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Agribusiness Management

Generations of Oregon family farms, of all sizes, have depended on Chemeketa Agribusiness Management for professional development, workforce training and support for helping them continue to be successful. For over 50 years we have served more than 1,400 farms in the Willamette Valley. We are here to help Oregon ag grow.

topics Agricultural Sciences

Skills & InterestLeadership

CareersAgricultural Science

  • Hazelnuts in growth on tree
  • three farming tractors baling hay
  • Bean plants in growth

Why choose Agribusiness Management?

Our objective is empowering program participants with an understanding of sound business management principles and practices through a focus on effective financial record keeping analysis and interpretation.

You will learn farm management skills, including –

  • Business planning and organizational structure
  • Setting business, personal and family goals
  • Optimization of production inputs through the Lean process
  • Business financial records completion and interpretations
  • Cost of production by class or enterprise
  • Succession planning and exit strategies
  • Tax strategies
  • Employee relations and labor issues
  • Leadership on the farm and in the community
  • Use of accounting software, spreadsheets and technology
  • Develope office and bookkeeping skills

What will you learn?

You will learn to create and maintain –

  • Record keeping, records analysis and interpretation
  • Goal setting: individual, family and business
  • Becoming a proactive and important participant in the management of your family business
  • Profit and loss statement
    • By enterprise or crop system
    • Whole farm
    • Budgets and cash flow
    • The importance of Cash vs. Accrual accounting

What will you do?

You will be able to apply the best practices in the industry in running a farm business. Your knowledge will provide more business stability and increased opportunity for success and security for you and your family.

How and When to Join the Program

  • Enrollment (Next enrollment September 2022).

    We are accepting applications for Year One to begin Fall 2022. 

    • Apply now for Fall 2022.
    • Request an application packet by contcting the instructor.
    • The instructor will need your U.S Postal address to mail you "new student" materials and forms.
    • Formal registration with course payment will occur Fall of 2022.

Courses Offered For 2021-2022

  • Course Descriptions

    Agribusiness Management Program (Non-Credit) Enrollmnent is open

    The Agribusiness Management Program focuses on the basic principles of agricultural recordkeeping and financial management education.
    These non-credit courses provide agricultural business education for owners, family members and key personnel, including –

    • Use of recordkeeping software
    • Use of spreadsheet software
    • Setting goals
    • Staying informed about business and farming regulations
    • Understanding cost of production
    • Market fluctuations
    • Interpreting and learning agricultural policy
    • Succession planning and resolving family transition issues
    • Payroll and employee issues
    • Emerging and advancing technology.

    The major emphasis is on the development and maintenance of a complete set of records and the skills necessary to interpret the records and use the information to make sound agricultural business management decisions regardless of the size of the farm business. The program is designed for a minimum commitment of three years, but because of ever-changing technology, policies and practices and changes in key personnel, an agricultural business may choose to enroll for numerous years.

    These classes are taught in a classroom with additional instruction at your place of business for independent instruction that is tailored to fit your needs. Distance, online and evening classes are not available at this time.

    Courses for 2022-2023

    Agribusiness Management Year 1 
    Emphasizes setting agricultural business goals; developing a complete set of farm financial records; and analyzing those records for management decision making.

    Agribusiness Management Year 2 
    Monitors and assesses financial position of the agricultural business based upon records and analysis obtained in AgriBusiness Management YEAR 1. Explores computerized accounting and income tax management.

    Agribusiness Management Year 3 
    Focuses on reorganizing the agricultural business based on accumulated financial data. Further develops estate, retirement and labor management plans.

    Agribusiness Management Year 5 
    Applies recordkeeping skills to individual businesses. Seminars scheduled and at-business training and support of record keeping, succession planning and employment policy.

  • Top 14 Questions about the Agribusiness Management Program

    1. How old is the AgriBusiness Management Program at Chemeketa Community College?
    Answer:The Program was started in the fall of 1970.

    2. Does the size or type of farm matter?

    Answer: No. This is a business management class.  The concepts and training provided are not directed by the size/type of farm but rather the discipline of running a business.

    3. Is it a degree program?

    Answer: No. The courses are taught on a non-credit basis with the student population consisting typically of “agricultural families” and managers of family held agricultural businesses.

    4. Does this class train me how to keep better records, analyze these records and manage a farm business.

    Answer: Yes!  ABM is the epitome of workforce training, vocational training and professional development as it recognizes the training needs on an individual needs and meets those needs to make the individual better suited to the job.

    5. Does the Instructor assist in soliciting new students?

    Answer: Yes. The Instructors are constantly seeking out new students from the agricultural community. Traditionally the instructors are very active in the farm community.

    6. How many individuals from the same business may participate?

    Answer: The business may have more than one individual attending the class at the same time. It’s not uncommon to have situations including “husband/wife”, “sister/brother”, “niece/uncle”, “owner/bookkeeper”, or other combinations including family members and employees.

    7. How often are classes held?

    Answer: Traditionally the classes are divided into two lecture groups with 11 sessions for the “Year One” and six sessions for “Years 2-5”. Optional QuickBooks and Excel technology workshops are offered for those seeking additional training. All sessions are held from October to April.

    8. Does the Program follow any specific standards in its presentation of farm accounting?

    Answer: Yes. The program adheres to the criteria established by the Farm Financial Standards Council and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

    9. What does an individual expect to learn from the course?

    Answer: During the first year a foundation on keeping complete farm business records is taught along with learning about cost of production, budgeting, business structures and establishing goals.

    10. What is the age of the typical student?

    Answer: Typical students fall into no age group. Students range in age from their teens to their 80’s.

    11. Does all instruction occur in a campus classroom?

    Answer: No. Much of the instruction occurs while meeting with families, managers and bookkeepers at their place of business; working with them on their specific financial and bookkeeping issues in a confidential environment.

    12. Is record keeping the only issue discussed?

    Answer: No. The Instructors cover many topics selected for their relevancy to Oregon family farms. Additional examples include: succession planning; farm contracts; water rights; labor law; lending practices; checkbook and account reconciling; enterprise and cost of production analysis; and updates on tax planning and strategies.

    13. Do the Instructors use agricultural professionals to present a topic?

    Answer: Yes. The Instructors utilize professionals from around the area such as attorneys and CPA’s to present topics that are relevant to the success of your business.

    14. Do the instructors have farming backgrounds and experiences in agriculture?

    Answer: The college goes to great length to secure instructor with farming backgrounds combined with solid education in farm business management. It is quite likely that instructors grew up on farms and have owned farms. Collectively they have experience in lending, appraisals, real estate, marketing, accounting, business management, employee management and agricultural education.

  • Year One Class Curriculum

    Contact the course instructor for more information and to receive course application and registration forms.

    AgriBusiness Management - Year 1 

    Class Location: Chemeketa Community College, Salem Campus - Building 60 Room

    Class Dates:  To be announced – Typically begins in November and ends in April on Tuesdays

    Class Time: 9:00 AM to Noon

    Instructor: Phil La Vine

    Note: Please schedule additional confidential on-farm assistance/training to meet your specific business needs.





    Program Introduction, Overview & Goals - Writing “Smart” goals for Personal, Family and Business – for 1, 5 and 10 plus years.

    Preparing a SWOT Analysis – What is SWOT and why is it important.  Discussion on “WHY” records are kept and the importance of using your records to strengthen and build your farm business.


    Office Setup – Practical, Efficient & Engaging

    Inventory Management & Solutions – Managing inventory so it doesn’t manage you.  Tracking and valuing inventory.



    Succession Plans - Objective - Learn what works and what doesn’t.  When to start. How to handle changes in plans. How to build a team.

    Joint class with Years 1, 2, 3 & 5.       


    Record Keeping: The Basics- Keeping accurate and informative records versus “garbage in garbage out”. How to interpret data.

    Continuous Improvement – Application of systems that drive success, provide for business growth and focus on recognizing future business objectives.


    Profit & Loss, Ratios Analysis & “Cash vs. Accrual” Accounting -  

    What drives farm practices and efficiencies?  Recognizing Farm Financial Standards and GAAP.


    Net Worth Statement – Assets, Liabilities and Owners Equity. Balance sheet structure and nuances of agriculture.  Cost vs. market valuations. Developing the best chart of accounts for your business.  Why!


    Business Structures - Using the best business structure – Proprietorships, Partnerships, LLC or Corporation – which is best for you.  Why!


    Records Analysis and Interpretation – How, When & Why

    Depreciation - Real depreciation vs. functional and economic obsolescence and the IRS Tax Code.


    Enterprising Strategies – Income and expense allocations amongst crops, overhead and production.

    Social Styles - Understanding social styles and their importance.


    Budgets & Cash Flows – Making realistic projections using internal and external information.  Whole farm, partial and family budgets – why they are necessary.


    Year End Review & Conclusion.


  • Year Two - Five Seminar Series 2021-22 Schedule

    Agribusiness Management 2021-22 Seminar Schedule - Classes 2, 3 & 5

    The 2021/22 Seminar Sessions were as follows:

    Seminar Session 1 - Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    In classroom and Zoom Presentation

    • Speaker #1 at 9am

    Dennis Gamroth of Pacific Risk Management, Inc. 

    Dennis focus is on agricultural and food businesses with a “total risk approach” as compared to a focus on insurance products.  A great speaker with lots of agricultural experience.

    • Speaker #2 at about 10:15 am 

    Rob Aldridge of EARTHLIGHT – solar and energy solutions

    Earthlight is the “preferred solar vendor” for the Oregon Farm Bureau

    Rob will be talking about Energy Trust of Oregon, USDA’s REAP program, farm tax credits, tax savings from depreciation, and how you can recover a significant amount of your investment if you convert your business to solar. No sales-just information!

    Seminar Session 2 -  December 14, 2021 

    In classroom and Zoom Presentation

    Lenders Panel at 9am

    • Nick Wymore, VP, Agricultural Banking Officer, Columbia Bank
    • Kurt J. Wittman, Relationship Manager/VP, Northwest Farm Credit Services
    • Jeffrey Hilderbrand, Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer, Citizens Bank
    • Shane J. Schweitzer, Vice President/Investment Analyst, Harvest Capital

    Find out what Valley Lenders are thinking about???

    • Interest Rates?
    • Commodity Prices
    • Good Crops – Bad crops
    • Special Programs
    • And much more…

    Seminar Session 3 - Tuesday, January 11 , 2022 

    In Classroom and Zoom Presentation at 9am


    • Preparing for Taxes and tax forms due in Janaury and February
    • Covid Employee Update for Staff and Employees
    • Human Resource Issues to get right in 2022

    Seminar Session 4 - Tuesday, January 25, 2022

     In Classroom and Zoom Presentation at 9am

    Proposed - Family Farm Succession

    • Terry Kuenzi, CPA
    • Con Lynch, Attorney



    Seminar Session 5 - Tuesday, February 15, 2022 

    In Classroom and Zoom Presentation at 9am

    Proposed - Employment Laws

    Seminar Session 6 - Tuesday, March 1, 2022 

    In Classroom and Zoom Presentation at 9am

    Proposed - Climate Predictions for this summer

    Schedules are subject to change.