Professional Development Program






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Unit 3: Managing the Farm/Ranch Business for Long-Term Success

A dairy farmer leads his herd of Jersey milk cows to the milking parlor on his organic dairy farm near Monmouth, Oregon. (Lynn Ketchum, OSU EESC)
No matter how promising an idea, it has little chance of succeeding “unless there is a good manager behind it,” note the authors of Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses. In Unit 1, we addressed the concept of entrepreneurship and how an entrepreneurial mindset is a key factor in creating a successful farm business. Many of the characteristics that make a good entrepreneur are also what help make a good manager. In addition, a good manager is skilled at implementing ideas and keeping the business on track through all stages of the business life-cycle. What other qualities and skills make someone a good manager? Write down your ideas, then click on the heading below for some of the characteristics that are mentioned most often in the management literature.
Qualities and Skills of a Good Manager
  • communicate effectively
  • organized and efficient
  • transparent and honest
  • expertise and experience
  • knowledgeable about business finances
  • assess and manage risks
  • creative problem solver
  • committed to ongoing planning and evaluation
  • adaptable and willingness to change course
  • action-oriented
In this unit, you’ll explore some of these key skills under the following headings (also shown in the navigation menu at left):
  • Human Resource Management
  • Financial Management
  • Risk Management
  • Managing for Start-Up
  • Managing for Growth or Change
  • Consolidation and Retirement
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