ND Farm Management Frequently Asked Questions 

​What does it cost to enroll? 
The annual enrollment costs vary based on when the participant enrolls at either of the four community colleges or Glen Ullin High School.  On average, the personalized instruction costs $650 per year. 

I don’t want my financial information to become public. Should I be concerned?
There is no need for concern in sharing information. All information and data collected is completely confidential. We will establish a relationship with your lender so information can be shared. Your analysis will be submitted for the purpose of publishing state and regional averages but will only be used as part of a group average. 

Is there assistance available for paying tuition? 
If you are interested in enrolling in the ND Farm Management Program, contact an instructor at a local participating community college or Glen Ullin High School to find out about grants/scholarships.

Who should enroll in the ND Farm Business Management Education program?  
Our program has great value to all ages and situations. We have students from ages 18 to 70 and from 1st year farms to well-established operations. It is all about understanding your farm or ranch’s financial situation and performance and to help you make better decisions.

Are group classes held?
Regular group classes are not held but there may be special group presentations from time to time which are optional to attend.

What is the time commitment required of me? 
The time you put into the program will determine how much you get out of it. At a minimum you will be expected to keep a complete set of financial and production records suitable to complete a whole farm analysis. Three to five visits a year are typical but new students may meet monthly. Long-term students may meet less often. Each student’s needs are different.

Do I need to be proficient with computers? 
You do not need to be proficient with a computer to take the course. Although learning to use a computerized accounting program is the most common task for first-year students and will ultimately prove to be a time saver however it is not a requirement. Our instructors can guide you through the process of learning a new computer program. We have many valuable and time-saving tools and spreadsheets that farmers come to rely on so we do encourage learning how to use them.

I already use a computer accounting system. Do I need to switch? 
You will not need to switch accounting systems.  We will make recommendations if you are choosing a program or looking to switch. We can do a better job of answering questions and solving problems if we are familiar with the program. The only requirement is that you have accurate, reliable numbers to work with at the end of the year.

NDFM Videos

“I enjoy being able to benchmark my numbers against other farms to see how am I am doing in relation to other farms in the area. It also keeps track of your numbers for every year that you're in the program so you can see trends, and know where are you trending in your different categories. Knowing your numbers is key. Having somebody to help you do that each year is important so that you can know how to benchmark yourself, know where you need to be on a marketing basis and know each year in and year out.”
Bryan A., Farmer - Bowbells

“The Farm Management program is great for passing on a healthy operation to the next generation. You get to work with your farm, and everything you do in your farm management helps decide whether it’s a viable asset to pass on to your children.”
Bruce A., Farmer & Rancher - Bowbells

“Why should the average operator consider using the North Dakota Farm Management Program? Well, I'd see the biggest benefit coming back to when they sit down with their ag lender at renewal time. They can make sure they're accurate and utilize different types of programming so they can see where they sit financially through the various analysis that the farm program does. When you can simplify that and make my job easier, I can get you an answer more quickly.” –
Jacob F., Ag lending officer, First Western Bank & Trush - Minot

“I'm a fourth generation farmer, been here since I was a wee little lad and going to be here for the next 50 years, and hopefully a fifth generation follows us. Every morning you wake up and you try your best to take care of the herd, and take care of the land. It's a big responsibility. I’m enrolled in the Farm Management Program because Dad was first enrolled before me for about 30 years. It's really helped with figuring out what land's profitable and what isn't. You learn more and more every year. There's always more to learn when it comes to farming and ranching.”
​Joe M., Farmer & Rancher - Rolette 

“Our job as a farm management instructor is not to tell producers how to farm or what they should be doing in their operation. We work with them to help them understand their operation better. In terms of financials, where are their strengths and weaknesses? We work one on one with each producer that's enrolled. Each producer is different in their size of operation, where they're sitting at financially, what they're doing as far as like crops or livestock. A lot of people will look at us and think it's just for the people who are struggling. But it’s not. We have producers who have been in this program for 20, 30 plus years and they're still taking away something from it every year. To be successful, it's not just about putting in the hard work into it. It's also backing your operation with those financials.” -
​Lynsey Aberle, ND Farm Business Management Instructor - Minot

“Everything in small towns revolves around agriculture in one way or another. Most of the next generation that is coming back to the farm are kids that have grown up on the farm or working on a farm. They have driven the tractors and operated the combines, but they have not had an opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes to finance the operation. The financial side, the
bookwork, the planning, the marketing. Our program gives them a view of that side of the business. The younger generation that has decided to give farming a shot, by that time, they know that they can handle the physical work, but the FBM program puts the priority on the other side of the business to focus on bookwork and financing. We are part of the support system that can build their confidence from a financial perspective and put them well on their way to establishing a sound, profitable business that can support their family for generations to come.”
Ron Egli, ND Farm Business Management Instructor - Glen Ullin  

“It was always my plan to come back to the farm. This was homesteaded in 1888. I am the fifth generation on the farm. I like the variety, being my own boss and just working with the land. I started with the farm management program probably about five years ago as I needed to be more in depth and some of my accounting and I mainly wanted to enterprise some of my crops out with it just to see where I was doing well and where I wasn't doing well. The program is very valuable in long term planning and watching your net worth. It helps you visualize that you're going in the right direction, that you are building equity and net worth for the future.  Farming is still as a way of life, but it's more of a business now than it used to be. It has to be managed as a business.” –
Shane T., Farmer - New Salem 

“Everything always is individual. It's not a cookie cutter program. Everybody comes in with their own unique situation, their own, unique problems or opportunities. With every farmer you have to have a different approach because their situation is so different than everybody else's. But with that you try to get a standard outcome once you have, all the numbers plugged into the right equations and everything works out the way it's supposed to. If anybody asks me when can they enroll, the answer would be today.” –
Sheila Braaten, ND Farm Business Management Instructor - Rugby

​How to Enroll 

To enroll in a ND Farm Management program near you, contact one of the instructors using the form on this page


​Here’s what farmers, ag lenders and instructors are saying about the benefits of this program