Farm Management

10 Must Have Qualities of a Successful Farmer

  1. Passion

Farming is one business that requires a sufficient amount of passion. Being passionate simply means genuinely loving what you do.

Passionate farmers have a constant drive to keep working hard so as to achieve their vision, and are always willing to do what it takes including putting in the extra hours so as to achieve success. Passion comes with satisfaction that goes beyond the money made from the business.

2. Entrepreneurial spirit

Besides being in-tune with their passion in farming, successful farmers have an attitude and mindset that actively seeks for ways in which they can make their business better be it in farm management, productivity and profitability. They continuously embrace critical questioning on how it can be done better and are optimistic about all possibilities. Above all, they have the drive to execute ideas that will lead to achieving their dream.

3. Perseverance

 ‘Never-give-up’ attitude is a key trait that is mastered by successful entrepreneurs including farmers. For them, failure is like an opening for a success story, and hence, they try again and again just till they get the success they are expecting.

Perseverance combined with passion easily drives a farmer through all the inevitable challenges of farming such as bad weather, crop or livestock diseases, inflation and farm mismanagement among others.

4. Knowledge and Will to Learn

With the constant changes happening in the agricultural industry, it is important for agripreneurs to continue learning about new farm business management techniques, latest technologies and innovations, and new pests and diseases. This will enable them to make better and informed decisions for the success of their business. There are many sources of information, from industry publications, extension specialists, short courses, as well as degree and diploma programs. There is also a vast amount of information available on the Internet.

5. Problem Solving Skills

Farming is often a trial-and-error profession. Over time, farmers learn the best and most efficient solutions to various problems that arise during the day-to-day running of their farm.

There is no general way of handling problems since some decisions require using logic while others call for the ability to weigh pros and cons especially during uncertain or ambiguous situations that call for a high level of judgment or even intuition.

The ability to think creatively when handling challenges for your farm sets you apart from others who only rely on generalized instructions from books and manuals, which at times might not uniquely apply to their farm in a particular situation.

6. Sales and Marketing Skills

Many farmers are excellent at producing quality products. However, the farmer will only succeed in their farm business if they sell their products, and at a good price.

To succeed in farming you have to be comfortable selling and be knowledgeable about different ways of marketing. Even if you have a sales team, as the business owner, you must be good at networking and being able to promote your business to potential customers for your products.

7. Willing to ask for and accept help

The most successful farmers are aware of their limitations and realize that they cannot do everything on their own. They are therefore willing to delegate to others or ask for help. They seek out and pay for expert advice when needed. In addition, they take advice from others and are open to trying new approaches.

8. Prudent with money

Successful farmers are also good money managers. They spend money prudently and invest in items or resources that will increase efficiency and reduce wastage in their farm. They also keep good records of their spending and manage their cash flow effectively to ensure their business is operating optimally.

9. Interpersonal Skills

One group of skills that really distinguishes successful farmers is interpersonal effectiveness. Effective communication, influence, assertiveness and compassion are vital skills to motivating farm workers to deliver their work efficiently. Interpersonal skills also aid the farmer during interactions with customers and other stakeholders. Successful farmers are able to negotiate the best prices for their products. They also build a support network within the community that allows them to access shared amenities.

10. Mechanical and Repairing Skills

While farmers complete many of the same tasks each day, no two days are exactly alike. Maintaining the equipment and tools used in farming is an ongoing and unpredictable responsibility, hence basic mechanical skills are important to farmers. The ability to make routine repairs such plumbing or fixing basic mechanical problems prevents a farmer from having to make constant calls to repair professionals. Such basic skills and abilities not only save money, but also save farmers the time of waiting for repairs to be done by a professional.


Joy Gichangi

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