The CSA Planning Course – Improve, Improvise, Prosper
Core values To build integrity and identify meaningful, motivational guidelines for conducting a CSA farm. You will develop a mission statement of your personal values to guide your farm.
Business structure To learn about different business structures, insurance options, federal programs and the legalities of setting up your CSA business. Get information about options of getting labor done on your farm and the related management and costs. You will determine what changes you want to make in your insurance, business structure and labor strategy both short and long term.
Capitalization and growth To be informed about options in planning for the future of your CSA and to understand loan and other options for capitalizing your farm now and in the future. You will chart your farm growth plans and plan for profit.
Marketing, membership and communication To learn strategies on how to obtain, retain and grow membership and how to communicate with your members. You will create and improve written marketing materials for your farm.
Production planning from seeds to harvest To have a well thought out, efficient production plan scaled to your CSA that you can implement. You will create a production plan for your farm.
Harvest, post-harvest handling and distribution To give an overview of everything that needs to be done from coming in out of the field to getting produce into the hands of consumers. How to efficiently organize that process. You will develop packing lists and forms for tracking harvest and distribution.
Pricing and supplementation Learn how to cost your produce and how to make a profit including record keeping. Also learn how to meet a margin on selling supplemental produce. You will determine costs for sample CSA produce shares.
This course is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2009-49400-05943 and is a collaborative effort between the Angelic Organics Learning Center, the Prairie Crossing Farm Business Development Center and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.