The Farm Management Project is a major strength of the University of Manitoba’s Agriculture Diploma program. Each project consists of a detailed analysis of a farms’ unique business and production history. By the end of their studies, each student will have the opportunity develop a comprehensive plan for the farms’ coming year. Each student eventually presents their plan to a panel of academic and industry experts where they demonstrate their knowledge of agricultural production and business management as well as their communication and critical thinking skills.
The process for developing this farm plan starts in the fall term of first year as part of the course DAGR 0480 Introductory Farm Management. The project continues each term as the student meets the requirements for the courses DAGR 0490 Applied Farm Management, DAGR 0980 Farm Management Project 1, and DAGR 0990 Farm Management Project 2.
The “farm” selected for this project can be:
1. A real farm business
2. A case farm (the School has developed several case farms)
3. A blend between a real farm business and a case farm.
Students start this project by gathering financial information for the farm. They will prepare a start of year Balance Sheet for December 1st. It will consist of determining all assets and liabilities for the farm, including but not limited to:
|- Accounts Receivable||- Supplies|
|- Crops and Feed||- Livestock (market and breeding)|
|- Machinery listing||- Buildings|
|- Land||- Other Farm Assets|
|- Current Accounts Payable||- Operating Loans|
|- Accrued Interest on Loans||- Inventory of Term Loans|
The students will then proceed to record a 12-month cash flow starting December 1st and preparing a year-end Balance Sheet for November 30th.
The ideal experience is when students have access to production and financial records for a real farm and learn about the current and historic management from the collaborating farm manager. Not all students have this opportunity so the School has developed several case farms that students use for their project. Students receive a description of the case farm with historic financial data. Students then have to determine a location and supply production data for the case farm. This requires some imagination and research. Students using a case farm are encouraged to find a farmer who can serve as a mentor who has production knowledge and data that could be included in the case farm. A third blended option is also available that where production data and income and expenses for the real farm is usually provided with limited access to other financial information.