Farm and Ranch Financial Analysis: Boots on the Ground from K-State Research and Extension

Blog post by Deb Ohlde, Central Kansas Corn Crew Representative

During tough times in agriculture, farmers need to be prepared to take advantage of programs, experts and support services.  LaVell Winsor is part of The Farm Analyst Program which has a long history of responding to farm families encountering a variety of situations.

“The Program offers a deep dive into the farm’s finances which is helpful for everything from expansion, to navigating a difficult situation, or even for an annual checkup,” Winsor says. “We also often work with families preparing for succession.”

Analysts, many of whom are active farmers, provide concentrated one-on-one consultation that taps into their extensive training in business analysis.  Because the analysts also have farming experience, it creates strong empathy for the families they support. Over 1000 producers have been assisted since the program began.

“Our goal in working with farmers is that they will take the information as a management tool and a guidepost for the next year,” she says. “First in projecting how the entire year will look, but then as the year goes along, checking back in to see what unexpected changes might have occurred along the way”

More information on the program is available at  You can also connect with an analyst through your local county agent, your ag lender or the Kansas Ag Mediation Service (see below). All information provided by producers is strictly confidential. Fees are reasonable and based upon ability to pay.

Winsor explains that the analysts are also a portal to other types of assistance.  “Along with the financial analysis piece,” she says, “the analysts also serve a role as resource connectors.  We are aware of other extension programs and a wide range of outside service providers that might be helpful with other aspects of the farm.”

One example of the partners working in conjunction with The Farm Analyst Program is the Kansas Farm Management Association (KFMA).  KFMA staff build ongoing relationships with farm families to provide relevant services including whole-farm or enterprise analysis; assistance with estate planning; and financial benchmarks with the aim of improving decision making. For more information or to tap into the network of 25 economists or one of the six regional associations visit

Another companion program is Kansas Agriculture Mediation Service which has been providing Kansas producers with legal, financial and mediation services for 25 years.  They can be reached at 800-321-3276 or at

Challenges bring out the best in farm neighbors who assistant each other and share the load. Sometimes reaching beyond your neighborhood is necessary.  Don’t overlook the programs designed specially to support and engage when farmers need a helping hand.