It is not easy to start your farm management career.
First, there are many different paths you can take in this field. You could work for a large company and manage the farms they own or go into consulting and help other farmers figure out how to increase their output. It’s important to find which path suits you best.
There are a lot of different skills you need to succeed as a farm manager. You need to have an understanding of the business side of things, as well as the practical side. You also need to be able to manage people, as you will be working with a team of workers.
It is important to get experience in the field before you try to start your career in farm management. You can do this by working for a farm or a company that specializes in farm management or supports farm labourers in management positions. This will give you the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of the job and see if it is something you would like to do.
There are many different ways you can become involved in running a farm, but here are some tips on how to get started if it's something that interests you!
What are your farm management skills and experience?
First, do you have what it takes for managing a farm?
The first thing I would recommend doing is educating yourself as much as possible about the industry before diving right into starting up your operation. Check out what other people have done for successful farming careers. Call your local extension agency and find the resources you need to become a well-educated farmer before you get started.
Most farm managers have worked in agriculture throughout their lives. As farm sizes have increased, the demand for farm managers with business skills and practical experience has grown. This need has opened the door to people with little on-farm experience. Be wary, farming is a different industry to many for moving into a farm management position with little experience.
To get started in farm management, you will likely need a degree in agriculture or a related field. However, there are many ways to get into this field without a formal education.
As mentioned, many farmers start out working on their family's farm or another farm before moving into management. This can be a great way to learn about the industry and get some experience. There are also many programs available that can help you transition into a management role.
Where can you find resources for farm management?
Do your research and establish your knowledge!
There are many resources available to you that will help guide getting started with farm management.
Here is an example of some online farmer resources:
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture
- The Farm Journal's Guide to Starting Your Own Business
- Cornell University - Small Farms Program
- USDA Farmer Veteran Coalition-Veteran Agripreneurs Project Initiative (for veterans who want to start their farming businesses)
Some courses offer to learn lessons online or over the phone through places like Future Farmers of America (FFA).
However, the best way to learn about farm management is on the job. There are many programs that can offer paid internships or apprenticeships. These programs will give you the opportunity to work with an experienced farm manager and learn the ropes.
You can also find resources through your local extension office or state agriculture department.
Start small and grow your farm management experience from there!
Assuming you have considered this deeply, and hence why you're reading this article. But take the jump into farm management with caution.
Don't just jump into it with both feet right away because you could end up spending a lot of time and money on something that may not work out for you.
Instead, find mentors or friends to help guide your way and assess the industry before making any big decisions about running your farm operation. There are many ways to get involved in agriculture; find what works best for you.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Production farming (livestock)
- Value-added agribusiness
- Crops/crop management
- Agricultural education
- Farm policy
- Marketing and sales
- Financing and accounting
As you can see, there are many options for getting involved in farm management. It all starts with finding what works best for you and your unique set of skills and experience.
Once you have that figured out, the sky's the limit with starting your farm management career.
Until we meet again, Happy Farming!
- The Dedicated Team of Pasture.io, 25 April 2022