What is Farm Business Management?

Provided by state technical colleges, individual instructors, and non-profit organizations, farm business management programs (FBM) are an opportunity for farmers to work with experts 5-6 times a year (or more often as needed) for one-on-one business support. In these sessions, instructors help farmers understand the strengths and weaknesses of their farm businesses and prepare a strategy for long-term success. Programs typically range from $200 to $2,000 (most offer scholarships) and can also include online classes, group workshops and self-paced online courses.

What to expect?

Farmers will work with instructors to develop custom:

  • business plans
  • record keeping systems
  • financial statements
  • tax help
  • marketing support
  • help accessing loans, grants and other resources

MDA's Beginning Farmer Loan Program and the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit both require applicants to enroll in an approved FBM to qualify for the programs. Find our list of approved programs below. Note: There are some options that will qualify for the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit that will not qualify for the Beginning Farmer Loan Program.


Approved FBM Programs:

Big River Farms - Farmer Education Program*

Cornell Small Farms Program

Farmer Courses*

Land Stewardship Project - Farm Beginnings Class

Land Stewardship Project - Journey Person Course

Minnesota State Colleges - Ag Centric

North Dakota State College of Science

Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association

Small farm start-up workshops | UMN Extension


*Indicates program is approved for the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit only.


Approved Private Instructors:

Central Minnesota

  • Dan Perkins, Stevens County Farm Management, Lowry, MN; 320-760-9330
  • DBA Seales, Munsterman Accounting & Tax, Morris, MN; 320-589-4300
  • Robert Stommes, St Cloud, MN; 320-443-5355
  • Steve Notch, Total Agri-Business Services, Albany, MN; 320-845-4795
  • Tim Holtquist, 320-201-9146
  • Travis Birhanzl, Montevideo, MN, 320-226-3338; tbirhanzl@hotmail.com

SE Minnesota

  • Dan Miller, Valley Farm Management, Spring Valley, MN; 507-259-9952, dan@danbmiller.com
  • Gary Thome,Thome Ag Consulting, Adams, MN; 507-438-2019, thomegary@gmail.com
  • Marty Little, County Road Consulting, Albert Lea, MN; 507-402-5959, malittle@mhtele.com
  • Suzann Skaar, Agri Records, Hawyward, MN; 507-402-5724

SW Minnesota

  • David Larson, Larson Information Systems, Pipestone, MN; 507-215-0967
  • James Ouverson, Luverne, MN; 507-283-2811
  • Kurt Schoephoerster, Dawson Area FBM; dbfb@frontiernet.net


To submit a new FBM program for approval, email a letter with a summary of the education you provide, course descriptions, and a bio of the instructor(s) to MDA's Rural Finance Authority, RFA.loans@state.mn.us.


FBM Tuition Tax Credit

Beginning farmers (farming in the U.S. less than 10 years) are eligible for a state tax credit to reimburse tuition for these approved FBM courses. The tax credit is equal to your tuition paid up to $1,500. Learn more and apply on the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit page.