NPR - CANADIAN TOTAL EXCELLENCE IN AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT (CTEAM): A MANAGEMENT COURSE FOR FARMERS
This paper was prepared to explain the course design and benefits of The Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management (CTEAM) program. Specific objectives of the paper are to:
a) Describe the CTEAM program
b) Explain unique elements that may set it apart
c) Portray benefits that are perceived by CTEAM graduates.
Methods used in the paper were simple explanation of the structure and content that has evolved over the life of the CTEAM program. The second objective was accomplished by reflecting the elements of the program that its presenters have focused on to make it unique. The third objective was accomplished by a survey of graduates of the program.
CTEAM is a four module course presented over two years that includes instruction on various aspects of management applied to agriculture, includes tours of outstanding operations at various locations around Canada and requires participants to develop a strategic and operating plan for their own farm businesses.
The sources of uniqueness in CTEAM are: it attracts already-successful operations; neighbours are discouraged from taking the course at the same time; it encourages a wide mixture of enterprises; it is national in scope; participants use their own data, especially in the financial management component, and participants can tailor the program to their own farms through application to their individual strategic and operating plans.
In the survey component, it is clear that graduates and, therefore, respondents to the survey are younger, have higher levels of education, and relatively larger operations than the general farm population in Canada. Several conclusions come from the survey responses including:
1) Graduates feel that their profitability is higher as a result of the course
2) They feel that their management confidence is higher
3) They feel they have significantly higher opportunities for expansion.
4) They feel they have significantly higher opportunities for networking
5) The most valuable aspects of the program include: o Financial ratios, Planning, Networking, Quality instructors and the process of developing and following through on a written plan
6) They use strategic planning, financial analysis, succession planning and marketing at significantly higher levels than the general population
7) The course has provided a significantly positive return on investment for their operations The overall conclusion is that the factors deemed by the authors of the course to make it unique have resulted in benefits that are perceived to be quite positive by graduates and that the course has been instrumental in lifting the management skills of graduates to a higher level.
Keywords: farm management; financial management; strategic planning; CTEAM; management capacity