- Program helps farm and ranch families manage risks.
- Communicating with lenders is a key.
- Adequate records are needed for analysis.
Ranchers, farmers and farm families who are experiencing drought-related financial concerns can find it beneficial to contact Oklahoma State University’s IFMAPS program for expert fiscal planning assistance and advice.
IFMAPS – Intensive Financial Management Planning and Support – has helped thousands of Oklahoma producers since its inception in 1985, said Damona Doye, OSU Cooperative Extension farm management specialist.
“Drought has created or exacerbated money concerns for many people,” she said. “As painful as it may be, it’s always better in the long run to tackle issues as early as possible.”
“Tackling issues” includes communicating with your lender, reviewing and maintaining accurate records related to operational decisions, identifying eligibility for appropriate government assistance programs and taking strategic actions such as culling cattle to offset shortages in forage and hay, among other options.
“IFMAPS assistance is free and confidential,” Doye said. “Sometimes it seems as though IFMAPS is not as well known as it could be because we maintain strict confidentiality. Producers who have worked with us in the past don’t necessarily advertise the program.”
Program participants are expected to provide the records needed for financial statements and budgets that allow IFMAPS experts to review and analyze the producer’s specific situation.
“IFMAPS specialists work one-on-one with Oklahoma farm and ranch families in developing sound financial plans,” Doye said. “Specialists arrange a mutually convenient time and place to meet, often in the producer’s home.”
Doye said ranchers, farmers and farm families who receive individual assistance are better able to organize their financial information, evaluate this information and make informed, realistic decisions about their operations.
Agricultural producers wanting to schedule an appointment or seeking additional information should contact the IFMAPS program by phone at 1-800-522-3755.
IFMAPS is offered as a service of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, which is comprised of the college and two state agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.