Purdue Agricultural Economics
Strategic Business Planning for Commercial Producers
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Welcome to the strategy section
of Strategic Business Planning for Commercial Producers!

This resource contains reading materials, lectures, and work exercises to help educators and farm business managers review and if necessary modify strategies for future business success.

These materials can be used by managers of a farm business as a resource for teaching materials. Using these materials as a the basis for short programs on the topics may be most effective for one-time lectures or short courses. Working in groups is also recommended. Sharing your perspective of this material, having your perspective challenged, and challenging the perspectives of others helps clarify ideas and plans.

How to Use this Resource

Nearly every module linked in the menu at right has a PowerPoint presentation and a written background paper on the topic, as well as exercises.

To download the presentation either click on the link to open the resource and then save it to your computer's hard drive. Or mouse over the link, right-click and select "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" (depending on whether you are using Internet Explorer or Netscape navigator. Select a convenient location on your computer and then click save. Each presentation has a set of presenter's notes to assist in give the presentation to groups.

The readings and exercises are available as documents in pdf format, for which you will need to latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, available at the link below.

Modules Available

Each module has a unique focus, enabling you to select those topics of greatest interest without the need to sequentially progress through all topics. The topics contained in each section are listed on the left side of the screen. Clicking the item will take you to the material for that topic.

Module 1 - The Setting provides an overview of the course material, discusses the management of change and provides an introduction to the strategic planning process.

Module 2 - Strategic Direction leads you through a process of clarifying where we want to take the business and why.

Module 3 - Business Environment looks at factors outside the farm gate and helps to characterize the environment in which the business operates.

Module 4 - Business Strengths focuses on identifying the strengths of the business. In this section, you will identify those items that you do better than your competitors.

Module 5 - Identifying Strategies leads you through the process of creating and selecting strategies that will be used.

Module 6 - Implementing Strategies creates an organizational structure and identifies the steps of actions that must be taken to insure that the selected strategies are put into operation.

Module 7- Monitoring and Control identifies the important items to monitor in order to insure that strategies are providing the desired results.

Module 8 - Human Resources shows how managers can effectively lead their organization and manage their employees.

Module 9 - Succession Planning lays out steps needed to ensure that the farm business can be successfully passed on to the next farm manager.

Throughout the course, a case farm (MBC Farms) will be used to illustrate various points. A description of this farm and the financial data needed are provided. You might want to review the MBC Farm situation prior to beginning the course. A printed copy of these materials can be a useful reference as you work through the course. These materials can be found in the MBC Farm Details section. There will be links to these materials at various points in the course.


Michael Boehlje, Criag Dobbins, Alan Miller, Janet Bechman and Aadron Rausch.
"Checking Your Farm Business Management Skills: Self-Assessment Checklists to Help You Tell." ID-237 Farm Business Management for the 21st Century series. Purdue Extension.West Lafayette, IN 47907.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader
to view the
documents listed

Click here to download the latest version of Acrobat Reader

Craig Dobbins, Alan Miller and Michael Boehlje.
"Farmers as Plant Managers & General Managers: Which Hat Do You Wear?" ID-236 Farm Business Management for the 21st Century series. Purdue Extension. West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Michael Boehlje, Craig Dobbins and Alan Miller. "Are Your Farm Business Management Skills Ready for the 21st Century?" ID-244 Farm Business Management for the 21st Century series. Purdue Extension. West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Strategic Management

The Setting (Intro)

Strategic Direction

Business Environment

Business Strengths

Identifying Strategies

Implementing Strategy

Monitoring & Control

Human Resources

Succession Planning

Financial Management
Marketing & Risk Management

Agricultural Economics

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