It's the biggest country dream of them all – a bit of land and a farm all to yourself. Many people dream of leaving the rat-race of city and town life for a more laidback, idyllic existence in the country. We've already talked about entrance points into work and jobs in the country but today we're going to talk about the top of the farming chain, the managers and owners upon whom the entire enterprise exists.
Running a farm is far more than rising at the crack of dawn to muck out the pigs. Great farm managers need a wealth of skills to succeed in their roles. The same leadership skills that serve managers well everywhere transfer great to life on the farm. For example, given that a farm is a business, it's essential that you have a good head for numbers as numeracy is key to any enterprise. You need also to be able to transfer this ability to understand numbers into a solid business strategy that will provide for you and your farm and help you achieve whatever goals you set yourself.
Most of all however, only the smallest of farms can be run entirely on the back the farmer themselves. You'll need people management skills to help you motivate and lead the farmhands and other employees you'll need to run your farm. Interpersonal skills are also as essential when dealing and negotiation with clients, customers and suppliers for a farm as they are for any firm or office bases business.
But nobody ever dreamt of fleeing to the country to spend their lives doing what they could do in any company up and down the country. It's the appeal of honest work labouring under sun and sky and building something lasting that draws many. But being a successful farmer takes more than the calculator skills and pep-talk of the big city manager. As a farmer you need to have first of all a truly dedicated work effort – the soil will not yield it's fruits without serious labour after all! But most of all you'll need Knowledge.
Whether you want to raise a flock of chickens or grow hops to make legendary beer you’ll need the agricultural knowledge about your intended project it you want to succeed. It may seem obvious but different farm animals really do require different understandings if you are to get the most out of them and the same can be said of the horticultural side of farming. Understanding the essentials of soil management is essential for both farmhand and farm owner alike.
Fortunately, ADL offers a wide variety of agricultural courses that are of use to any farmer, including several ones approved by the Royal Horticultural Society. Whether you want to count sheep or make wine, our online courses offer an ideal starting point for the aspiring farmer, or current landholder looking to expand.
Sow the seed of learning and reap a rich crop of possibility with ADL this harvest season!