Family Business
Enterprising Rural Families: Making it WorkTM


What is Enterprising Rural Families?
ERF is an objective, research- and expertise-based online self-paced 26 week course for rural family businesses. The primary focus of this course is the issues and challenges that face family-members in the family business.

Why have we developed the course?
Agricultural family businesses don’t have access to many resources that focus on the individual family aspect of the business. Based on comments and requests for assistance from rural family businesses and from service providers, we realized there was a need for a course that would help families deal with the family issues facing them in their businesses.

What makes us different from other courses?

  • ERF emphasizes the individual & family-aspect of the family business rather than the business side of the family business.

  • ERF is online which means it is flexible – one can “take” it at any time day or night.

  • It is designed for the business person/family that does not have a lot of time to sit in classes or to travel to a course site.

  • It is designed with the understanding that people in family businesses are very busy, often having to tend to daily and seasonal enterprise demands and daily family demands. ERF allows them to complete the course over a period of six months if needed.

  • It is relatively inexpensive.

Benefits of this course?

  • Opportunity to consider ways to improve their own roles and their family’s role in the business

  • Increased harmony for the family members

  • Decrease family stress and family farm risks

  • Balance between the family and the business

  • Increased knowledge about running a family business

  • Increased confidence in running a family business

  • Better communication between family members

  • Increased skills in handling family relationships in a complex system of individual, family, enterprise, and community

  • Opportunity to learn things they don’t already know about managing families and running a family-business in a stimulating environment with others in family-businesses who share the same challenges and concerns

  • Convenience of not having to travel somewhere to attend an onsite class

How do commercial and rural agricultural operators get more information?
The ERF website also has information on course price and registration.