Managing Employees

Most farmers are in the business because of the lifestyle, they are able to watch crops and cattle grow and for the most part they are their own boss. Many farm owners started out without the need for hired employees and as their farms have grown they now have the need to have additional employees. As a result there is another important aspect that has moved up the priority ladder, that is managing the business.

Farms today, large and small, have a significant investment in equipment, cattle and facilities. They also have a tremendous production capacity in the value of the crops and dairy products that can be produced in a year. Managing that production cannot be done by the ‘seat of your pants’ anymore. Management needs to be a deliberate part of the owner/manager’s daily routine. The trouble comes when the owner thinks he or she has to spend the entire day doing physical work on the farm to show value to the farm.

Farm owners and managers need to imbed in their minds the idea that management tasks are important to the health and wealth of the farm. They are as important as physical work. If sufficient, quality time is not devoted to management, decisions are more likely made because they are quick, not because they are the right decisions.

The other people involved in the farm business also need to realize the value of the right person having time to manage. It is important for a manager to spend time maintaining and analyzing records, visiting with consultants, and attending industry seminars.

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