Illinois Farm Business & Farm Management Association
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FBFM is a cooperative educational-service program designed to assist farmers with management decision-making. It provides help with business and family records. Computer assisted record processing options are available either on farm or at service centers. It provides financial and production business analysis reports. An experienced Farm Analysis Specialist helps interpret analysis reports and counsels on management problems. The specialist meets regularly with each cooperator throughout the year.
FBFM cooperates with the University of Illinois, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics and University of Illinois Extension, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and local FBFM Associations. There are eight local not-for-profit associations in the state. The Pioneer FBFM Association is the oldest, starting in 1924. The Shawnee FBFM Association is the most recent, with its history tracing back to the early sixties.
The participating farmers (or cooperators) are the members of the association. They elect representatives to serve on board of directors to provide for the services and establish policy. The services have been delivered through field staff working with 100-120 cooperators. The field staff have been able to extend the University's research and educational function. Although in the past some staff have carried Illinois Extension appointments, most staff are employed directly by the local FBFM associations.
In 1949 the local associations federated to form the Illinois FBFM Associations. A cooperator in a local association is automatically a member of the state association. The local associations also elect a representative to sit on the state board of directors. The state association was formed to assist in program development, to coordinate recruitment and training of field staff, and to acquire supplies and services for the local associations.
Ninety-five percent of more of the cooperators renew their membership each year, as each year represents another chapter in their business career. Most of the farmers would indicate that it is their interaction with trained farm business analysis field staff that encourages them to continue their membership year after year. Field staff experienced in agricultural economics are able to provide a sounding board for the farmer and outline alternatives in the decision-making process.
For a more in depth explanation of our services, see FAQs.
- Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics