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Farmers Learn how to Keep Records in Ag Accounting Class
For many, farming is a way of life. But farming is also a business, which requires record keeping.
A class at Lincoln Land Community College guides farmers through the accounting process, so they can manage their farm as efficiently as possible.
ABC News Channel 20's Lindsey Hess takes us to the agri-comp class to see what the students are learning.
When you walk into agri-comp class, you'll see a room full of farmers all working away on computers.
"We help farmers to improve their record keeping. We use a software program on the computer to of course help them organize their records better," said Douglas Thompson, Agri-Comp Instructor.
The seven week farm accounting class at Lincoln Land Community College's Capital City Training Center is taught by Thompson, a farmer and former farm manager for a Jacksonville Bank.
"All of the instructors are farmers as well and so we do all the same information on our own records," said Thompson.
Thompson says if a farmer is going to market a crop, it's important they know how much it costs to produce.
"Accurate records and being able to use those records to be able to use that information that helps them to determine the cost of production and helps them with grain sales and that those types of things that's what we're working to achieve," Thompson said.
All expenses are taken into account.
"Every cost that we have, even the fuel. We know we burn so many gallons overall and we might know it by operation that we might use so many gallons per trip across the field but this divides it out among all of our farms and among the crops that are raised, too, so we have costs that are per crop and per farm," Thompson said.
There are 19 students in Thompson's class all crunching numbers from their own financial records.
"Everyone in the class has their own database of their information on the computer so they bring it to class and take it home at the end of the day and put it back in their computer at home," Thompson said.
Instead of lecturing, Thompson offers individual assistance.
"As instructors we just kind of circulate around the class and help people as they have questions and they bring their questions from home okay well I had this problem at home how do I fix this or how do I deal with it," Thompson said.
In Springfield, Lindsey Hess, ABC NewsChannel 20.
The agri-comp class costs 300 hundred dollars and takes place every spring semester at Lincoln Land.