PSU to Offer Online Courses in Agricultural Finance Management | News, Sports, Jobs

UNIVERSITY PARK — “The Meaning of the Farm” an online course to help agricultural businesses learn how to manage their finances will be offered by Penn State Extension from October 3 through November 11.

Organizers note that agricultural businesses are different from other types of businesses and that producers must develop and maintain accurate and consistent financial and production records.

In addition to serving anyone interested in preparing financial statements, the course is designed to assist United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Services Agency loan recipients who must meet training requirements borrowers. Farm Sense meets the requirements of the production and finance training modules for borrowers.

This instructor-led course is designed to help participants better understand cash management, net worth, profit and loss, budgeting, risk management and production planning through readings, videos educational and practical issues.

Participants will create a cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement and use these documents to determine the liquidity, solvency and profitability of their business. The course instructor will review participants’ financial records and offer advice for improvement, regularly checking progress throughout the course.

The course will cover how to:

— Build a cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement.

— Organize and use financial records to make informed financial and production decisions.

— Use financial ratios to determine a company’s financial strength.

— Create a partial budget to determine if an opportunity or change has the potential to be profitable.

— Develop a risk management plan for a business.

The course will last approximately 14 hours. Courses must be completed between October 3 and November 11.

To pass the course, earn a certificate of completion, and qualify for USDA Farm Service Agency Borrower Training, participants must pass the section quizzes with an overall score of 70%; demonstrate the ability to draw up a cash flow statement, balance sheet and income statement for a business; calculate mathematical formulas that show a company’s liquidity, solvency and profitability; and complete the FSA Borrower Education Course Assessment Survey.

Participants can register until October 3 for a fee of $299. More information is available on the Penn State Extension website at

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