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 Natural Resource Enterprises Workshop


Natural Resource Enterprises​​

The Natural Resource Enterprises (NRE) Program was established to educate non-industrial private landowners about sustainable natural resource enterprises and compatible habitat management practices. The Natural Resource Enterprises Program is focused on effectively delivering information to landowners and community leaders that will encourage informed decision-making regarding the management of land and enterprises. The NRE program was originally established by the Mississippi State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Cooperative Extension Service at MSU. The Natural Resources Enterprise Program in Indiana is coordinated by Purdue University Department of Forestry Natural Resources and Indiana Farm Bureau in partnership with Mississippi State University Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Landowner Workshops

September 4, 2013
Versailles, IN
Features revenue potential, vacation rentals, liability and legal considerations for outdoor enterprises along with forest management and wildlife habitat. Register online at

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September 5, 2013
Waynetown, IN
Features revenue potential, liability and legal considerations for outdoor enterprises along with forest management and wildlife habitat. Register online at

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Agenda - NRE Ripley County Workshop, September 4th
8:30am Registration
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:10am NRE Revenue Potential
10:00am Real World Example
10:30am Break
10:45am Liability Issues for Business Enterprises
11:30pm Lunch
12:30pm Walking Tour Stop #1 (Native Warm Season Grasses)
1:15pm Walking Tour Stop #2 (Wetland)
1:50pm Walking Tour Stop #3 (Woodland)
2:30pm Adjourn

Agenda - NRE Montgomery County Workshop, September 5th
8:30am Registration
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:10am NRE Revenue Potential
9:45am Real World Example
10:00am Real World Example
10:15am Break
10:35am Liability Issues for Business Enterprises
11:30am Lunch
12:30pm Walking Tour Stop #1 (Woodland)
1:20pm Walking Tour Stop #2 (Warm Season Grasses)
1:55pm Walking Tour Stop #3 (Food Plots)
2:30pm Adjourn


The Natural Resource Enterprises Workshops are designed for landowners interested in learning about developing enterprises from the natural resources on their property or learning more about wildlife habitat and business management. The Ripley County Workshop will be held at the Mulford's property and the Montgomery County workshop will be held on the Schavietello's property. Both properties have a diversity of habitat types managed for wildlife and other conventional uses, but also have opportunities for income-earning potential.Lenny Farlee, Extension Forestry Specialist

Landowners have the opportunity to speak with resource agency personnel, wildlife biologists, enterprise operators, and business professionals. In the morning session, presentations on various topics related to business and habitat management are given. Professionals are on hand for a question and answer session after their talks. The afternoon session is held in the field, at various stops on each property that illustrate wildlife habitat management.

For registration: Natural Resource Enterprises Workshop Ripely County
Natural Resource Enterprises Workshop Montgomery County

2013 Workshop Sponsors and Partners
Farm Science Agency
Historic Hoosier Hills RC&D
Hardwood Tree Improvement & Regeneration Center
Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation
Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife
Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.
Indian-Kentuck Watershed Project
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Mississippi State University Forest and Wildlife Research Center
Montgomery County Farm Bureau
Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pheasants Forever, Coal Creek Chapter
Purdue Extension Montgomery County
Purdue Extension Ripley County
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Ripley County Farm Bureau
Ripley County Soil and Water Conservation District
Sycamore Trails RC&D
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

IMPACT: Natural Resources Enterprises Program in Indiana
Prepared by Brian MacGowan, Purdue University, Wildlife Extension Specialist,

Issue: Given the current economic downturn, many rural landowners seek ways to earn extra income.  Unfamiliarity with potential business options, concerns about profitability, liability, marketing, and resource management are potential barriers for rural landowners interested in beginning a business enterprise.  Natural Resources Enterprises include agritourism, lumber production, trail riding, bird watching, hunting, fishing, bed-and-breakfast inns and more.  These can be a viable source of supplemental income for rural landowners that are compatible with existing land uses while enhancing our natural resources.

What you have done: The Natural Resources Enterprises program in Indiana is a partnership among Purdue University’s Department of Natural Resources, Mississippi State University, and Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.  With cooperation from local groups, we hosted six workshops in 2009-2011 that showcased outdoor recreational businesses and other income-producing enterprises.  Experts provided sessions on revenue potential, liability, business planning and successful business ventures.  The afternoon field tour featured property features and ongoing resource management.  The workshops provided a unique opportunity for prospective entrepreneurs to learn the most important aspects of natural resource enterprises, talk with successful business owners, and interact with their local land management professionals.

Impact: A total of 275 people who owned or managed a total of over 33,290 acres attended the workshops.  Ninety-two percent thought the information presented would help them increase revenue earned on the property.  This group expected their revenue using information learned at the workshops to increase an estimated $752,000 to $1,400,000 ($22.59 to $42.05 per acre) annually.  Ninety-six percent also indicated the information presented would help them meet wildlife goals for their property.  Sixty-two percent intended to change at least one land use practice because of the program.