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Agribusiness Management

We provide training, professional development and support for farming and family farms of all sizes. Since 1970 the program has served over 1,400 farms in the Willamette Valley. We are here to help Oregon ag grow.

topics Agricultural Sciences

Skills & InterestLeadership

CareersAgricultural Science

  • Hazelnuts in growth on tree
  • three farming tractors baling hay

Why choose Agribusiness Management?

Our objective is empowering program participants with an understanding of sound business management principles and practices through a focus on effective financial record keeping analysis and interpretation.

You will learn state-of-the industry farm management skills, including –

  • Business planning and organizational structure
  • Optimization of production inputs through the Lean process
  • Business financial records completion and interpretations
  • Cost of production by class or enterprise
  • Succession planning and exit strategies
  • Tax strategies
  • Employee relations and labor issues
  • Leadership on the farm and in the community

What will you learn?

You will learn to create and maintain –

  • Record keeping, records analysis and interpretation
  • Goal setting: individual, family and business
  • Cost of production
  • Balance sheets
  • Profit and loss statement
    • By enterprise or crop system
    • Whole farm
    • Budgets and cash flow

What will you do?

You will be able to apply the best practices in the industry in running your farm business. Your knowledge will provide more business stability and increased opportunity for success and security for you and your family.

How and When to Join the Program

  • Enrollment - YEAR ONE is Closed for 2019-20 - next enrollment Fall 2020.

    We are accepting reservations for Year One to begin Fall 2020.

      • Contact the instructors by phone or email
      • Complete a class application (informational form) as soon as possible to reserve your seats
      • Formal registration forms are available in August 2020
    •  WHEN
      • We are recording inquires for enrollment information and will begin registering particpants in August 2020


Interested in testing your knowledge?

Take our quiz for a sampling of the kinds of things you'll learn in our program.

Agribusiness Management Quiz

Courses Offered For 2019-2020

  • Course Descriptions

    AgriBusiness Management Program (Non-Credit) Enrollmnent is closed until Fall 2020

    The AgriBusiness Management Program at Chemeketa Community College focuses on the basic principles of agricultural recordkeeping and financial management education.
    These non-credit courses provide agricultural business education for owners, family members and key personnel, including –

    • Use of recordkeeping software
    • Use of spreadsheet software
    • Setting goals
    • Staying informed about business and farming regulations
    • Understanding cost of production
    • Market fluctuations
    • Interpreting and learning agricultural policy
    • Succession planning and resolving family transition issues
    • Payroll and employee issues
    • Emerging and advancing technology.

    The major emphasis is on the development and maintenance of a complete set of records and the skills necessary to interpret the records and use the information to make sound agricultural business management decisions regardless of the size of the farm business. The program is designed for a minimum commitment of three years, but because of ever-changing technology, policies and practices and changes in key personnel, an agricultural business may choose to enroll for numerous years.

    These classes are taught in a classroom with additional instruction at your place of business for independent instruction that is tailored to fit your needs. Distance, online and evening classes are not available at this time.

    Courses for 2019-2020

    Agribusiness Management YEAR 1 
    Emphasizes setting agricultural business goals; developing a complete set of farm financial records; and analyzing those records for management decision making.

    Agribusiness Management YEAR 2 
    Monitors and assesses financial position of the agricultural business based upon records and analysis obtained in AgriBusiness Management YEAR 1. Explores computerized accounting and income tax management.

    Agribusiness Management YEAR 3 
    Focuses on reorganizing the agricultural business based on accumulated financial data. Further develops estate, retirement and labor management plans.

    Agribusiness Management YEAR 5 
    Applies recordkeeping skills to individual businesses. Seminars scheduled and at-business training and support of record keeping, succession planning and employment policy.

  • Top 12 Questions about the Agribusiness Management Program

    1. How old is the AgriBusiness Management Program at Chemeketa Community College?

    Answer: The Program was started in the fall of 1970.

     2. Does the size or type of farm matter?

    Answer: No. This is a business management class.  The concepts and training provided are not directed by the size/type of farm but rather the discipline of running a business.

     3. Is it a degree program?

    Answer: No. The courses are taught on a non-credit basis with the student population consisting typically of “agricultural families” and managers of family held agricultural businesses.

     4. Does that mean the instructor helps in soliciting new students?

    Answer: Yes. The instructor is constantly seeking out new students from the agricultural community.

     5. How many individuals from the same business may participate?

    Answer: The business may have more than one individual attending the class at the same time. It’s not uncommon to have situations including “husband/wife”, “sister/brother”, “niece/uncle”, “owner/bookkeeper”, or other combinations including family members and employees.

     6. How often are classes held?

    Answer: Traditionally the classes are divided into two lecture groups with 11 sessions for the “Year One” and six sessions for “Years 2-5”. Optional QuickBooks and Excel technology workshops are offered for those seeking additional training. All sessions are held from October to April.

     7. Does the Program follow any specific standards in its presentation of farm accounting?

    Answer: Yes. The program adheres to the criteria established by the Farm Financial Standards Council and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

     8. What does an individual expect to learn from the course?

    Answer: During the first year a foundation on keeping complete farm business records is taught along with learning about cost of production, budgeting, business structures and establishing goals.

     9. What is the age of the typical student?

    Answer: Typical students fall into no age group. Students range in age from their teens to their 80’s.

     10. Does all instruction occur in a campus classroom?

    Answer: No. Much of the instruction occurs while meeting with families, managers and bookkeepers at their place of business; working with them on their specific financial and bookkeeping issues in a confidential environment.

     11. Is record keeping the only issue discussed?

    Answer: No. The instructor covers many topics selected for their relevancy to Oregon family farms. Additional examples include: succession planning; farm contracts; water rights; labor law; lending practices; checkbook and account reconciling; enterprise and cost of production analysis; and updates on tax planning and strategies.

     12. Does the instructor use agricultural professionals to present topics?

    Answer: Yes. The Instructor utilizes professionals from around the area such as attorneys and CPA’s to present topics that are relevant to the success of your business.

     BONUS QUESTION:  Does the instructor have farming backgrounds and experiences in agriculture?

    Answer: The instructor grew up on farms, has owned a farm and has Masters Degrees in Agricultural Economics. He has experience in lending, appraisals, real estate, marketing, accounting, business management, employee management and agricultural education.

  • Year One Schedule for 2019-20

    2019-20 Course Schedule & Outline AgriBusiness Management Year ONE

    Location: Chemeketa Community College, Salem Campus - Building 62, Room 101

    Time: 9 am-12 pm

    Note: Please schedule additional confidential on-farm assistance/training to meet your specific business needs. 

    Tuesday, November 26, 2019

    Program Introduction, Overview and Goals

    • Writing “Smart” goals for Personal, Family and Business – for one, five and 10 plus years
    • Preparing a SWOT Analysis – What is SWOT and why is it important
    • Discussion on “WHY” records are kept
    • Importance of using your records to strengthen and build your farm business
    Tuesday, December 3, 2019

    Office Setup – Practical, Efficient & Engaging

    Inventory Management and Solutions

    • Managing inventory so it doesn’t manage you
    • Tracking and valuing inventory
    Tuesday, December 17, 2019   (Joint Class -moved to bldg 8 rm 201)

    Succession Plan - Learn what works and what doesn’t.  When to start. How to handle changes in plans. How to build a team. 

    Tuesday, January 7, 2020

    Record Keeping: The Basics

    • Keeping accurate and informative records versus “garbage in garbage out”. How to interpret data

    Continuous Improvement

    • Application of systems that drive success, provide for business growth and focus on recognizing future business objectives.
    Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    Profit & Loss, Ratios Analysis & “Cash vs. Accrual” Accounting 

    • What drives farm practices and efficiencies? 
    • Recognizing Farm Financial Standards and GAAP
    Tuesday, February 4, 2020

    Net Worth Statement – Assets, Liabilities and Owners Equity

    • Balance sheet structure and nuances of agriculture
    • Cost vs. Market valuations
    • Developing the best chart of accounts for your business
    Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    Business Structures - Using the best business structure – Proprietorships, Partnerships, LLC or Corporation – which is best for you?

    Tuesday, March 3, 2020

    Records Analysis and Interpretation – How, When & Why


    • Real depreciation vs. functional and economic obsolescence and the IRS Tax Code
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    Enterprising Strategies

    • Income and expense allocations amongst crops
    • Overhead
    • Production

    Social Styles

    • Understanding social styles and their importance
    Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    Budgets & Cash Flows

    • Making realistic projections using internal and external information -   Why
      • Whole farm budgets
      • Partial budgets
      • Family budgets
    Tuesday, April 14, 2020

    Year End Review and Conclusion


    Class schedules subject to change -  rev 12/15/2019

  • Year Two - Five Seminar Series 2019-20 Schedule

    Agribusiness Management 2019-20 Seminar Schedule - Classes 2, 3 & 5

    Class location: Chemeketa Community College Salem, Bldg. 62, Rm.101

    Class time: 9 am-noon


    Tuesday, October 22, 2019

    Panel discussion with Willamette Valley Ag Lenders

    This time you help ask the questions: Rates?  Terms?  Loan Officer?  Multiple Lenders?  Favored Crops?  Loans for Succession Management?

    Our Panel:

    • Shane Schweitzer – Harvest Capital
    • Sean Kolb – Northwest Farm Credit Services
    • Jeff Hilderbrand – Citizens Bank
    • Justin Gutierrez – Columbia Bank– Citizens Bank

    Tuesday, November 5, 2019

    Tax Law Changes and Tax Strategies

    Panel Discussion with:

    • Joanne Humphrey, CPA, FPS
    • Joe Fitts, CPA
    • Curtis Sawyer, CPA

    Tuesday, December 17, 2019  Building 8, Room 201* – *not our usual room

    Succession Planning - Objectives and Overview

    Presented by the Aldrich Advisors - CPAs and Schwabe Williamson & Wyattt, Attorneys

    Tuesday, January 14, 2020   Building 62, Room 101

    Real and Personal Property Rights

    Do you understand the rules behind water ownership and optimizing the use of water in view of evolving technologies – what do you need to know?

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020    Building 62, Room 101

    Water Law - Lots of Changes - how can you be prepared.

    To be announced

    Tuesday, March 10, 2020   Building 62, Room 101

    Ag panel  - To be Announced


    IMPORTANT These web pages including “schedules’ are updated frequently.  We will also continue to send out class notices for approaching presentations so you can plan accordingly. rev 12/01/19