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PDPW Offers Dairy Financial Literacy Course

Maureen Hanson


November 5, 2020



After a tumultuous year of financial ups and downs, dialing in on the financial aspects of their businesses is a key survival move for dairy producers.


“Financial Literacy for Dairy” is an in-depth financial management seminar being presented by the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW). All sessions will be held at the PDPW Headquarters in Juneau, Wis.


The program focuses specifically on dairy farm enterprises, and will be offered in three levels. Space is limited to 30 attendees per level. Pre-assessment during registration will determine which level is appropriate for each participant. You’ll receive notification of your level placement immediately upon submission. Participation is open to both PDPW members and non-members, and attendees do not have to be residents of Wisconsin.


Contents of the three levels includes:


Level 1:             4 total days of training in 2 sessions

                        November 11-12 and December 9-10, 2020


Dive into core financial concepts, such as the value of determining and developing short-term and long-term business goals, and the principles of preparing annual balance sheets and other financial documentation. Participants will also compile a cash income statement to measure their dairy’s profitability. Trainers: Gary Sipiorski, agricultural business and financial consultant; and Dr. Kevin Barnhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


Level 2:             6 total days of training in 3 sessions

                        January 13-14; February 10-11; and March 3-4, 2021


Take an in-depth look at financial tools such as income statements, inventories, and depreciation. A study of profitability and cost-center tracking will show class trainees how to separate various parts of their operation to measure profitability of each enterprise such as raising heifers, steers and crops. Trainers: Gary Sipiorski, agricultural business and financial consultant; and Dr. Kevin Barnhardt, Professor of Agribusiness at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


Level 3:            2 total days of training in 1 session


                        March 24-25, 2021


This level will cover budgeting tools for planning and performance monitoring, trend analysis, key metrics to monitor, and benchmarking. This level will stretch attendees with managing capital investment for their business, how to optimize capital purchases and protocols for sharing records. Trainer: Dick Wittman of Wittman Consulting and faculty for The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers.


The base cost of Level 1 training is $650 for PDPW members and $775 for non-members. Nominal additional tuition fees will be assessed for Levels 2 and 3.

New this year is a “Count on Us” component of the course, in which a host of financial institutions are providing partial or full scholarships for participants. Producers should register for the course and pay the base tuition, then consult with their “Count on Us” partner to determine the scholarship amount.


In addition to dairy producers, the course is recommended for veterinarians, nutritionists and allied agribusiness professionals who wish to gain more knowledge about dairy farm financial management. Continuing Education credits through Dairy Advance are available.


PDPW will follow the latest CDC guidelines for social distancing and group gatherings, with ample supplies of masks and hand sanitizer available.


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