Tools to Navigate a Challenging Farm Economy
MSU Extension
Farmer standing in front of field and combine tractor


The best way to prepare your farm for tomorrow, is to understand your farm today. That’s why GreenStone’s dedicated to supporting organizations and events that provide resources for the agricultural community. Our pursuit of supplying farmers and producers with the tools they need to succeed aligns with that of Michigan State University Extension’s (MSUE). 

On March 11, MSUE will be hosting an agribusiness meeting, “Tools to Navigate a Challenging Farm Economy,” for farmers in Cass County to equip them with the knowledge to maneuver through today’s fierce agriculture industry and how to best manage the farm. With this year’s slim cash grain profit margins, knowing the “true” operating cost of your farm is essential in accurately managing the farm. MSUE’s farm management educator, Jon LaPorte, will be presenting on how to determine that cost and help farmers recognize areas on the farm that may need more attention.

“We will be focusing on equipping farmers with a better knowledge and understanding of the financial standings of their farms and giving them an idea of how to identify areas of strength,” Jon says. “If you know where your farm’s financial health is, you can more easily determine areas of opportunity to increase profits, or weak areas that you may need to cut costs in. It all starts with finding your break-even point and going from there.”

GreenStone’s goal of helping farmers increase their management capability is carried on through the expertise and community engagement of our employees. Sara Trattles, financial service officer at GreenStone, will be presenting at MSUE’s agribusiness meeting about farm financing and lending options.

“The meeting is a great way to help farmers determine where they are at financially. I’ll be speaking about operating options, different ways to secure loans and how to finance through today’s current state of the economy,” Sara says. “The more that people can do on their financials and have a good gauge of where they are, the less time spent spinning their wheels. They will be able to go out and do what they love to do, farm.”

Including Jon and Sara’s presentation, there will be five agricultural professionals speaking on different topics related to the agriculture industry, including:
• Upcoming Legislation Impacting Farmers in 2019 (Rep. Aaron Miller, District 59)
• Finding Your Farm’s “True” Cost of Production (Jon LaPorte, MSU Extension)
• Grain Marketing and Effective Strategies (Charles Stutesman, Brock Associates)
• Pairing Crop Insurance Options with Marketing Strategies (David Colville, Owner/Agent, Colville Insurance Agency)
• Farm Financing – Know Your Options & Their Uses (Sara Trattles, GreenStone Farm Credit Services)

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required as seating is limited. Call the Cass County Extension office (269-445-4438) to reserve your seat. Contact Jon LaPorte ( or 269-445-4438) or Eric Anderson ( or 269-467-5510) for more information. To learn more about Michigan State University Extension’s event, click here


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