The Future of the Family Farm: A Case Study for a Starting Family‐Run Operation

Family farms are unusual management situations. Not only is the manager focused on building a profitable enterprise, he or she is also aiming to create one so profitable that it supports the family that owns and works it. Also, production agriculture has extremely high barriers to entry, including specialized knowledge, significant capital investments, variable prices of product and costs of inputs, and long production cycles. Although these difficulties are factors in the declining number of agricultural producers in the United States, young people are still returning to the family farm. This case study analyzes one young couple’s whole farm management plan for starting their own operation in northeast Oklahoma, including accounting projections and financial ratio analysis. With Integrated Farm Financial Statements, software developed by Agricultural Economics Extension at Oklahoma State University, enterprise budgets and whole‐farm financial statements were constructed for the intended enterprise, and also for three alternative scenarios.

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SS-AAEA Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2011
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