Farming for the Long Haul

A two-year business planning program for experienced farmers that combines technical assistance, peer learning, and an opportunity to apply for a grant to implement your business plan.

A close-up of a field of young purple and green vegetables at Bahner Farm in Belfast.

Take the long view

Farming for the Long Haul is for farmers who want to build financial planning skills and dive deep into a business plan that considers long-term viability to increase confidence in your business.

In this competitive program, you will explore what long-term viability looks like for your business. If selected, you will:

  • Receive up to a $2,750 budget per year to be used on individually tailored technical assistance, for a total of two years. MFT staff will help you identify your short- and long-term goals, and pair you with a technical assistance provider who has the applicable expertise to meet those goals.
  • Attend MFT’s Business of Farming workshops (if you have not yet already participated in the workshop series).
  • Participate in workshops for experienced farmers that put your challenges and questions to your farming peers and service providers. The kick-off session will include long-term financial planning. Other topics will be chosen by cohort participants.
  • Have the option to write a business plan, focused on achieving your long-term viability goals.
  • Have the opportunity to submit your business plan to compete for an Implementation Grant of up to $65,000.
  • Continue to have the opportunity to engage with previous years’ cohorts through networking and yearly workshops.

During the program, you’ll be matched with an experienced team of business, production, marketing, and retirement advisers over two years to:

  • Set long-term financial goals and plan for them, including building equity.
  • Create possible scenarios for your business and write a business plan based on your most preferable scenario.
  • Create a 10-year financial forecast, that defines a roadmap to increase equity over time
  • Plan for eventually exiting the business and receive support around succession planning, tailored to where you’re at in your business and life stage.
Milled grain being held after being separated

Grow Your Farm Business

Farming for the Long Haul is for you, if you:

  • Know the profitability of each of the enterprises on your farm, and have a profitable product mix
  • Have confidence in your markets and know which market channels are the best fit for your business
  • Have a solid bookkeeping system that supplies you with data you use to make decisions
  • Regularly make financial forecasts and know how to read a profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.
  • Have grown your business, and are thinking about plans to build equity
  • In a more competitive application year, priority will be given to farms who meet these criteria and produce food. If your primary enterprise is a value-added product, then you must produce at least half of the ingredients used in your final product.

If you feel like you’re not quite at this stage, but want to get there, consider enrolling in our Business of Farming program!

Yellow tomatillos in cartons
Group of cows with yellow ear tags standing in formation looking at the camera.

How to Apply

Applications for Farming for the Long Haul 2024 is now closed. Thanks to all of our wonderful applicants!

Applications for Farming for the Long Haul 2025 will open in fall 2024.

What farmers are saying:

“I’d just like to say thanks to everyone at MFT for putting on such a fantastic program- it had already proven super during the past year and will continue to help as we implement our technical assistance work and take the next steps to growing our business.”

Steve Burger

Winter Hill Farm

“The program gave me the tools and skills I needed to look at my numbers in ways I never had thought to do previously. It really made me look at my individual enterprises and determine what was making, or losing money. The one-on-one technical assistance I received was invaluable.”

Christelle McKee

Copper Tail Farm

“This last year was one of the most streamlined yet. We had an amazing crew, good systems, a good plan, and rain. The technical assistance was the most useful part of the program. Having someone help walk me through enterprise budgets and realizing what was working was super helpful.”

Meg Mitchell

South Paw Farm

Get In Touch

Alex Fouliard, Farm Business Planning Co-Manager

Alex Fouliard

Farm Business Program Manager

Alex Fouliard

Farm Business Program Manager

Alex Fouliard, Farm Business Planning Co-Manager