WV Small Farm Center

Introduction

Food Hub and Training/Incubator Farmers’ Cooperative Boards

Feasibility Studies and Business Plan Development Guide

Click this link to view provider Introduction as PDF

I. WHOWHATWHY – for the guide’s development

Who – Guide designed for feasibility study and business plan development for Division Manager(s) and/or Board of Directors of food hub/incubator farm cooperatives.

WHAT – units to be learned will include the following areas:
A. Drafting a Tentative Five to Ten Year Cooperative Plan
B. Feasibility Studies and Business Plan Needs Assessment Process
C. Growers/Farmers Business Plans Development
D. Education/Training Farm Plan Development
E. Support/Follow-up Services Plan Development
F. Food Hub, Packing, Processing, and/or Distribution Feasibility Study and Business Plan Development

Miscellaneous Materials

Why – Feasibility studies and business plan development needs to be completed so it can be used to assist program managers and/or board of directors in helping the cooperative in becoming and remaining successful. Business plans for growers, food hub, training, processing, etc. may be developed separately or may be contained in a single plan.

II. DESIGN – Training sessions and/or supportive materials will be provided at scheduled workshops or one-on-one sessions with board of directors and/or division managers. These sessions/materials could be presented by a consultants, board members, or also use as a self-study guide. An assessment of which training areas needed to be provided, how, when, and in what order they are provided will be determined during the early stages of the feasibility study and business plan development process.

Consultants, board of director members and/or division managers can take the generic handouts and examples, samples and/or templates and customize them to their specific cooperative. Then as the cooperative makes decisions about its operation, the handouts and samples/examples/templates could be modified to represent examples of their cooperative’s effort. When new or replacement board of directors and/or division managers come on board, they will be able to use the guide materials to help them better function as board of directors and/or division managers.

III. UNIT LESSON PLANS – The following unit lesson plans will address the following areas:

1) Training Objectives Statement(s)
2) Handout
3) Samples/Examples/Templates, and/or Reference Materials

NOTE: Handouts and support materials will be added to this guide’s documents as they are developed or better samples/examples/templates are located.

VI. UNIT BEHAVIOR STATEMENTS

A. Drafting a Five to Ten Year Cooperative Plan: Farm manager(s) and/or board of directors will draft a tentative five year to ten year long-term cooperative plan.
B. Feasibility Studies and Business Plan Needs Assessment Process: Division manager(s) and/or board of directors will assess the need for feasibility studies and business plan(s) development based on the tentative five to ten year cooperative long-term plan and other existing data.
C. Growers/Farmers Business Plans Development: The farm manager(s) and/or board of directors will facilitate a satellite/independent farm grower’s pre-business plan and a base farm business plan based on needs assessment results and the tentative five to ten year cooperative long-term plan.
D. Education/Training Program Plan Development: Program manager(s) and/or board of directors will facilitate education/training program feasibility studies (if needed) and a farm business plan based on the needs assessment results and the tentative five to ten year cooperative long-term plan.
E. Support/Follow-up Services Plan Development: Program manager(s) and/or board of directors will facilitate support/follow-up services studies and a program of services plan development based on the needs assessment results and the tentative five to ten year cooperative plan.
F. Food Hub, Process, Packing, and/or Distribution Feasibility Study and Business Plan Development: Program manager(s) and/or board of directors will facilitate food hub/process/packing/distribution feasibility studies and business plan development based on the needs assessment results and the tentative five to ten year cooperative plan.

V. POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

A PowerPoint presentation is provided for each chapter. A consolidated view of all six chapter PowerPoint presentations will also be provided in the PowerPoint Presentations section on the WVU Small Farms web site.

Click here to view PowerPoint presentation

12/6/15