,” DeVuyst said.
To take part in the project, contact DeVuyst at (701) 231-7466 or email@example.com by Jan. 7, 2005.