FAYETTEVILLE – Farm Credit is now accepting applications for the fourth class of an e-learning financial and business planning course called Ag Biz Planner. The course is available to North Carolina farm families and is partially funded through a grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.
The Ag Biz Planner curriculum includes financial and business planning, budgeting and other money matters essential to a farm’s success. The online training will be offered statewide through North Carolina’s three Farm Credit associations.
This program is funded by a $51,775 grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. The N.C. General Assembly established the commission in 2000 to help tobacco farmers, farm workers and related businesses impacted by the transition out of tobacco farming. The commission’s funding comes from money paid by cigarette manufacturers as a result of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.
Farm Credit’s e-learning program targets young, beginning, small, and minority farmers throughout the state. Participants will be assigned a Farm Credit loan officer to serve as a mentor throughout the course. Highlights of the program include modules that cover business and personal financial planning, understanding income statements, cash flow, and the smart use of credit on the farm. Each participant will have completed a business plan for their operation at the conclusion of the class. Priority will be given to former tobacco farmers and others impacted by the Tobacco buyout. The grant provides training for 30 producers.
AgCarolina Financial, Cape Fear Farm Credit, and Carolina Farm Credit are accepting applications for the program which will begin in October 2012 and run through March 2013. Applications, a course outline, program information, and testimonials from past participants are available at the following websites: www.CarolinaFarmCredit.com, www.AgCarolina.com, www.CapeFearFarmCredit.com. Applications will be accepted through September 3, 2012. Up to 30 individuals will be selected to participate in the program. The course will conclude with a group conference in Raleigh in March 2013.
“This is a unique opportunity for a group of farmers to learn and benefit in ways that will certainly improve their family farm operations,” said William Upchurch, Executive Director of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.
Farm Credit is the state’s largest agricultural lender. Carolina Farm Credit (www.carolinafarmcredit.com) serves the western half of the state. AgCarolina Financial (www.agcarolina.com) serves the Triangle and northeastern part of the state. Cape Fear Farm Credit (www. capefearfarmcredit.com) serves the southeastern part of the state.
Farm Credit is a nationwide system of financial cooperatives owned by its member-borrowers. Farm Credit has nearly 14,600 borrowers in North Carolina and $3 billion in outstanding loans in the state. Farm Credit provides loans to finance farm land, buildings, operating expenses equipment and livestock. Farm Credit also provides rural home loans and crop insurance. The system was established by Congress in 1916. For more information, visit www.agfirst.com/map-nc.html.