Your Farm Finances & Whether You’re Wise to Buy Farmland Now


Time: 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Location: Virtual Event

Organization hosting this event: Liberty Prairie Foundation

Price FREE…

How do you know whether you’re in a good position to buy your first farm or whether you’d be better off leasing a little longer?

This is a pivotal question that we are hearing more and more. The dream of owning one’s own land and having the security to make improvements and plant perennials has a powerful, emotional pull. But leasing has advantages, too, and can give you the financial margin you need to weather difficult times and grow your business more quickly.

To help answer those questions, Paul Dietmann of Compeer Financial will be introducing you to the basic tools of farm business finance – your balance sheet, cash flow analysis, and business plan – and then explaining how those tools can help you think through what your best approach would be. He’ll also share the financial pros and cons of buying vs. leasing so you have a good general framework for making your decision. You’ll learn, too, about different farm purchase mortgage options, like FSA loans, and their advantages and disadvantages. There will be plenty of time to ask questions of Paul as well. 


Nathan Aaberg (Liberty Prairie Foundation) – or 847-507-5989

Below are resources provided in a follow up email to registrants after the webinar.

YouTube Link

Powerpoint Link

Attachments:  Paul wanted us to make sure you knew there is a very basic balance sheet template attached as well as a much more in-depth version from OSU. Please also read the article with the title that begins “Should I Pay…” prior to reading the NPV and IRR article. 

We don’t want to overwhelm you with resources, but if you want to deepen your financial knowledge, here are a number of resources worth checking out.

1.  We came across this valuable Grassfed Life Podcast episode that features two farming experts helping a beginning farmer-couple figure out which of two land access options is best for them. We appreciated how the experts opened the eyes of the husband and wife to the different factors (financial, business planning, family dynamics, leasing vs. buying, etc.) that were quite different in each option. You can apply what you learn from the conversation to your own situation. Good land access situations work well for many different factors in your life.

2.  Books and Resources - Paul’s materials assume you have some base knowledge of finances, but here are some options to build your financial foundation.

  • The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias - Book on financial basics recommended by Paul during the webinar.
  • Fearless Farm Finances co-authored by Paul Dietmann - Go more in-depth into financial tools specific to farming.
  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker - Book recommended by Nathan about moving beyond the limitations of your current money mindset.
  • Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin - Another book recommendation from Nathan.
  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham - Another book recommendation from Paul.

As a reminder, here are two options for follow-up:

1.  Paul has generously offered to talk with you personally about your farm finances and business planning.  You can reach him at

2.  Nathan and I would love the opportunity to give you advice and ideas for your farmland search.  Email us directly or visit our Free Advising page to learn more.