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Whole Farm/Ranch Business Planning – Colorado 2018

November 30, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm


Durango, Colorado

Nov 30-Dec 1  | Dec 7-8  |  Dec 14-15

9 am – 4:30 pm each day

Let’s get down to business! While many folks are attracted to farming and ranching because of their love of the land or their desire to do truly meaningful work, farming and ranching is still a business. At HMI we know that to create a sustainable, healthy agricultural enterprise, you need to run it like a business. We’ve created this course to give both new and experienced farmers and ranchers the knowledge and tools they need to do just that. While many of our other programs teach both business and production techniques, this one will focus on the business side of your operation. Because agriculture isn’t just your passion, it’s your livelihood!

Our six-day course is taught over approximately 3 weeks in 2-day increments, so you’ll have plenty of time to start applying what you’ve learned while you’re still enrolled in the course. Each day starts at 9 am and ends at 4:30 pm. There will be plenty of time to network with other farmers/ranchers and get feedback on your coursework.


What to Expect

This in-depth course is designed to help both new and experienced farmers and ranchers learn key business, marketing and financial planning skills including:

  • Creating a business that WORKS for YOU based on your whole farm/ranch goal
  • Testing your ideas, exploring possibilities and examining feasibility
  • Learning to plan a profit, not just hope for one
  • Becoming a master of money management, budgeting and planning
  • Understanding what your value is to customers is and how to market your business
  • Establishing your best pricing, positioning & promotion strategies
  • Generating a triple bottom line – human, financial, environmental
  • Addressing organizational, legal & risk management needs
  • Networking and learning from others like yourself
  • Gaining access to valuable resources & people
  • Developing a plan for starting, marketing, growing or exiting your business



$300 per person, free for second person from the same farm or ranch. Register soon, as we havelimited space.

A limited number of scholarships are available for Colorado residents, bringing the registration cost down to $100. If you’d like to be considered for a scholarship, please contact the SW Colorado Small Business Development Center: Hannah Birdsong, Office Manager, 970-247-7009, [email protected]

Scholarship deadline: November 16, 2018
Registration deadline: November 28, 2018

If you are unable to register online, please fill out the HMI Event Registration Form and mail along with your check or money order to:

HMI – Registration Dept.
5941 Jefferson St. NE, Ste B
Albuquerque, NM 87109

This is a rain or shine series with indoor and outdoor portions. Please bring appropriate clothing and footwear to each session. Be sure to bring your lunch to class.


Meals & Lodging

You will need to bring your lunch for all class days.  Lodging is not included with your ticket. There are several hotels in Durango.

FSA Approved for Borrower Training

HMI is pleased to announce that this course, as well as a number of our other courses qualify for FSA Borrower Training Credit. Find out More.


I. November 30- December 1: Introduction to Holistic Management Whole Farm/Ranch Business Planning

Your Outcomes:

  • Identify decision makers and determine human, financial and physical resources available to your farm/ranch business
  • Clarify farm or ranch goals and explore the logic for your business
  • Learn to how to analyze and test decisions for your best possible outcomes
  • Gain skills in time management, communications and group dynamics
  • A strategy for generating a triple bottom line (social, financial and ecological)
  • Understand what it means to develop a business model that works for you


  • Implementing the eight principles and practices of Holistic Decision Making
  • Defining your management inventory
  • Creating a whole farm/ranch goal to guide your business
  • Using seven key testing questions for effective business decision making
  • Incorporating ecosystem health and quality of life into your business plan
  • Effective management techniques for your family and/or team
  • Farm/ranch communication strategies that work
  • The components of a successful business model

II. December 7-8: Holistic Financial Planning

Your Outcomes:

  • Reduce stress around financial decision-making
  • Identify the best sources of income for you
  • Start planning for a profit, not just hoping for one
  • Understand your expenses and how to manage them
  • Gain insight into money management, budgeting and accounting
  • Strategize to increase your net worth each year
  • Increase your creativity in your business
  • Leave with a financial plan you have developed


  • Nine steps of holistic financial planning
  • Integrating financial decisions with your whole farm or ranch goal
  • Testing options to determine the best enterprise(s) to engage
  • Planning a profit and managing for profitability with enterprise analysis
  • Prioritizing expenses to put money in the right place, at the right time for the right reason
  • Developing a cash flow budget to manage your business
  • Analyzing net worth and tracking progress
  • Implementing financial recordkeeping and monitoring systems

III. December 14-15: Holistic Marketing and Business Planning

Your Outcomes

  • Understand the logic behind your business model
  • Identify your potential customers
  • Know what social, economic and industry trends affect you
  • Develop products that meet your customers’ needs and wants
  • Assess the value or uniqueness of your product or service
  • Leave with a marketing strategy and plan you developed
  • Determine production and resource management strategies necessary to grow and sustain your agricultural operation
  • Create timeline for strategic initiative implementation
  • Leave with a business model that will inform your business plans for management and financing needs


  • Key business model concepts and planning approaches
  • Assessing your industry, consumer trends, target market and competition
  • Product development, placement and pricing strategies
  • Promotion and attraction strategies including use of social media
  • Creating a value proposition and marketing messages
  • Direct and wholesale marketing channels and opportunities and challenges
  • Risk management, human resources and production strategies
  • How to write a formal business plan for financing
  • How to tie your marketing and business plan to your holistic goal and financial plan to make effective strategic decisions


Locations & Directions

Durango Recreation Center: 2700 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301


Cindy Dvergsten, Holistic Management Certified Educator and Owner of Whole New Concepts, LLC

Cindy has practiced Holistic Management since 1993 and has been a Certified Educator since 1995. She serves business management consultant with the local Small Business Development Center. She has worked with new and beginning farmers, local food systems, Native Americans, and non-profits facilitating learning in natural resource management, community and organizational development, business planning and enterprise development, marketing, facilitation and consensus building, land health and biological monitoring, irrigation water management, and rare breed conservation. She has been a lifelong farmer with experience raising sheep, beef, poultry, fruits and vegetables, grass-fed production, pasture and hay. She holds a degree in Natural Resource Management and Soil Science from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Thank you to our Collaborators for helping to publicize and promote this training:

Whole New Concepts, LLC

Sponsorship opportunities available!

This course offers organizations, agencies and businesses a great opportunity to network with farmers and ranchers interested in sustainable agricultural ideas, products and services. We offer a variety of Sponsorship Opportunities to connect you with our community. Please contact Stephanie von Ancken for more information at [email protected]



November 30, 2018
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
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