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Farm Office

Ohio State University Extension


Our "Farm On" Farm Financial Management Course is Now Online!

By:Peggy Kirk Hall, Attorney and Director, Agricultural & Resource Law Program Friday, April 07th, 2023
Farmer working on machinery with Farm On  Farm Financial Management title overlay

We're excited to announce that our new farm financial management online course is now available.  Named "Farm On," the self-paced, on-demand farm financial management course was created by our Farm Office team under the leadership of new Farm Management Field Specialist Eric Richer.  It is offered through OSU Extension’s new Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute.

We created the Farm On course to address the needs of Ohio’s new and beginning farmers who want to better prepare themselves to operate a commercial farm in Ohio and do that with a high level of economic stability while remaining profitable and responsible along the way.  What’s unique about the Farm On course is that, not only does it comply with the regulations of the new Ohio House Bill 95 Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program, it also meets the borrower training requirements for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Loan Program.

The 10-module Farm On course includes video lessons, quizzes, and opportunities to apply knowledge gained through graded course exercises. Students can engage with the lead course instructor  through virtual office hours and scheduled appointments. The course covers the following topics:

  • Farm Business Planning
  • Balance Sheets
  • Income Statements
  • Cash Flow Projections
  • Calculating Cost of Production
  • Farm Record Keeping
  • Farm Taxes
  • Farm Financing
  • Risk Management
  • Farm Business Analysis

The Farm On course allows CFAES to serve the needs of all farmers through OSU Extension and our Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute, said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. 

“We are excited to partner with ODA and USDA-FSA to address the farm financial training that is required for running a farm business,” Kress said. “Currently, we are the only educational institution in Ohio with a course like ‘Farm On’ that qualifies for ODA’s Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program and FSA’s Borrower Training Requirements.

“As part of our Land-Grant mission, CFAES educates not just college students but over two million individuals across the lifespan.”

The Ohio House Bill 95 Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program went into effect in July 2022 and grants a 3.99% tax credit to landowners who sell or lease assets to a certified Ohio beginning farmer. The new law also allows an Ohio tax credit to the certified beginning farmer equal to the cost of the financial management course completed. The Farm On course costs $300 per person.

“OSU’s Farm On course is a great way to help Ohio farmers qualify for Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) new Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program, which is an important tool to help current beginning farmers and potential future farmers do what they do best,” said ODA Director Brian Baldridge. “We are thankful for this partnership that is helping to keep Ohio’s hard-working farmers at the forefront.”

According to Darren Metzger, Ohio Farm Service Agency Loan Chief, “The course is in-depth financial management training that can assist our borrowers to obtain and/or improve their knowledge in this critical area of farm management. OSU’s Farm On course is now 1 of 5 approved vendors for our borrowers in Ohio.”

CFAES’ new Farm Financial Management and Policy Institute was created last year with the goal of sharing resource-based knowledge and best practices to help Ohio farmers manage their businesses as the agricultural industry changes and evolves. Housed within OSU Extension, the goal of FFMPI is for the integration, translation, and communication of CFAES’ farm management and ag policy presence that addresses critical farm management and policy issues affecting Ohioans.

“Farm On is meeting a need of today’s modern crop farmers and it’s packaged in a way that respects the busy schedules of family farmers.  It’s this type of tangible benefit that earns the support of Ohio’s corn and small grains checkoff funds.  We are proud to partner with OSU Extension on this important new institute,” said Tadd Nicholson, executive Director of Ohio Corn and Wheat.

Farm On isn’t just for new and beginning farmers. The course provides an opportunity for any farmer in Ohio, whether you’re a new farmer, a seasoned farmer, a small farmer, or a large farmer.  For a long time, we’ve needed to have this course in Ohio because farm management is so critical to ensuring the future of our farms.

To learn more, view our video and to sign up for Farm On, go to