Tools to Strengthen your Agri-business
Whether you are starting a new business, scaling-up your existing operation, or just trying to keep up with the day-to-day logistics of production – it is easy to overlook some of the essential components needed for the back-end of your business. These tasks can be especially overwhelming for small farms and businesses who often work on tight budgets and take all of these tasks upon themselves. Additionally, ag operations carry a lot of risk. Each day, farmers confront different types of risk, from risks to production such as weather, insects and disease, to price and financial risks, as access to capital and market demand changes. This page will provide a simple “risk management” framework and help you identify steps to to proactively reduce common risks for your farm.
How does risk management help your farm?
Reduced risk translates in your business as:
- More stable revenue streams and identification of the best times to diversify your operation;
- Crop damage protection;
- Avoidance of unanticipated financial fines or shut-downs;
- Clear agreements with your buyers and employees;
- Health and safety of yourself, your work crew, farm visitors and your customers.
While some of these tasks may seem overwhelming and grueling, they will save you time in the long-run and protect you from unnecessary risk that could jeopardize all the hard work and resources you’ve invested in your operation.
To help you with next steps, please watch the video and take the production and financial quizzes below.
A great next step when starting or expanding your operation is to reach out and learn from others in our local ag community. Take a few minutes to hear the stories from other women, who like yourself, have started and are actively managing and growing their ag businesses. We hope this video allows you to identify with other women farmers, ranchers and entrepreneurs who share similar passions. After watching the video, another helpful next step is to sign up for our WFN Facebook group. Drawing on the support of women in this network is a simple strategy when you are feeling stuck or just need a few tips or inspiration with your business.
Ready for a“To-do list” to reduce risk on your farm?
Take this short quiz to help you discover if your farm is already following some, or all, of these techniques for setting up your business in a way that minimizes your risks. This quiz will help you ‘check the boxes’ on all the steps you’ve covered and generate a simple To-Do list with resources to help you. This quiz can also be used if you’re considering if adding a new product or aspect of your business will increase your risk (e.g. if the cost of producing the new product is too high and does not guarantee a stable revenue stream, it may increase your financial risks). This check-list will help connect you with some simple next steps and some great resources to support you at all phases of your business.
*Information generated on this quiz will not be viewed or saved by O’ahu RC&D or others. You will need to print or opt-in to email the “To-do” list generated at the end of this quiz to have a copy for yourself.
You are not alone in setting-up or running your ag business. You are supported by a network of women across the islands. Many have gone through the same steps and have had many of the same questions as they started their businesses. In this video you will learn about the experiences and tips from:
- Ashley Centeio, Beach to Farm LLC, a 5 acre diversified produce and livestock farm on Oahu’s North Shore.
- Christen Oliveira, Kokua Kalihi Valley Food Hub, The Roots Project is a social enterprise in urban Honolulu, providing for the health and nourishment of the local community and ‘aina, using a food hub to provide cultural starches from local farmers.
- Jasmine Joy, Beelieve Hawaii, an agribusiness and farm in Waimanalo, focused on raising awareness on the significance of pollinators through educational outreach, professional consultation, habitat conservation, bee farm tours, and a humane honeybee rescue service on the island of Oahu.
List of Resources and Partners
- GoFarm Hawaiʻi AgBusiness
- Hawaiʻi Small Business Development Center
- The Kohala Center
- State of Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture – Risk Management
- The State of Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture Commodities Branch is designed to assist in the development of agricultural industries through quality assurance of agricultural commodities and licensing of dealers in agricultural products. Application forms for many of the certifications/licenses discussed above (e.g., Dealer’s License, Food Safety Certification information) and additional information on issues that have not discussed here (e.g., seed certification and grading standards), can be found online on their website.
- AgriLogic Consulting, LLC provides crop insurance education and related risk-management strategies to farmers across Hawai‘i.
- HDOA Seal of Quality Program – To meet program standards, all fresh agricultural products must be produced entirely in Hawaiʻi and meet the highest quality standard. Value-added processed agricultural and food products, for which the primary agricultural product has been produced entirely in Hawaiʻi, must also meet the 51% wholesale value-added requirement and be in compliance with all state laws. Applications and regulations can be found online at: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/add/soq/SOQPgrmHist
- Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Labor Law Requirements for New Employers guide: http://labor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/New-Employer-Packet-3-14-13.pdf
- State of Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture
- The role of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is to help producers manage their business risks through effective, market-based risk management solutions. RMA also has a program to fund Risk Management Partnerships, another form of grants. RMA’s mission is to promote, support, and regulate sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America’s agricultural producers. As part of this mission, RMA operates and manages the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC).
- USDA RMA- Risk Management Checklist
- USDA RMA- Risk Management Glossary
- Farm Commons- Resources for reducing your risk when starting a new ag-business or adding a CSA or home delivery during times of COVID-19
- Fact Sheets on all of the USDA programs can be found at: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/fact-sheets/index
- CORONA Virus Food Assistance Program-2