Site Guide

The Field Guide to the New American Foodshed is a resource for beginning farmers and ranchers, and for technical, financial, and other advisors to these agricultural entrepreneurs. Field Guide case studies provide models for addressing different aspects of farm and ranch business development in the new foodshed business environment.

How to Use the Field Guide

The Field Guide offers two ways to dig into detail about different business decisions and the directions they can take entrepreneurs in the New American Foodshed.

  1. Investigate different business decisions and related case study examples through the Decision Tree page.

    You can then review case studies featuring businesses that have taken a particular direction with their business, such as choosing to structure as an S-Corp or deciding to go to market through direct-to-wholesale channels.

  2. Or simply peruse the full list of case studies available. Each provides a summary of the different Decision Tree directions that apply in that case.

In addition, the Field Guide provides some handy One-Page Planning tools for farmers and ranchers to make sure they have their own business basics down; these tools go over the first questions entrepreneurs must ask, well before they start exploring the larger Decision Tree branches.

Keep in mind also that the Field Guide is a work in progress. Additional case studies and business development information will come from your experience in the field. We encourage you to submit items for consideration.

Target Audience

You are our target audience if you are

  • an aspiring, beginning, or transitioning farmer or rancher, or
  • a small business advisor, lender, or other person critical to this farmer or rancher’s development. 

Suggest a Resource

If you have additional case studies or materials to share, please tell us a little more about yourself and the materials.