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Enterprise Selection


Alternative Meat Marketing - Market research, enterprise selection, value-added and start-up considerations for direct and other alternative meat marketing strategies.

ATTRA - Many of their publications feature information on existing and developing markets for a wide array of enterprises.

"Evaluating a Rural Enterprise" Self- assessment and enterprise selection for established farmers.

"Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating the Feasibility of New Farm-Based Enterprises" User-friendly overview of enterprise selection and business planning. Written for established farms that are considering adding a new enterprise, but of use to beginning farmers as well. A NRAES publication available from the NESFI Bookstore.

"Forest Landowner's Guide to Evaluating and Choosing a Forest-Based Enterprise" This publication from the National Resource, Agriculture and Engineering Service has worksheets to help assess potential enterprises taking into consideration personal and family goals, and available resources.  Includes descriptions and detailed budgets for 13 forest-based enterprises.  Available from NRAES.

Grower to Grower:  Creating a livelihood on a fresh market vegetable farm - 2005 Report from the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) at the University of Wisconsin that looks at profitability of small farms ranging from 1/2 acre to more than 70 acres.

"Keys to Success in Value-Added Agriculture" Summary of considerations in value-added enterprise selection based on interviews with successful producers.

Penn State Agriculture Alternatives Series - These pages offer revenues and yields for a wide range of crop and livestock enterprises.

The Planning for Profit Series - This British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries site features information on yields for a wide array of crops.

Profiles from Working Woodlands - This publication of the Massachusetts Woodlands Institute offers case studies of forest-based enterprises, from understory crops to tourism.  Downloadable as a PDF file.

"You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise" One of the few books written explicitly for aspiring farmers from non-farming backgrounds. The guidelines for enterprise selection may be of particular use to Explorers. Available from the NESFI Bookstore.

Wholesale Prices - This New Farm website is updated weekly and features organic and conventional wholesale prices for the East and West coasts. It is a useful baseline pricing resource even if you plan to direct market.

On-Farm Processing: A Handbook for Producers. Davidson, Pat. British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, 1994. Manual on starting value-added product enterprises.

Making it on the Farm: Increasing Sustainability Through Value-Added Processing and Marketing. Richards, Keith, and Deborah Wechsler. Elkins, AR: Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, 1996. Introduction to on-farm processing. Available from SSAWG Publications, P.O. Box 324, Elkins, AR  72727.

The Organic Farmer's Business Handbook: A Complete Guide to Managing Finances, Crops and Staff - and Making a Profit.  Wiswall, Richard.  Chelsea Green Publishing, 2009.  Companion CD has some sample crop budgets and electronic templates to create enterprise budgets.