To run a profitable operation, cattle producers need to know their numbers. From feed and other input costs to inventory and sales figures, bottom lines depend on knowing what you need and knowing how to use that information. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Joe Sellers said the Iowa Beef Center (IBC) at ISU is planning a pilot project on setting up a farm business accounting system using QuickBooks software.
“The pilot project is a four-part series to be held in Knoxville over the course of a year using the IBC computer lab,” Sellers said. “Grants from IBC and the North Central Risk Management Education Center allow us to offer this at no cost to a limited number of participants.”
Participants will learn how to use QuickBooks for entering income and expenses, keeping track of inventory, recording feed use and other information needed for beef cow enterprise analysis. Project leaders also will teach skills on analyzing herds annually, interpreting results, understanding differences between cash and accrual accounting, and using records for management and tax purposes. This program is for those new to QuickBooks as well as those experienced in its use.
“It’s important for producers to be skilled in using technology to track their herd,” Sellers said. “Technology is inherent in today’s agriculture, and this project will help producers learn how to continue being efficient and profitable through the use of technology.”
At the conclusion of the pilot program, participants will be encouraged to work with their ISU Extension beef specialist to complete a beef herd financial analysis.
The first two sessions are scheduled for February 28 and March 6, with workshops held at both 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Marion County Extension office new location, 210 N. Iowa St., Knoxville. Follow up meetings will be held later in June and November. Registration is required to ensure a computer and is limited to the first 12 individuals or operations for each time frame. To register and reserve a computer for your operation, contact Joe sellers at 641-203-1270, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Marion County Extension office at 641-842-2014.