AgVentures is a management education program that is intended to help agricultural producers improve their prospects for success. Through this program, agricultural producers can become knowledgeable of management concepts and learn how to apply their knowledge to problems that they face as they operate their farm businesses. This new management education course should be quite valuable to those persons who understand that the success of their agricultural businesses will depend largely on how successful they are in becoming top-quality managers.

Program Structure

AgVentures has been designed to give agricultural producers ample opportunities to become acquainted with various management topics. Producers going through this program will take modules that address various topics. Format for instruction varies from 1-3 days of instruction.

Program Content

Seven topics are addressed by AgVentures

  1. Building a Vision: Financial Management and Strategic Planning
    Building a Vision provides agricultural producers with a working knowledge of finance and strategic planning to help improve their ability to reach desired personal and business goals.. Prdoucers will increase their understanding of profitability, cash flow, and other financial measures used in the industry. There is ample discussion on how financial issues influence the decision making process in their business.
  2. Business Arrangements & Farm Transfers
    Informs persons about various options for organizing their business. Parternships, corporations, and limited liability companies will be studied, along with leasing options.
  3. Dairy Market Risk Management
    Teaches how to assess your risk bearing tolerance, determine your cost of producing cwt. of milk, how to use contract and future options as price risk management tools. In this module participants will learn how to access and interpret market information and to develop their own marketing plan. [Ajoint venture with the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Risk Management Team and the National Program for Integrated Dairy Risk Management Education and Research]
  4. Got Risk? (Risk Awareness)
    A one day workshop that works you through short exercises to earn how to determine your personal tolerance for risk. Participants also complete a risk management assessment for their operation and begin to formulate a plan for marketing risk. [A joint venture with the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Risk Management Team and the National Program for Dairy Risk Management Education and Research]
  5. Grain Marketing
    Includes documentation, facilitator’s notes, and PowerPoint Presentations. Covers risk tolerance, budget based adjusted cost of production worksheets, forwards, hedging, option exercises, basis, price forcasting techniques, a dice game, and much more.
  6. Human Resource Management
    Helps individuals learn how to manage people and employees. The module will be useful for individuals wanting to learn how to work best with family members
  7. Strategic Planning
    Teaches introductory business management skills to agriculture producers who watn to improve business management abilities. (NOTE: this has been replaced by Building a Vision: Financial Management and Strategic Planning).


This program is intended to help agricultural operators develop skills needed to effectively manage their farm businesses. Persons with limited formal training in management are the primary audience for this program. It is envisioned that most people who enroll will be established farm operators who want to sharpen some of their management skills and then learn new skills. Other people who may wish to participate in this program are agricultural professionals who frequently work with producers.


A good deal of the facilitating will be done by county extension agents, but some instruction may be done by other experts who have agreed to serve as facilitator. Each county agent will decide who serves as facilitator in a given county or multi-county area.

Program Costs

AgVentures is a fee based program. Participants will be expected to pay fees to cover the costs of producing instructional materials, leasing instructional space, and administering the program. It is envisioned that agribusinesses will be willing to sponsor some producers who wish to participate in AgVentures. These sponsorships will be used to cover some of the fees producers are expected to pay in order to participate in AgVentures.

Program Information

If you would like more information on AgVentures please contact your Local County Agent or Jenny Vanderlin, Management Education Coordinator, Center for Dairy Profitability, (608) 263-7795.