2024 Building Farmers and Ranchers Business Development Program 

The Colorado Building Farmers and Ranchers program builds community and capacity in agriculture.



Course Dates: 

January 23-March 12, 2024


Tuesdays evenings, 6pm-8:30pm from January 23-March 12, 2024


Online, via Zoom


Agricultural producers with less than 10 years of farming experience


$225 per participant, and $125 for each additional participant from the same farm business

Course Details:

From January 23, 2024 to March 12, 2024, course facilitators and instructors will guide new and beginning farmers (those with 0 to 10 years of experience) through a series of eight online evening classes designed to explore agriculture as a business, including:

  • The principles of business management
  • Developing a marketing plan
  • Managing risk
  • Obtaining financing
  • and more.

The program also provides more experienced farmers and ranchers with tools and ideas to refine and enhance their business management and marketing skills. Classes are taught by farmers, ranchers and other professionals. Participants are supported with group and individual exercises and coaching, which result in participants creating a business plan and presenting it to a group of peers.

Class 1: January 23, 2024: - Planning for Farm Business Success

Vision/mission statements, short-term and long-term goals with clear action items for each, how personal and customer values influence the business plan, tools to perform a SWOT analysis to identify potential marketing niche, customer base, location, etc.

Class 2. January 30, 2024: - Getting Started in Agriculture

Hear how other successful growers got started, pivotal choices they made in the development of their farm business, and what those growers wish they had known when starting out.

Class 3. February 6, 2024- Strategic Marketing

Develop a strategic market position and strategy consistent with the mission developed in the business plan; and create a marketing plan that includes product, pricing, placement/market channel and promotion goals and strategies, while identifying how customers, costs and competition are considered in marketing decisions.

Class 4: February 13, 2024- Managing Risk in Your Farm Business, Part 1

Variety of current risk topics including setting up an appropriate business structure for your farm/ranch; thinking about insurance for a farm/ranch business; and building a network of producers in your area to keep you and your business healthy.

Class 5: February 20, 2024- Keeping and Analyzing Financial Information for Farm Business Decision-making

Recordkeeping for decision making in business planning, including production and marketing; variable and fixed costs; develop a basic production plan including a calendar, estimated total output of product per market channel, and monthly labor estimates; estimate projected revenue by market channel; basic financial statements and their use for operational management and planning.

Class 6: February 27, 2024- Managing Risk in Your Farm Business, Part 2

Understand water use and rights in Colorado; managing labor and market risk, and accessing resources through NRCS.

Class 7: March 5, 2024- Financing Your Farm or Ranch Business

Farm loan programs available to new and beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as grants, includes discussion on how to best prepare for requesting a grant or loan.

Class 8: March 12, 2024- Business Plan Presentations

Present your plan to your peers and selected external reviewers.


Questions or additional information?

Contact Nicole at nicole.didero@colostate.edu or Martha at martha.sullins@colostate.edu

Non-Discrimination Statement

Colorado State University Extension is an equal opportunity provider. Colorado State University does not discriminate on the basis of disability and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations. CSU’s Office of Engagement and Extension ensures meaningful access and equal opportunities to participate to individuals whose first language is not English. Colorado State University Extension es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

Colorado State University no discrimina por motivos de discapacidad y se compromete a proporcionar adaptaciones razonables. Office of Engagement and Extension de CSU garantiza acceso significativo e igualdad de oportunidades para participar a las personas quienes su primer idioma no es el inglés.


Larimer County Office of Colorado State University Extension

Send email

1525 Blue Spruce Dr.
Fort Collins, CO 80524-2004

Phone: (970) 498-6000 

7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Our office follows the Larimer County Holiday Calendar for office closures.