Farmers or Farm Managers must have these skills:
Management skills come in handy in every sector most especially in the agricultural sector. Farmers must know how to manage his/her farm well because mismanagement can result in loss of profit and even farm loss. Proper management skills can even enable startup farmers to hit top ranks in no time. Management skills can be used to keep your farm in check, allow you to manage your farm business, your products, agents, off-takers, staff and farm production in general.
Integrity in the farm business is very important, selling the right product will keep off-takers at your door. Since agriculture is the main source of food globally, farmers have to be honest with their products because any bit of dishonesty can lead to loss of lives. If you don’t have integrity, then you really shouldn’t get into farming. You should be entirely on board with instructions, farm certification processes, and hygiene and product inspections. Using government approved products, tools and machinery are also very important to maintain farm trust.
As a farmer, you must know how to be organized in the farm business by keeping all kinds of records accurately, regularly and appropriately. From invoices to certification paperwork to taxes to labor contracts to payroll, you’re going to have all kinds of paperwork to keep organized. Misplacing documents and paperwork isn’t an option for farmers as it could lead to unimaginable losses. You can always hire someone to do the organizing work for you as time goes but in the beginning, there is a good chance you will be handling the paperwork. It is best to learn the organizational skill before kick-starting your farm as it is an essential skill in running a farm business.
How well do you know the farm business? Growing crops and rearing livestock are important skills but to succeed in farming, farmers need business skills that go beyond practical farming skills. As a farmer, you will be dealing with different organizations, from restaurants to agricultural firms, banks, buyers and sellers, marketing firms as well as various individuals from different business backgrounds.
Even if you hire someone to handle the business part of your farming, as a farmer you still need to have core knowledge of your farm business because many times, people will want to meet and speak to you directly before doing transactions with your farm. You will be invited to various farm meetings and seminars and investors will want to hear your views and business experience.
A Mechanical Mind
Mechanical skills and knowledge are not necessary for farmers as you can always hire someone in that field. However, to avoid unexpected or uncontrollable situations, learning to become more mechanical minded can come in handy and can save you extra financial cost and time. Most farmers need some machine operation skills and especially those who are working on smaller farms where there’s not always someone else around to fix or operate complex machinery. Additionally, most farmers should take the time to learn about how to complete occasional routine maintenance on basic farm machinery.
A Cool Head
Maintaining a cool head in the farm business is a very tough skill to acquire because anything can go wrong at any time on the farm. However, no matter how rough it gets, the ability to maintain calm will expose you on how to manage any situation better, you will be able to think under pressure and solve matters accurately without mismanagement. In a farm business, challenges will always arise, either natural or human. Unforeseen climatic change, abuse of implement and tools, product theft or storage breakdown can/will always arise but having a cool head will help you run your farm profitable, it will also add positive effects to your health and mental state.
Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills
Events or situations that need immediate or critical resolutions will always arise and only an analytical thinking farmer can be able to quickly dissolve the case. It is easy to learn how to grow crops or manage livestock and other farming-related activities, but good critical thinking skills are the difference between simply going through the motions and thinking issues through and doing tasks well. Farmers must often think on the go, creative thinking is also a good quality to possess.
Sometimes, manuals and instruction books might not be very clear or comprehensible, critical thinking skills will come in handy here, you will be able to understand the situation and provide solutions without seeking help.