13th Congress Proceedings
Continuing Professional Development And Farm Business Performance
Economic and social pressures are transforming farm businesses and the structure of the agricultural industry, consequently it is presumed that farm management skills are under intense pressure. This creates a need for effective interaction between knowledge management and the actions taken by farm decision makers. However a definition of “successful farm business performance” is not easy to find and this, combined with literature that deals with managerial tasks in isolation, does not provide a clear picture for the farm manager pursuing self development. Farm businesses vary considerably in their attributes and resource base and the plethora of measurable factors mean that the manager needs to be able to identify what to measure and why on his own farm. In the UK it appears that most of the measures used in farming do not take into account the customer or human factors alluded to in other industries. Development of the skills and abilities of the decision makers to utilise techniques, interpret measures and relate them to their own business needs is increasingly important. The preliminary investigations described in this paper indicate that farmers and farm managers are aware of business management techniques but do not appear to integrate them fully into their own businesses.