K-State offers planning, other help for producers

Dec 24, 2009
by WLJ

Even at this time of year when American farm families are typically looking forward to planning for the new year, some are struggling. A spouse may have lost an off-farm job, a family member may not fully know his place in an operation, and others have been hit by low prices for what they produce.

Resources are available through Kansas State University (K-State) Research and Extension, as well as eXtension, to help families who are struggling or in transition. eXtension is an educational partnership comprised of land grant universities across the country.

K-State and the Kansas Farm Analyst Program will offer “Keeping the Family Farming” Workshops in January for families who are incorporating family members and others into a farm operation or passing the farm business from one generation to the next. One workshop will be in Beloit, KS, on Jan. 9 and 23, 2010, at the Zion Lutheran Church at 621 N. Mill St. Another will be in Hiawatha, KS, Jan. 16 and 30, 2010, at the Fisher Community Center, 201 E. Iowa St. Registration and other information is available on the Web site: www.agmanager.info or by contacting Rich Llewelyn at 785/532-1504.

eXtension offers an eightlesson course, “Investing for Farm Families,” which can help family members make strategic decisions while weaving together farm and personal investments. The course, developed by a team of Extension educators, is designed to help families plan for a financially stable future that meets their long-term needs. The online format means families can work at their own pace. More information is available on the Web site: www.extension.org/pages/Invest ingforFarmFamilies.

The K-State Farm Analyst Program provides oneon-one educational services to Kansas farm families. Using Finpack computer software, analysts provide business analysis while teaching financial concepts through their application on individual farms. Analysts work with all types of operations as every farm plays a role in the economic environment of rural communities. More information is available by calling 785/636-5462 or email dhund@ksu.edu.

The Kansas Rural Family Helpline is a non-profit, direct service program dedicated to meeting the special needs of rural families in Kansas. The Helpline provides confidential, short-term emotional support, competent advice, and qualified referrals directly to rural families struggling with an unmet emotional, medical, financial or legal need. More information is available by calling 866/ FARM-KSU (866/327-6578) or e-mail farmksu@humec. ksu.edu or www.humec. k-state.edu/fshs/pfws/ krfhprogram.html.

The Kansas Agricultural Mediation Service (KAMS), based in K-State Research and Extension, works with farm families in a confidential manner to find information, connect families with services, and help resolve disputes that arise with government agencies, banks, suppliers and others. Two components are key features of its services—financial counseling through the Farm Analyst Program and legal counseling through Kansas Legal Services. In many cases, KAMS services are free of charge. More information is available by calling 800/321-3276 or on the Web at www.ksre. ksu.edu/kams/.

The Kansas Farm Management Association (KF- MA), a part of K-State Research and Extension, has economists based in several communities throughout Kansas who work cooperatively with farm families to provide production and financial management information for use in decision making. KFMA economists use on-farm visits, whole-farm analysis, enterprise analysis, and other programs to assist producers in developing sound farm accounting systems; improving decision making; comparing performance with similar farms; integrating tax planning; and marketing and asset investment strategies. More information is available by calling 785/532- 1513 or on the Web at www. agmanager.info/KFMA/. — K-State Research and Extension