Farm Gauge

Improving financial health of farms in Tennessee

What is Farm Gauge?

Farm Gauge is a US Department of Agriculture grant funded project designed to expand the farm financial management database FINBIN to include Tennessee farms. Tennessee is the only Southeastern state currently contributing data. FINBIN is a well-established, publicly available, secure farm financial database that provides benchmark financial information for producers, Extension educators, lenders, and other agricultural professionals.

Because Tennessee is agriculturally diverse, the state will be contributing data on enterprises not previously represented, such as cotton, tobacco, a variety of vegetables, hay, meat goat production, and more.

What is the goal of Farm Gauge?

“The goal of Farm Gauge is to make Tennessee farmers more money,” states Chris Boyer, project director. “Benchmarking financial information such as net farm income and cost of production can improve the profitability, competitiveness, risk management, and overall financial health of farms in Tennessee.”

How do farmers participate in Farm Gauge?

Tennessee farmers wanting to participate in the Farm Gauge project can begin by conducting a complete financial analysis of your farm business with your MANAGE Specialist.

Step 1: Complete forms: Outstanding Loans, Cash Sales and Expense, and Balance Sheet Input

Step 2: Contact your MANAGE Specialist

Step 3: Your MANAGE Specialist will enter your information into FINPACK

Step 4: Meet with your MANAGE Specialist for a one-on-one unbiased financial analysis of your farm using the financial statements produced through FINPACK

Your information will be entered into a software called FINPACK, which is a comprehensive account software that will produce for you a set of professional financial statements including balance sheets and income statements.

Step 5: Utilize information gained through the financial analysis to make management and financial decisions to improve your farm business

The financial statements produced through FINPACK will provide measurements on profitability, net worth, liquidity, and solvency that can identify areas of your operation that need additional management attention as well as help make strategic short- and long-run decisions for your farm business. You can also use these measurements to compare the performance of your farm business to other peer farm businesses in Tennessee and the United States. Additionally, the documents provided through the financial analysis conducted in FINPACK will be helpful for obtaining loans.