Character Traits of a Successful Future Farmer

 

A growing demand for local food has sparked an increase in the number of people interested in farming. For those new to agriculture, or considering a new farm business, read on to see if you have the following traits:

 

Passion and Commitment

Working long hours is the norm. Passion and commitment are essential. You never know what Mother Nature will throw at you in the course of a year.  Operating a farm business requires perseverance and self-motivation. 

 

Sales and Marketing Skills

Many prospective and new farmers are excellent at producing quality products. However, the producer of prize winning pumpkins will only succeed in farm business if he/she sells their product. To be profitable a farm must sell its product.

 

Ingenuity, Creativity and Adaptability

In today’s world, consumer demand, the environment, regulatory requirements, the market place and available technology change rapidly.  Therefore, today’s farmer must anticipate, initiate and respond to change which requires a level of creative thinking, ingenuity and flexibility.

 

Life-long Learner

With all the changes happening in the industry, it is important to continue learning about farm business management, the latest technology and production techniques, and new pests and diseases. There are many sources of information, from industry publications, extension specialists, short courses, as well as degree and diploma programs. There is a vast amount of information available on the Internet. Remember to check Internet sources to ensure they are reputable and reliable.

 

Skills and Abilities

Variety is one of the best things about operating a farm - no two days are exactly the same.  In the course of day, you may be making business planning decisions, updating farm records, fixing a tractor, building a shed or fence, driving a tractor, hand weeding, selling product at the market, or working with  employees and government representatives.

 

Today’s farmers require a large personal tool box filled with a diverse set of skills and abilities:

 

  • “Soft skills” such as:

    • Creativity and ingenuity,

    • Independence,

    • Good communication,

    • Problem solving, and

    • Time management.

 

  • “Practical skills” such as:

    • Business management,

    • Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and carpentry,

    • Plant and animal production, and

    • Equipment operation.

 

This resource/ information has been provided courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources' Agrifoods Development Branch.

 

The Agrifoods Development Branch has resources to assist new entrants start and manage a farm. We offer short courses, consultation, publications, and financial assistance to eligible applicants. For more information, please contact the Farm Management Specialist in your area:

 

Eastern: Paul Collins, 709-729-6749, paulcollins@gov.nl.ca

Central/Western/Labrador: Erica Cole, 709-256-1042, Erica.Cole@gov.nl.ca