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Successful farm managers in the twenty-first century and beyond will be using the best practices of farm management like enterprise and whole farm budgeting, farm accounting techniques, investment analysis, economic principles, risk and uncertainty management, and agricultural marketing. This study describes the extent to which Kentucky small and medium-sized farms apply the best practices and the effect they have on farm profitability. Data was collected in 2017 through a survey mailed to 850 owners of small and medium-sized farms. Results indicate that the majority of the farms indicated to be very good at production. Few of the farms have a complete set of skills necessary to apply the best practices. Furthermore, the study shows that farm financial position (based on balance sheet) and profitability (based on income statements) are significantly strong among farms that apply the best practices. Finally, the study indicates that farm profitability is positively correlated with farm characteristics such size, location, revenue, form (sole, partnership, corporation), enterprise types (crop, animal, fresh produce) and owner’s characteristics (age, education, experience, and gender). These findings are relevant, useful, and beneficial to owners of small and med-sized farms and to Extension agents and policy makers for their efforts to assist farmers.


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