Orientation: Learning the Ropes

In our first live session, we will start off with an introduction circle to get to know everyone, then go over what to expect from the program and talk about what a business plan entails. We’ll wrap up with some goal setting around farm business planning in small-groups.

Here are some guiding questions to help you start thinking about what you need in a farm business plan:

What is your goal in writing a business plan? Why are you writing one?
How will you use your business plan?
What would a successful plan look like at the end of this program?
What do you feel most/least confident about?
What kind of support do you need to write a business plan?

Write down your answers to these questions and refer back to them when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed!


Here is a space to jot down some goals for your business planning journey!

Orientation Worksheet (doc)
Orientation Worksheet (pdf)


Here you can find a list of resources that may be helpful as you write (and re-write!) your business plan. The content and form of your plan will depend on your goals — a business plan for a lender will look quite different than a plan for testing the feasibility of a new enterprise. Your business plan will be as unique as your farm, so use these resources, templates, and examples as guides for writing a business plan that suits your needs.

Farm Business Support and Resources (Young Agrarians)
Agri-Processing Business Resources (Government of Alberta)

Business Plan Templates

Business Plan Writer (Futurpreneur)
Business Plan Skeleton (Community Futures)
Business Plan Guide (Canadian Regional Business Centre)
Business Plan & Financial Templates (Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre)

Example Farm Business Plans

Example – Down in the Dirt (CSA) (Intervale Centre)
Example – Wild Food Farm (Veggie farm) (Wild Food Farm)
Examples – Farm and Food Production Business Plans (BPlan)
Example – Essex Deep South Brewery (Hops) (Futurpreneur)

Small Business Support

Small business support centres can be a great resource for businesses in start-up. Many offer online business planning tools and templates, as well as in-person or virtual advising.

Rural Small Business Support (Community Futures)
Alberta Small Business Support (Business Link)
BC Small Business Support (Small Business BC)
Saskatchewan Small Business Support (Square One)
Manitoba Small Business Support (World Trade Centre Winnipeg)

Do you have a great resource to add to this list? Send it over to Alex at alex@youngagrarians.org