1.0 Business Planning

Farm Business Planning Workbook

“You’ve got to educate yourself on business and marketing if you want to be an agricultural producer, and if you don’t, it’s not going to be sustainable. You can use the best regenerative practices, and do really good on the land, but if you can’t survive on the money that you’re making, it’s just not sustainable. That business part is huge. “What’s the return on investment from this?” It’s a mind set.” – Dezmond Allen (Regenerative Pasture Systems)

The first step in an orderly planning process is a self assessment of farm business management practices. This Farm Business Planning Workbook For The Beginning Farmer is a good place to start; it includes the following sections:

  1. Business Strategy
  2. Marketing Strategy
  3. Production Economics
  4. Human Resources
  5. Financial Management
  6. Social Responsibility
  7. Succession Planning
  8. Business Structure
  9. Risk Assessment

Activity: Self Assessment


Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations (CFDC of CIFN) promotes and provides community economic development support services to Indigenous people within the Central Interior of British Columbia. This Business Plan Workbook is a guide to assist you in developing and writing your own business plan. There are more business resources on the website.

“Being a farmer, you have to work on your business and in your business. Working on your business is being on the computer, keeping records, marketing, getting customers. You can get lost working in your business, looking at the chickens, enjoying the moment, I would spend all day out here if I could, but I can’t with my off-farm job, being with the animals is what I love.” – Dezmond Allen (Regenerative Pasture Systems)

Farm Business Planning Resources

When you are only doing something halfway, and you are feeding the money from your job into the farm, it doesn’t work… As far as being a sustainable family business to produce income, if that’s what you are after, then you have to approach it in a business-like fashion.” – Daniela Basile (SSOL Gardens)

Cultural Elements

If you identify as Indigenous, you can incorporate cultural aspects into your farm. Value-added experiences at your farm could be cultural elements; Paula Cranmer-Underhill (Spapium Farm) does cedar weaving for example and coordinates with Indigenous Tourism BC.

“Most of my business is First Nations. When you have good connections with other First Nations communities, you can sell there. You always have to have a good product.” – Fred Fortier (Uncle Freddy’s Hothouse)

Organic Certification

If you are interested in organic certification, you can find information from the North Okanagan Organic Association, who certifies many farms in this area, or more general information from Organic BC.

Emergency Preparedness

With changing climate conditions and threats of wildfires and flooding, CFDC of CIFN has an Agriculture Emergency Preparedness Workbook that will help you think through how to protect your property in the event of an emergency.

Connecting with Organizations and Universities

“When you go to workshops, you will always learn something from all of the people in the room, even if they are there to learn also.” – Paula Cranmer-Underhill (Spapium Farm)

Provincial Support


Kweseltken Agriculture Guide Copyright © by CFDC of CIFN. All Rights Reserved.

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