There are loads of books and resources on how to produce organic crops- what varieties to plant, their nutrient needs, and cultural tips for success. But production techniques rarely limit a farm’s success: rather it is the lack of dependable profitable returns.
Farmers enjoy their work for lots of reasons: sowing seeds, working the soil, marveling at the plants that grow. Fundamental satisfaction comes from producing food, working outdoors, being one’s own boss, and working intimately with nature. But farmers often have an allergic reaction to the business end of farming and take a head-in-the-sand approach to finances. The farming and business worlds will eventually collide, and farmers are often uninformed of the business concepts and tools that are needed to navigate forward effectively and profitably.
Richard wrote The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook to help farmers become financially sustainable. In an easy to read style, Richard's book is packed with incredibly useful information that is hard to find elsewhere.
Check out the four minute video to learn more. Ordering information is outlined below.
The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook
A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff- and Making a Profit
By Richard Wiswall
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 thirty 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:
A companion CD offers easy-to-use spreadsheets for generating key financial documents such as cash-flow projections and Profit and Loss Statements, 24 comprehensive crop budgets plus templates for more, a payroll calculator and timesheet template to save time and money with employee paychecks, and a sample job description for farm workers.
The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook's list price is $34.95. You can buy it here for $32.00 with free shipping in the United States. If you'd like a signed copy, just ask. To order, send a check or money order payable to Cate Farm for $32.00 and include the address you want it shipped to. Sorry, we do not accept credit cards.
Send check or money order to:
Cate Farm Book Order
135 Cate Farm Road
Plainfield, VT 05667
Books are shipped as soon as we receive payment.
"Generous, unique, and comprehensive - this book will help every farmer to better set goals, reach those goals, and improve their bottom line!" -Ela Chapin,
Program Director, Vermont Farm Viability Enhancement Program
"Richard Wiswall has helped my business become more sustainable. Both his workshops and his book have enabled me to hone my skills in financial analysis, record keeping and all-around professionalism. His firm belief that farms can and should be financially successful provides motivation and encouragement for all of us who make our living on the land."
Wellspring Farm, Marshfield, VT
"It has been such a pleasure working with Richard over the years. Not only is he knowledgeable about the business of farming, he tempers the hard facts with humour and enthusiasm. Non-judgmental and generous with his time, we would highly recommend him to anyone wishing to start or fine-tune their farming venture."
Joy and John Primmer
Wildstone Farm, VT
"Richard is an excellent speaker and knows the ins and outs of farm finances. The examples we worked through as a group were great!”
CSA farmer, WI
Richard Wiswall has long had a practical, effective, and user-friendly approach to business management for diversified farms. He’s shared this approach by consulting with individual farmers and through his excellent book aimed at organic vegetable growers. As the Extension vegetable and berry specialist for Vermont I have seen first-hand how his advice has aided the success of farms, from start-ups to those with lots of experience. In person and on paper, Wiz has a lively style that engages farmers in thinking clearly about a topic that is at the core of farm viability.
-Vern Grubinger, VT