What are the essential skills required to be a successful farmer? Whilst there is a general belief that all farm owners and managers have a unique ‘calling’ which enables them to achieve success, in reality most farm owners and managers exhibit a similar set of skills. When you’re running a farm business, whether it’s a one-acre farm or an enormous farmhouse, your skills and expertise will be necessary to make sure the day-to-day activities run smoothly and efficiently. Here are 5 key farm management skills, you’ll be using on a daily basis if you were to start up a farm of your own.
Agriculture and food processing involve science and innovation. You need to be able to identify the correct plant, crop or animal at the right time and place to maximise production. Agriculture is all about food. When you’re running a farm, you’ll be required to grow, harvest, process, package and retail food. When it comes to food processing, you need to be skilled in general engineering principles, production scale, food packaging methods and handling equipment, refrigeration systems, industrial machinery, washing and drying facilities, soils and fertiliser as well as veterinary and pharmaceutical skills. So if you’re small farmers, you’ll be particularly interested in these aspects.
As farming relies on animals being raised for food, animal husbandry knowledge is essential. You’ll be involved in managing livestock from feeding to breeding and will be responsible for finding, buying and selling the best quality food for the market. Farming is an age-old profession and many farmers throughout history have achieved success. Farming is a profitable profession but it also requires dedication and hard work. Many farmers find that although their business idea was sound, they lacked the right set of skills to make their farms a success.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to run a farm, why not consider becoming a veterinarian? This is a rewarding career and can provide you with a continuous flow of new business opportunities as well as a stable work/life balance. Although many farmers are brought up to be milk and eggs producers, there are plenty of opportunities in other areas. Veterinary science has become an important part of farming and with many farmers bringing animals into their homes, the demand for veterinary science has never been higher. If you love animals and want to know more about them, perhaps you could be suited to work with horses or dogs?
As well as the farming aspects of farming, there’s also the market research aspect. Market research allows farmers to understand what products their customers are after and whether their chosen products would be profitable. If you’re buying land to start a farm, why not do some market research first? You may be surprised at how much you learn by doing this type of market research.
There are lots of skills required if you wish to run a farm. One of the most important skills is livestock handling. Firstly, good fences are essential, both to keep the animals in and out of the field. Secondly, good feeding systems are vital to ensuring that the animals remain healthy. Lastly, the health of the farmer is crucial to the whole farming operation. Good farmers are vital to the future of farming.