Online course helps farmers dial in financials

An extension educator says new online courses can help farmers take their financial management to the next level.

Katie Wantach with the University of Wisconsin Extension is a former ag lender who now helps farmers with financial management. “How do we take the records that we have and keep them in a way that is very accessible because garbage in is garbage out, and so we want to make sure that people are collecting the right records and putting them in, and analyzing them, and really understanding what that data looks like.”

Wantach says the new Farm Pulse financial management online course allows farmers to learn at their own pace. “We provide you with some ideas for record keeping, what to keep and how to do it, and then we look at the financial statements, so if you’ve never prepared a balance sheet, income statement, or statement of cash flows before, we provide that information.”

Wantach says Farm Pulse helps farmers understand what their data means and how to improve the farm business. “These are case farms for them to kind of look at and say, hey, how does this compare to my operation or here’s an example, especially for beginning farmers that have never gotten started.”

Farm Pulse has eight study modules, and participants can earn a certificate, which some lenders and Farm Service Agency programs require.

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