Farm management is the collective term for various management strategies and methods that are employed to keep a farm productive and profitable. The process of this type of management is often associated with large commercial farms, although many of the same methods can be used with equal success on a small family-owned farm. Depending on the size of the operation, the management process may require the services of a single farm manager or a group of managers who oversee various aspects of the overall project.
In many respects, effective farm management is similar to the management processes that are employed with any type of business. There are decisions that must be made on a daily basis, as well as operational guidelines that must be observed by everyone who is involved with the operation. Some participants are accountable to overseers or managers, who in turn are accountable to owners.
What sets farm management apart from other moneymaking ventures is the kinds of daily duties involved and the number of management layers found in the operation. Even among farms, the processes will vary depending on the type of farming business involved and the overall size of the operation. For example, the specific tasks associated with effective dairy management will be somewhat different than tasks connected with the operation of a wheat farm.
Large commercial farms are more likely to rely on modern technology in order to maximize the efficiency of the management process. Special software that makes it possible to keep track of units produced, units in process, pending orders, and outstanding expenses help to simplify a number of management tasks. In addition to this software, state of the art equipment for cultivation, harvesting, and maintenance also help enhance the productivity of farms of all sizes.
Even small farmers can benefit from management advice. Consulting with a farm management company makes it possible for experts to assess the current condition of the farm and make constructive suggestions on how to increase the productivity and profit margin for the farm. Managers assigned by the company can oversee the implementation of the suggestions while training family members and hired help how to use the additions to best advantage.
As with many career options, training in the field normally involves a combination of structured study in a degree program provided by a college or university and on the job experience. Some degree programs require that students work as interns at commercial farms before receiving their educational credentials. Even long time farmers can study management basics through the use of materials available from various farming associations and agencies, however.