Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Taking Care of Business: Understanding the Business, Tax, and Regulatory Implications of Your Farm

March 9, 2015


This course is designed to help aspiring or beginning farmers better assess and manage a variety of risks that farmers face in operating their farms.  Throughout the six week period, topics essential for operating a farm business will be discussed. Participants will learn about insurance coverages, types of business structures and tax information.

Target Audience

Aspiring or beginning farmers living and/or farming in NYS and seeking to learn about the commercial, legal and tax implications of farming. This is an intro-level course. Farmers outside NYS can take the course, but should know that extra legwork will be required on the part of the farmer to determine the parallel agencies and regulations that apply in their state.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, you will know how to:

  • Describe the five risks that farmers need to regularly address
  • Comprehend the legal liabilities of operating a farm or selling agricultural products
  • Find the resources necessary to better understand income and sales tax regulations for operating a farm.
  • Evaluate various forms of business ownership and determine which will be best for you at this time
  • Identify rules and regulations (for marketing, food safety, facilities, etc) that are pertinent to the type of agricultural enterprise you plan to operate
  • Use insurance as a risk management tool


The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.


Stephen Hadcock, Extension Educator with Capital Area Agricultural and Horticultural Program, NY and
Lynn Bliven, Extension Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany-Cattaraugus Counties, NY.


Mon. March 9 – April 13, 2015, with webinars on Monday evenings from 7-8:30pm Eastern time. Webinars will always be recorded for later viewing in case you miss them.

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Introduction to Moodle (our virtual classroom)
    Topics covered: Navigating in Moodle, course expectations, student introductions
  • Week 2: How Should I Organize the Business?
    Topics covered: Common business structures, alternative options, mission & vision
  • Week 3: Income and Sales Tax
    Topics covered: Relevant IRS law, Farmers Tax Guide, NY Tax Law
  • Week 4: What is the NYS Agricultural District Law?
    Topics covered: Zoning, ag districts, property tax exemptions for farmers
  • Week 5: Permits and Regulations
    Topics covered: Online permit assistance, sales tax, Dept. of Ag & Markets
  • Week 6: Record Keeping and Wrap Up
    Topics covered: which records to keep, options and resources, final Q&A

NOTE: This course in particular contains several lessons that relate specifically to NYS laws, so out-of-state participants may need to do additional research to determine the details of their state’s equivalent laws.




Northeast Beginning Farmers Project

legend 1 Conferences

legend 2 Fairs & Festivals

legend 3 JSFC Attending

legend 4 Lectures & Films

legend 5 Special Events

legend 6 Webinars

legend 7 Workshops & Classes

Back to Calendar

Would you like your event listed here? Email us at info@juliashanks.com

Tips, Tools
And Templates

Writing a business plan? Looking for investors? Getting set up in QuickBooks? We’ve got the tools and templates you need, from planning a startup to growing your business.

Learn More

Our Services
What We Offer You

Whether you’re just starting out, or expanding your business to the next phase of growth, Julia Shanks Food Consulting can help you succeed. Click below to find out more about our services.

Learn More

Have Julia Speak
At Your Conference

Julia speaks about small business accounting, business planning and sustainability. Recent conferences include Slow Money’s National Gathering and The National Young Farmers’ Conference.

Learn More