Farm Management Course
An valuable course for the effective farm manager.
The course relates to managing all resources, including; production, staff, physical resources, and natural resources. You learn strategic planning, whole farm planning, and how to prepare a business plan.
This course was developed by a team of experts from Australia and the UK, under the leadership of John Mason, author of three Farm Management books (published by imprints of Simon & Schuster and CSIRO)
There are 8 lessons as follows:
1. Strategic Planning - planning procedures;the policy formulation approach, strategic management approach, initial strategy approach; Farm business structures; Management plans; Financial terminology and the money market; Finding finance; Rural finance sources; Financial terminology and record keeping; Contract law; Elements of a simple contract; Offers; Acceptance; Consideration; Strategic plans; Trusts
2. Business Plans - Farm Planning; Quality management systems; Whole farm planning; Preparing a business plan; Integrated production plans
3. Business Assessment - Business goals; factors involved in business assessment;Considering factors affecting your business; Drawing conclusions
4. Viability Analysis - Assessing profit; Risk analysis and managing risk; Standards; Cost efficiency; Cost of production; Quality and quantity standards; Financial records; The bookkeeping process; End of period accounting; Cash flow; Example of budget; sensitivity analysis
5. Management Strategies - Organising the workplace; Scheduling; Production systems; system variables; Animal production systems; Lot feeding; Cropping systems; Polyculture; Office systems; Computers;Business diversification; Value adding
6. Human Resources - Supervision; Oganisational structures; Leadership; Workplace changes; Interviewing, recruitment and staff induction; Giving instructions; managing human resources; work scheduling; Occupational Health and safety; Duty of care; Protective equipment; Dealing with chemicals; Handling tools and equipment; Safety auditing
7. Physical Resources - Managing equipment, machinery and buildings; Managing physical resources;Engineering efficiency; Animal structures
8. Natural Resources - Regulations and legislation; Land Care programs; Rehabilitation; Trees; Erosion control; Soil degradation; Salinity; Soil acidification: Compaction; Chemical Residues; Water management; Water quality; Irrigation and watering systems
Duration: 100 hours
- Develop strategic planning methods for an agricultural business.
- Prepare a Farm Business Plan.
- Develop methods for assessing the operations of a Farm Business.
- Analyse the viability of different production enterprises: assessing profits, risk analysis, cost efficiency, quality standards, financial records
- Develop strategies for managing different farm production enterprises, covering workplace organisation and crop scheduling.
- Plan the management of human resources in a farm business covering: supervision, types of leadership/managers, orders & instruction, motivating employees, and recruitment
- Develop methods for managing the physical resources of a farm business including managing equipment, machinery and buildings.
- Develop methods for managing the natural resources of a farm business, covering topics: regulations & legislation, land care programs, erosion control, soil degradation, salinity, soil acidification, chemical residues, and compaction
Reduce Risk in Farming
Farms, as do all business ventures have associated risks involved. A major part of successful farm management is to foresee potential risks, and develop contingency plans to deal with them, if they do occur. Risk analysis involves identifying possible sources of risk and incorporating any consequences into the planning and management of the enterprise.
Risks come in many shapes and forms in the business of farming including the following:
- Market risks (i.e. commodity price fluctuations. Selling prices fluctuate, exchange rate varies (important for export sales), terms of trade decline i.e. payments not made until months after sale, demand & supply vary).
- Financial risks (i.e. fluctuating interest rates. Funds to operate the farm become tight creating liquidity problems, interest rates change, property values change (changing equity), production costs increase i.e. materials supplies go up).
- Production risks (i.e. any factor that hampers production, such as disease or theft. Produce quality or quantity is affected by something i.e. weather, pests, disease, land degradation, the way in which livestock is managed - over grazing, effects of fertiliser use, pesticide damage, weeds, labour supply problems, harvesting difficulties).
- Personal risks (i.e. health factors. Something goes wrong in the personal life of the farmer or employees i.e. health, family or social relationships, business succession - new generation taking control of family farm).
- Management risks (i.e. technological applications. Making decisions based on incorrect or poor information, using less technology than the competition i.e. using more costly techniques to do the same job).
In order to minimise the impact of risk, the farm manager should be looking towards developing a risk management strategy. This should detail the areas identified as posing risk to the business.
Things which are, historically, of a risk nature can be factored into the total management plan. For example, drought in Australia is a relatively common occurrence. Nobody knows precisely when to expect drought yet records can provide statistical evidence to suggest that it is an obvious risk factor.
By compensating for this risk during drought free times, the impact of drought can be alleviated when it does occur.
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Farm Management Course
Study a range of topics related to farm management
- Improve your farm management knowledge and skills.
- Learn from our expert agriculture tutors.
- Improve your business and career prospects.
- Study in your own time at your own pace.
Farming is just as much about management as it is about animal or crop production. Unfortunately in today's world, the ability to produce a good animal or crop is no guarantee for success! Through this course, learn to analyse, diagnose and make decisions related to management of a farm business.