Proceedings

NPR – 2020: Planning For The Business Management Needs Of Canadian Farmers – When You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

The 2011 Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms and farmers in Canada is declining.
While the world calls upon farmers for increased productivity, farmers face intensifying volatility from the marketplace, weather and in consumer trends and must manage the social, economic and environmental impacts of farming like never before. As agriculture continues to prioritize production management over business management, farmers will continue to struggle against an increasingly volatile and complex sector. Furthermore, with a reduction in Government programming to manage risk, now more than ever, Canadian farmers will have to rely on their business management skills to not only stay in business, but to succeed. In an ever-changing and complex industry, business management provides a solid foothold for farmers to confront change with confidence, manage risk, seize opportunity and make informed decisions. This signals an opportunity to improve the awareness and adoption of beneficial management practices, and further, to demonstrate the tangible results of adopting beneficial management practices. Indeed, success will be increasingly reliant on the business management skills of the farmer. Farm Management Canada is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to the development and distribution of business management information to Canadian farmers. In fulfilling its mandate to increase farmers’ awareness and adoption of beneficial management practices towards the realization of business goals, FMC must be in tune with both the learning preferences and practices of farmers to meet their learning needs with not only the information they want, when they want it, and how they want it, but also the information they need. This paper focuses on a report commissioned by Farm Management Canada titled 2020: Planning for the Business Management Needs of Canadian Farmers and Farm Management Canada’s efforts to meet these needs through diverse, multi-faceted and multi-medium knowledge transfer programming.

Keywords: farm business management, skills development, Canada

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Author(s): Lipari, M., Watson, H.

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Organizations(s): Farm Management Canada (FMC), Ottawa, Ontario