Veggie Compass is an ongoing project at the University of Wisconsin Madison that involves the development of whole farm profit management tools and workshops directed to diversified organic fresh market vegetable growers. Our tools are designed to help growers improve on farm decision making and financial farm planning in order to maximize profitability and ensure the continuation of sustainable farms.
Veggie Compass is a farm management tool for Wisconsin’s diversified fresh market vegetable growers. The system focuses upon a comprehensive spreadsheet designed to facilitate the analysis of farm records. Using cost, sales and labor data, the spreadsheet calculates the cost of production for each crop and the profitability of each market channel (e.g., CSA, farmers market, wholesale, retail). For example, a grower can learn if broccoli sales are more lucrative at farmers markets or through wholesale distributors. The Veggie Compass spreadsheet requires farmers to enter financial, labor and sales data, creating a holistic picture of their farm financials. The tool can also be used to predict the financial impact of different farm scenarios for the future and to assess the farm’s financial progress. Such information can help farmers locate their efficiencies, set prices based on actual costs of production, and increase farm profits.