Grain Marketing: Dollars and Cents workshop in Scottsbluff

When times are tight, one key to keeping the farm is managing income by having an effective grain- marketing plan that accounts for an individual farmer’s cost of production, balance sheet and cash flow.

A two-day, in-depth, hands-on workshop called “Grain Marketing: Dollar and Cents” will help row-crop farmers create effective grain marketing plans specific to their operation and financial condition.

The workshop will be offered Feb. 5-6, 2019 in Scottsbluff at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 4502 Avenue I. To register call 308-632-1230. The cost to participate is $100 per person.

“Grain Marketing: Dollar and Cents” is designed to strengthen participants’ ability to understand financial benchmarking, improve their basic marketing knowledge, develop accurate production costs estimates and write a grain marketing plan. It will take participants through a case-study farm, making them evaluate different financial situations: one with a strong financial standing and cash on hand, the other a tighter scenario where they would need to rely on grain sales to make payments on operating loans.

Using a game called Marketing in a New Era, participants will compare the potential effects of different grain marketing strategies on the case-study farm.

The workshop recognizes the uniqueness of each farm, said Extension Educator Jessica Groskopf:

“We know that there’s a lot of variation in the financial well-being of farms. We need to consider how that affects an individual’s grain marketing strategy. If I have a different financial portfolio than my neighbor, I’m probably going take a different approach to grain marketing,” she said.

“If I have a really strong financial standing, I have more flexibility with the sales that I can make. If I’m in a tighter financial position, I need to really plan out my grain sales so that I’m meeting my cash flow obligations.”

Workshop organizers hope their graduates can use what they learn to evaluate the financial standing of their own farms and develop a grain marketing strategy that compliments their current financial situation.

“The hope is that we will give participants the skills to do the financial analysis so they can go home and look at their balance sheet and their cash flow statement and really utilize them to develop a grain marketing plan,” Groskopf said.