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Agricultural News: Workshops for Farmers to Learn How to Use Spreadsheets

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   The University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture, in cooperation with the UT Manage Program, will offer a workshop for farmers who want to learn how to create and use spreadsheets to evaluate their farm records. 

   The “Got Farm Records…Now What?” workshops will help farmers take their business records and turn them into spreadsheets, with analysis capabilities. Analyzing records in a spreadsheet format can help farmers make better business decisions. “Using spreadsheets and other tools to evaluate value-added opportunities and determine costs and breakeven prices needed to cover those costs enables you to have more confidence in decision making. It also improves the likelihood that your farm or operation will succeed,” says Hal Pepper, financial analysis specialist with the Center for Profitable Agriculture. 

   At each workshop location, participants will learn how to export the records from an imaginary farm into a spreadsheet. Participants will be provided the spreadsheet on a flash drive and will practice analyzing the data to make business management decisions. Participants should bring their own laptop computer with the Microsoft Excel program to the workshop. No prior experience working in Microsoft Excel is necessary. Specialists will be available to provide one-on-one assistance with participants during the workshop.

   Pepper, along with other instructors from CPA and UT Manage, will present the workshop content at each location. The workshops will feature instruction on using spreadsheets to analyze direct marketing, food processing and agritourism enterprises.

   Workshops will be held across the state fall 2019 and winter 2020. Each full day workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. local time and conclude at 4 p.m. local time. The workshop will be offered to local participants on Thursday, November 7th in Lawrenceburg, TN.

   Pre-registration is required and there is a fee, with lunch provided. Space is limited and registration will close five business days prior to each workshop. Registration is now open at tiny.utk.edu/gotfarmrecords. 

   This workshop fulfills a Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) requirement in the Agritourism, Fruit and Vegetable and Value-Added Producer Diversification Sectors. For additional information regarding educational programs for TAEP requirements, contact Jan Keyser at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at 615-837-5346. 

   The workshop was developed by the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture through funding provided by Southern Risk Management Education and is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2018-70027-28585.

   The CPA conducts a number of workshops for Tennessee farmers and ranchers and those who are thinking of operating a value-added business. For more information about these and other CPA workshops, visit the website for the Center for Profitable Agriculture: ag.tennessee.edu/cpa. Look for a link under the “educational events” menu.

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