Ephraim, UT – February 23, 2016 – The Snow College Farm and Ranch Program is bringing technology, and proven business practices, to local farmers, providing the tools they need to be more successful than ever. The program teaching farmers these skills is growing rapidly thanks to grant funds like the $43,000.00 recently received, and nationally recognized Universities.
Snow College, Bridgerland Applied Technology Center in Logan and Uinta Applied Technology Center in Roosevelt are the only 3 locations in Utah that offer Farm and Ranch Management programs. These courses offer an innovative way for farm owners to reach their business goals by improving management, organization and efficiency of their operations. Each course is one year and includes monthly face-to-face, on-site instruction, reviewing management strategies, marketing plans and analyzing financial and production records. Using their financial and production records, each farmer can apply the methods they are learning immediately and see results.
The grant funds received go towards supporting the program, which is currently working with almost 50 local farmers. The current grant is from the USDA Risk Management Education Western Center housed at Washington State University. In the six years since Snow College began receiving this grant, the College has been awarded almost $300,000. Under a USDA Benchmarking Grant, the college has had the opportunity to collaborate with major universities such as the University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, North Dakota State University and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The benchmarking grants have totaled more than $350,000, allowing the College and the agriculture to grow and thrive in the 19 years since Olsen has been involved.
“It’s real, current information that we are discussing with the farmers,” said Jay Olsen, the director of the Farm and Ranch Management Program. “One participant said that he was in the long process of getting a loan for some additional farmland . . . he had been compiling information using the ‘best guess’ method. As he started training, he learned how each piece of information fit into is financial statements and how to compile them.” According to Olsen, “Early one morning, he received a call from his banker informing him that the loan had to be done today. The farmer walked into the banker’s office 20 minutes later and dropped a full set of financial statements on his desk. The banker said that in 10 years of lending he had never had a farmer give him actual financial statements.” These skills are necessary to the success of the farming industry and are available thanks to the grants that Snow College receives each year.
Another benefit of the Farm and Ranch Management program is the opportunity it gives for Agricultural Business Students at Snow College to see a farm operating in the real world, in real time. Undergraduates can join the instructors on their farm visits, observing and learning from the farmers enrolled in the program. “Students get to look over the shoulder of these farmers, and see why they need to take accounting classes as an agribusiness major,” said Olsen. “Last weeks farm analysis visit, often becomes this weeks class discussion.”
For more information on the Farm and Ranch Management program, please visit www.snow.edu/farm
ABOUT SNOW COLLEGE
Snow College is located in Ephraim, Utah in the Sanpete Valley at the base of the Wasatch Mountain range. Snow College is the one of eight, state-funded institutions of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1888, it serves over 4,500 students from across the United States and the world. Learn more about all Snow College has to offer online at http://www.snow.edu.