Farm Pulse: Financial Management and Analysis
A self-paced online course for farmers interested in learning how to use farm financials to explore their farm business decisions
Farm Pulse: Financial Management and Analysis is a self-paced online course for farmers interested in learning how to use farm financials to explore their farm business decisions. This course will help farmers evaluate their finances, take the pulse of their farm business, and set goals for the future of their operation.
What will I learn in this course?
You will learn how to:
- Identify which records to collect for your farm business
- Compare and contrast financial strengths and weaknesses
- Organize financial information into financial statements
- Define the structure of balance sheets, income statements, statements of cash flow, and statements of owner equity.
- Interpret financial statements for the analysis of a farm’s financial position and financial performance
- Illustrate your farm’s plan to communicate with your lender
Participants will choose from either a dairy or livestock and grain case farm to follow throughout a series of 8 modules, completing hands-on, interactive financial activities related to these case farms. After completing the course, participants can transfer these skills from the case farm to their own farm businesses.
The 8 modules
- Module One: Overview and introduction to the case farms
- Module Two: Farm financial model and records
- Module Three: Financial statements – balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, statement of owner equity
- Module Four: Financial position – liquidity and solvency ratios
- Module Five: Financial performance – profitability, repayment and replacement capacity, and financial efficiency ratios
- Module Six: Decision-making – DuPont Analysis, planning, and budgeting
- Module Seven: Working with your lender
- Module Eight: Next steps
The Farm Pulse: Financial Management and Analysis course is scheduled to go live July 1st, 2023!
Complete the Course Preregistration to be notified when enrollment is open.
Frequently asked questions
How much does this course cost?
The course fee is $299, which includes access to the course materials for two years. Participants are also able to meet with an instructor for a financial review at any time during the course and must meet with an instructor upon course completion to receive the Farm Pulse-Financial course certificate.
Who should register for this course?
The course is open to anyone involved in agriculture. In particular, farmers or farm managers who are interested in developing farm financial statements to explore and make informed financial and production decisions on a farm business. Farm Pulse – Financial does fulfill education requirements for USDA Farm Service Agency loan borrowers in Wisconsin.
Can I register at any time?
Yes. The course is available on demand, allowing you to work through the course at your own pace and on your own time. After registration and payment, you will receive credentials to log in to Canvas, UW’s online learning management system. Canvas’ browser-based interface works on multiple devices, allowing you to progress through the course wherever and whenever you have internet access.
Approximately how long does the course take to complete?
This course will take approximately 5-6 hours. The course is comprised of 8 modules of asynchronous online learning, which allows you to view instructional materials at any time and does not include a live video lecture component. The course lessons feature short readings and/or videos teaching key concepts. Knowledge checks will feature interactive learning experiences. And each lesson concludes with a short quiz to reiterate the learning objectives for the lesson and provides you with immediate feedback, as opposed to waiting for instructors to grade them. A course outline will be provided to assist you in tracking your progress. Additional time may be spent applying the information to your own farm business.
What materials will I need to complete this online course?
You must have internet access.
Other software that will be used in this course:
- Adobe Reader: Download the latest version of Adobe Reader to view PDF (portable document format) files. Note: Do not select the optional offer for McAfee Security Scan Plus.
- Word Processor, Presentation, and Spreadsheet Software: Choose from the following options:
- Microsoft Office (free for UW-Madison students through Office 365 portal; for PC or Mac)
- Google Docs (free cloud service; web browser-based)
- OpenOffice (free download; for PC or Mac)
Is this online course accessible for people who require special needs or services?
Yes. UW-Madison has specific accessibility requirements regarding online content, both to benefit learners and to comply with the law. We have designed the Farm Pulse-Financial online course content to meet those requirements.
Will additional Farm Pulse courses be offered?
Yes! An Organic Farm Pulse – Financial Management and Analysis course will be developed and launched in late 2023. Also, a Farm Pulse course(s) will be developed in 2023/2024 on the topics of risk management, grain marketing, and crop insurance.
Who should I contact if I have more questions?
For more information, contact Katie Wantoch, Farm Pulse instructor, at email@example.com or 608-354-3992.
The Farm Pulse: Financial Management and Analysis work is supported by USDA/NIFA grant under Award Number 2018-70027-28586.