CARIBOU — Agricultural producers and those who would like to become producers can learn more about USDA Farm Service Agency loans and programs and get some basic business skills at the same time.
The workshop, at the Northern Maine Development Commission office in Caribou from 2-4:30 p.m. Thursday March 1, will focus on financial statements.
This free workshop will help participants understand and use financial statements to provide a clear and accurate visual of how a business is currently performing and identify opportunities for growth.
“Financial statements act as a historical record of the overall success of your business, if there is ever a decision to pass it on to family, sell the business or obtain new investors,” said Alain Ouellette, Planning and Development Director at NMDC. “New clients and suppliers may also request financial statements while trying to determine if they should conduct business with your company.”
FSA officials will also be on hand to explain federal programs and services designed to help producers learn about, and gain access to, FSA’s popular loan programs. This is the fourth of five different business training workshops for producers and would be producers. The fifth and final session will be held in the St. John Valley on Thursday, March 22 at the St. John Valley Technology Center in Frenchville.
Last year the USDA announced cooperative agreements with partners to educate producers, including those who have been historically underserved by USDA programs, about FSA programs that provide financial, disaster or technical support. Under a cooperative agreement with FSA, NMDC received funding to provide educational services to agricultural producers in Aroostook County.
The number of Maine farmers aged 34 and younger grew by almost 40 percent in the five years from 2007 to 2012, the last time the USDA did a comprehensive agriculture census. That growth surge — from 396 to 551 young farmers — far surpassed the 1.5 percent increase in the numbers of young farmers in the United States.
Ouellette encourages producers to attend, but says the information is also valuable to anyone who wishes to better their business skills.
Pre-registration is required at www.nmdc.org.
For more information, contact Ouellette at 551-5837, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.