Enhancing farm management skills

The Farm Business Development Initiative (FBDI) has launched a new online system that allows producers to enrol in the program, submit their information and apply for funding in just a few easy steps. Interested farmer clients must first create an online account by providing user identification – usually an email address – and a password.

This can be done by accessing the new FBDI website at fbdi.gov.sk.ca.

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With an account established, a client may complete the “Taking Stock” self-assessment by answering questions online. Once the self-assessment is completed, the client is encouraged to contact the Regional Farm Business Management Specialist in his or her region to complete an in-person “Farm Development Plan,” and discuss possible training opportunities and/or the possibility of engaging a consultant. The client will have the opportunity to either apply for funding while in the office or do it later online.

The new online system will also provide farmer-clients with a list of registered consultants and registered learning events that could assist them in improving their management capabilities. Producers interested in enhancing their knowledge and skills in farm business management can browse these lists to find an advisor and/or learning activities that meets their specific needs. Consulting services and learning events cover a range of topics including: business strategy, marketing strategy, production economics, financial management, human resource management, succession planning, and business structure.

The new system also provides consultants and learning- providers an easy way to have their consulting services and learning activities registered with the Ministry of Agriculture. Interested consultants and learning providers must create an online account and provide basic information about their learning activities or consulting services. Consultants and learning providers are then contacted by a Provincial Farm Business Management Specialist to confirm the registration of their services and/ or activities.

The Farm Business Development Initiative is funded under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Through FBDI, eligible farmers are reimbursed part of the cost of tuition for learning activities and/or engaging an advisor to develop farm management plans. Producers have used FBDI to: determine the best structure for their farm business, develop a strategy to recruit and retain skilled employees, manage their cost of production, plan for transferring the business to the next generation, or improve their financial management practices.

FBDI continues to March 31, 2018, allowing time for producers to take training or engage an advisor to assist with farm management decisions.

For more information visit the new FBDI website at https://fbdi.gov.sk.ca; contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre; or visit a nearby Saskatchewan Agriculture regional office to enrol in person.