What Skills Do Modern Farm Managers Need to Have?
Fewer resources mean modern farm managers must be more efficient and economical with their time. Here's what you need to know about the skills that every modern-day farm manager should possess.
Running a farm is not an easy task. It takes an experienced manager who knows all the ins and outs of modern farming to keep things running smoothly. Farm managers are responsible for everything from fertilizing crops to keeping up with government regulations, but that's not all they do. They also need to have certain skills to manage a farm today successfully. Find out what to look for when hiring your farm manager.
Capable Leader Able to Bring Inspiration
Leadership skills are important, as they are expected to make critical business or operational decisions that have a major financial impact. They should know not just to think outside of the box but also to work with others for projects to come together.
Having a farm manager who can't seem to have a good relationship with people is not good for business. They should bring every other person on the team together and inspire them to make things happen, ensuring they are all working towards a common goal.
Skilled at Crop and Animal Husbandry
Professional qualifications are also necessary. A qualified farm manager should handle everything from crop management to animal husbandry and ensure that their operation runs smoothly while maximizing the business potential for sustainable growth.
Without these skills, it will be difficult to note problems on the farm which could be fixed up before they become a major issue. For instance, the onset of early blight in a potato crop would be important to detect before the disease spreads through an entire field.
Good Communication Skills
Communication is essential in all aspects of life, so being a good communicator is one thing every modern farm manager needs to have. They must communicate any problems or issues they see with the crew and have excellent written communication skills for proper record maintenance.
In addition, being an effective communicator also means that they can listen effectively, which is just as important when dealing with both staff members and customers who may have concerns that need addressing.
Good Organizational Skills
Having good organizational skills is another important quality for a modern farm manager to have. It helps them ensure that everything runs smoothly on the farm or ranch, whether dealing with employees, finances, equipment maintenance, repair (including keeping records of these), etc.
An organized farm manager can share information quickly because they can access it easily themselves. It is also easier for them to meet the daily challenges of running a farm or ranch since they have a clear workflow or plan for their activities.
With farming automation and technology constantly evolving, a farm manager needs to know how to use the most up-to-date equipment. Research projections point to the growth of global farm management software to hit $4.31billion by 2025.
This implies that the farm manager needs to have the skillset and drive to keep up with these changes for their operations to succeed. From crop sensors to drones, farm managers will need to understand how the software works and make informed decisions about their farms.
A farm can be a stressful place to be. This is especially the case in tough economic times when farmers face rising input costs and low commodity prices. In addition, isolation, long working hours, and disease outbreaks are everyday experiences in farm manager's daily life.
To succeed as a farm manager, they will need to have the emotional resilience and stamina to deal with these stressors for years on end without burning out. They need to know how to handle these stressors responsibly while maintaining a clear head for daily operations.
Modern-day managers should always strive to improve their knowledge and skills, ensuring that they are ahead of the curve in knowing how best to manage every aspect of the farm or ranch. This is why managers need to stay abreast of advancements made.
Some of the most in-demand skills for modern farming include indoor crop cultivation, vertical aquaponics, and greenhouse farming. With these skills, managers will work with plants, fish, and other animals in a controlled environment for the best results.
Good Decision Making
Farm operations can get complicated very quickly, and managers need to think on their feet. They must know how to take in information from all sources, consider the pros and cons of each option, then make an informed decision based on that consideration.
This is a crucial consideration for absentee landowners who live far from the farm. You don't want to find a farm manager who can't make even the most straightforward decisions without your guidance.
Knowledge of Best Practice
With emerging trends like global warming and the increasing dominance of large agribusinesses, farm managers must stay on top of the latest best practices. This includes making use of technology in farming operations that makes them even more efficient and profitable.
Your farm manager should know the best production methods that preserve soil health and minimize the impact on the environment. They need to conserve farm water and be knowledgeable on rainwater harvesting to ensure enough water is available to irrigate crops.
Prioritize Farm Safety
The farm can be a dangerous place, and farm managers need to prioritize safety at all times. They should be well-versed in things like PPE and how it can protect employees from serious injuries, especially if there is a lot of machinery around the property.
They need to take care when handling farm chemicals and ensure that cross-contamination doesn't take place. It would be an advantage to know CPR and first-aid in case someone gets injured on the property.
Are You Looking for a Farm Manager?
A good farm manager can be the difference between a successful farm and one that fails. If you are looking for a good manager, find a perfect fit with Midwest Land Management. We know it can be challenging to find a reliable one.
That's why we offer professional farm management services that include farm planning, records keeping, crop management, livestock management, lease negotiations, and more. Visit our website today to find out how we can help you.