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Contemplating changes or additions to your farm operation can be exciting and a little daunting. There are many things to consider in determining whether a change is right for your family and your farm. This guide is intended to help you think about some of the key issues involved as you consider diversification options that may fit your farm.
This guide uses a point system that allows you to compare different options. After you answer all of the questions, you will decide which issues are most important to you and your family, and give special consideration to your responses on these issues.
This guide will be most helpful if you do some ongoing research and careful thinking on each issue before you begin and as you’re filling it out. It is intended as a starting point that will help you hone in on a few promising options to explore in more depth. For it to be most effective, you’ll need to know some of the basic requirements of the crop, livestock, or enterprise you’re considering – things like growing degree day, soil fertility, rainfall, labor, and/or equipment requirements. The guide is not a substitute for a detailed feasibility study or business plan. You’ll find it helpful to revisit your answers down the road, after you’ve done some more investigating.
Meg Moynihan, Principal Administrator
Minnesota Farm Opportunities Program
Ag Marketing & Development Division
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, firstname.lastname@example.org