Planning For Profitability Program Set for Aug. 1 in Rock Rapids

Planning for Profitability program for farmers and agribusinesses 

One-day program will focus on planning ahead while facing shrinking margins in production agriculture

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach invites local farmers and agribusiness professionals to attend a free one-day Planning for Profitability workshop in either Rock Rapids or Decorah.

Planning for Profitability in a Changing Dairy Industry will focus on options to increase profitability when facing shrinking margins; risk management strategies and how they can benefit dairy operations; changes and requirements that ag lenders may be asking for when reviewing loan requests; and a review of the milk market.

Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa dairy specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, shared that the program is designed for dairy managers, but all those involved in production agriculture – livestock producers, crop farmers and agribusiness professionals that serve them – are welcome to attend and will find many parts of the program educational and relevant to their enterprises.

“In production agriculture, almost all producers are facing, or will face, shrinking margins,” Hall said. “Our dairy men and women are definitely facing it right now, so the program is geared towards them; however, many aspects of the presentations will be relevant to all agriculture industries.”

Planning for Profitability will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will be offered in two different locations to accommodate as many participants as possible. The program will be hosted at Pinter’s Gardens and Pumpkins located at 2475 State HWY 9, Decorah, on July 31; and the following day, Aug. 1, the same program will be offered at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids.

Key presentations include:

  • Cash versus accrual accounting and how it will be affected by changes in the tax laws – presented by Tom Thaden, Eric Hofland and Reggie Hostetler, Agriculture Consultants from the Northwest Iowa Farm Business Association;
  • Using FINBIN and DHIA data to predict financial success on small-medium sized dairies – presented by Joleen Hadrich, Extension Economist and Associate Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota;
  • The value of a risk management strategy – presented by Cassie Monger, Dairy Industry Specialist with Compeer Financial;
  • Dairy Market Outlook – presented by Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa Dairy Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The program will also feature a panel of local agricultural lenders who will discuss what they look for in the future of ag loans and financial decisions. In Decorah, the panel will include Andy Ludeking, Cresco Bank, a Division of Decorah Bank & Trust Company; Reid P. Mahoney, Freedom Bank; Compeer Finanical and Citizens Savings Bank. In Rock Rapids, the panel will consist of Brad Bruxvoort, First State Bank Southwest; Chris Kayton, Farm Credit Services of America; Dale Vanderberg, Peoples Bank; and Troy Vander Stouwe, Iowa State Bank.

Participants can select their preferred meeting date/location and register online at, or by calling 563-382-2949 to pre-register for the July 31 Decorah meeting; and 712-737-4230 for the Aug. 1 Rock Rapids meeting. There is no fee to attend either session and lunch is provided; however, pre-registration is required by July 26 to plan adequately for meals and materials.

The Planning for Profitability program is being hosted by ISU Extension and Outreach, as part of I-29 Moo University. The I-29 Moo University is a network of Dairy Extension and industry personnel from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, who work to enhance a sustainable dairy community along the I-29 corridor.

For more information on this and other programs, contact your local Extension Dairy Specialist. In Northwest Iowa, contact Fred M. Hall at 712-737-4230 or In Northeast Iowa, contact Jennifer Bentley at 563-382-2949 or

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