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Sample Worksheet (16)

Excerpts from the Explorer Workbook 

© Copyright The New England Small Farm Institute, 2003


Physical Resources Inventory

Your personal assets will likely include physical resources that can be used in operating your business, as distinct from assets you may sell to raise cash to invest in your business. It is important to inventory these resources, and to assess their suitability for use in your new venture. For example, will your home garden tractor be powerful enough to use on the five acres you plan to farm commercially? Will you be able to use the computer and printer your children use for school projects, or should you plan to have separate office equipment?

While you are documenting what you already have, you can also begin your list of the land, buildings, tools and equipment you will need to acquire for start-up, and estimate their costs. NESFI's "DACUM Occupational Profile for Northeast Small Scale ‘Sustainable' Farmer" includes an extensive list of tools, equipment, supplies, and materials that its farmer participants thought were important. While you may not need all of these items to start your own business, reviewing the list is a great way to start thinking about your own needs.

For each item in Worksheet #16, indicate whether you have access to it currently, and if you will need it to begin your farm business. For example:

Item Quantity, Quality, Limitations Need Date Need Start-Up Cost Comment
Tillable land Can rent three acres behind grandmother's house, good soil but somewhat rocky, long-term use potential unclear Have This spring None, will rent monthly For now OK; need more acreage eventually.  Prefer a long-term lease or ownership in future.

For resources that you need to acquire, you may want to list both the full cost of the item over time and the amount of money that you will need initially. For example, if you plan to borrow money to buy a $25,000 tractor that requires a 10% down payment, the amount of cash you need to obtain the tractor is $2,500. The remaining $22,500 will be paid from your business over time, as you repay the loan.

As you make this list, use the "Date Need" column to identify those items you will need right away, and those which can be deferred. This will help later if you need to set priorities based on available financial resources.

When you have completed Worksheet #16, summarize your assessment on the Section Three Worksheet Summary, page 53.

Assess Your Physical Resources - Worksheet #16 (see left)




© Copyright The New England Small Farm Institute, 2003