Missoula County Weed District & Extension

Planning for On-Farm Success


Are you trying to start a farm or ranch business in Montana? Maybe you’d like to add a new, direct-market enterprise to your operation to increase your business. Planning For On-Farm Success teaches you the business skills you need to succeed. Learn how to evaluate new markets, track financial information and use it to make decisions, access the right financing for your business, and manage the risks in your operation. You will receive expert instruction by presenters from the Montana university system as well as networking and Q&A with experienced producers, lenders, and ag professionals in your community. You will receive a copy of the Planning for On-Farm Success workbook and get hands-on support working on your own plans as you complete the course.  Click HERE to view the course flyer.

Register for the ENTIRE SERIES at a discounted rate or clink on the links below for more details and to register for individual workshops.



Workshops will be offered on Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30 pm.

Farm Strategic Planning– January 18th

Walks through the process of identifying goals and values for your operation and getting the basics of a plan on paper.

  • Presentations:  Seth Swanson (MSU Missoula County Extension) and Annie Heuscher (Community Food and Agriculture Coalition)
  • Local perspective:  Michael Billingsley (Western Cider Co.)
  • Click here to register for this session

Researching Your Market – January 25th

Think about your target customer and ways you can get your product to them.

  • Presentations:  Dr. Justin Angle (Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Montana Business Administration)
  • Local perspective:  Franco Salazaar (Market Manager, Clark Fork Farmer's Market), Josh Slotnick (GCH/PEAS Farm Director and Co-owner of Clark Fork Organics)
  • Click here to register for this session

Farm Marketing & Promotion– February 1st

Think about what makes your product unique, how to share that with your customers and how to set the right price for your customers and your business.

Managing Your Financials– February 8th

Understand what the numbers are that you need to be tracking and learn about the key documents that help you do track information effectively.

Financial Decision-Making – February 15th

Using all the information from the last workshop you will learn the tools that are used to make smart business decisions and how they will affect your bottom line.

Financing Your Farm – February 22nd

Learn about the different types of financing that are available and the best time to access them over the establishment and growth of your business. Learn how to prepare for a visit with your lender and ask questions of lenders in your community.

Managing On-Farm Risks – March 1st

Identify the risks and liabilities in your operation and make a plan to mitigate them and be prepared if something goes wrong.

  • Presentations:  Dr. Eric Belasco (Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture Economics, Montana State University)
  • Click here to register for this session