General Agricultural Resources
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the federal agency in charge of farm, ranch and forestry matters. USDA produces the Agricultural Census and the Agricultural Factbook, 2000. In addition, the USDAs Economic Research Services publishes Amber Waves. See your local State Departments of Agriculture for resources, programs and statistics specific to your state.
There are several agricultural related portals and directories, including the Agricultural Information Network, the National Agricultural Library, Agriculture Online, and P.E.A.R.L. Reports prepared by USDA Economics and Statistics Division (Searchable).
The Canadian Governments Agri-Food Trade Service provides excellent overviews of United States and foreign markets for food and other agricultural commodities. The U.S. market overviews include information on food distribution channels in specific regions of the country.
Adding to your current agricultural enterprise? Here is a checklist, article and bibliography for evaluating a rural enterprise.
Sample Business Plans
- Chicken Broiler Producer Business Plan (Canadian)
- Dairy Operation (Canadian) Business Plan
- Farming Business Plan – Ginseng Producers (Canadian) (pdf format)
- Greenhouse Floriculture Business Plan(Canadian)
- Greenhouse Vegetables Business Plan(Canadian)
- Horse Reseller Business Plan
- Wholesale Nursery (Canadian) Business Plan
- Agricultural Tourism Fact Sheets series of fact sheets, overviews and checklists for developing tourism enterprises.
- Agricultural Tourism Service Center from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
- Farmers Market Information Created by the University of Arizona Extension Program. Includes information on developing farmers’ markets and agricultural tourism.
- Natural Resource Income Opportunities links and information on making money from natural resources within a farm or ranch.
- Aquaculture Information Center Links to information on aquaculture.
- Census of Aquaculture Statistics on the aquaculture industry.
- Aquamedia Aquaculture information.
- See USDAs Livestock and Grain market news for market reports.
- A Feedlot Business Plan and other information on cattle operations can be found at the Western Beef Development Centre website (Saskatchewan).
Commodity Market Reports
- Chicago Mercantile Exchange for current trading prices.
- Farm Service Agency Commodity Operations branch reports current and historical commodity price reports, values, CCC inventories, food assistance reports, and more.
- Futures and Commodity Market News links to market reports by commodity.
Financial Management & Business Planning
- Agricultural Alternatives series of resources, sample budgets and business plans for small and alternative agricultural operations.
- Center for Farm Financial Management Created by the University of Minnesota to improve farm financial practices.
- Farm Business Management Information Among other things, the site includes several commodity specific business plans farmers market; greenhouse; ranch; etc.).
- Farm Service Agency Commodity programs, loans and subsidy information.
- Publication 225, Farmer’s Tax Guide Income and tax related information for farmers (including hobby farmers).
- Western Risk Management Library A collection of financial and business related how-to’s developed for agricultural related industries.
- See also: business plans.
Sustainable Agriculture & Organic Farming
- National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Provides resources and links for sustainable practices.
- Green Book 2009: Twenty Years of Farmers Growing Ideas.
- National Agricultural Library Bibliographies and links about sustainable agricultural practices.
- Organic Farming Research Foundation Offers grants for onsite research.
- Sustainable Agricultural Network Includes links, resources and grants.
- Technology Transfer Provides links to information and funding for USDA related technology transfer programs, including bio-fuels.
- Grocery Manufacturers Association
- Retail Food Industry Center Provides several articles concerning markets for food products.
- See also: Food & Beverage.