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Introducing Our 2019-2020 Ag Biz Planner Class

Young, Beginning, Small & Veteran Farmers

It is Fall and while to some that means excitement surrounding pumpkin spice and apple cider in the Knowledge Center we are ecstatic to welcome our 13 participants, representing eight businesses and operations into the 2019-2020 Ag Biz Planner Program! These participants kicked off our 9th class in August at an event in Staunton, VA and have been working through the program since.

Each of our eight groups represent some amazingly diverse operations in the Farm Credit of Virginia’s footprint. They come from the beef, dairy, aquaculture, crops, hay and specialty livestock industries and bring a wealth of knowledge to the group. Participants have been working through the 10 online modules taught by Dr. Dave Kohl, professor emeritus of Virginia Tech and the Dean of Farm Credit University. Loan officers and mentors are beginning to make farm visits to the participants to learn more about their businesses and walk through their operations.  The combination of the self-paced learning modules and hands-on mentorship makes this program a huge success among our participants and is a large part of what makes the Ag Biz Planner Program so unique.

Along with the modules, participants have been working through different pieces of their business plans. These business plans are a living document intended to be functional throughout the life of the operation; designed to grow and expand with the farm or business. This business plan, or road map, is crucial to these operations as they work to make sound decisions and navigate any potential road blocks that may arise and prepare for the future.

We are very excited to continue on with our farm visits to talk with the participants, learn more about their goals and plans and to see how they plan on growing. As we said, this is one of our most exciting times of the year as we watch participants work through plans and grow for the future!

Want to learn more about the individual operations participating in this year’s program? Be sure to follow our Facebook page ( to see highlights of each of these operations coming soon. And if this sounds like something you think would benefit your farm operation, please feel free to reach out to our Program Specialist, Sarah Scyphers (, to be added to a mailing list; we send out application packets in May and June of each year!

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