Farm Management

Course CodeBAG104
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Distance education - online learning - correspondence

Improve your capacity to more effectively manage a farm or agricultural enterprise which services farms. Farming is just as much about management as it is about animal or crop production. Unfortunately in today's world, the ability to produce a good animal or crop is no guarantee for success!

Through this course, learn to analyse, diagnose and make decisions related to the management of a farm business. The course relates to managing all resources, including; production, staff, physical resources, and natural resources. You learn strategic planning, whole farm planning, and how to prepare a business plan.

This course was developed by a team of experts from Australia and the UK, under the leadership of John Mason, author of three Farm Management books (published by imprints of Simon & Schuster and CSIRO)

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Strategic Planning
    • Planning procedures
    • Policy formulation approach
    • Strategic management approach
    • Initial strategy approach
    • Farm business structures
    • Management plans
    • Financial terminolgy and the money market
    • Finding finance; rural finance sources
    • Financial terminology and record keeping
    • Contract law
    • Elements of a simple contract
    • Offers, acceptance, consideration
    • Strategic plans
    • Trusts
  2. Business Plans
    • Farm planning
    • Quality management systems
    • Whole farm planning
    • Preparing a business plan
    • Integrated production plans
  3. Business Assessment
    • Business goals
    • Factors involved in business assessment
    • Considering factors affecting your business
    • Drawing conclusions
  4. Viability Analysis
    • Assessing profit
    • Risk analysis and managing risk
    • Standards; cost efficiency
    • Cost of production
    • Quality and quantity standards
    • Financial records
    • The bookkeeping process
    • End of period accounting
    • Cash flow
    • Example of budget
    • Sensitivity analysis
  5. Management Strategies
    • Organising the workplace
    • Scheduling; production systems
    • System variables
    • Animal production systems
    • Lot feeding
    • Cropping systems
    • Polyculture
    • Office systems
    • Computers
    • Business diversification
    • Value adding
  6. Human Resources
    • Supervision
    • Oganisational structures
    • Leadership
    • Workplace changes
    • Interviewing, recruitment and staff induction
    • Giving instructions
    • Managing human resources
    • Work scheduling
    • Occupational Health and safety
    • Duty of care
    • Protective equipment
    • Dealing with chemicals
    • Handling tools and equipment
    • Safety auditing
  7. Physical Resources
    • Managing equipment
    • Machinery and building
    • Managing physical resources
    • Engineering efficiency
    • Animal structures
  8. Natural Resources
    • Regulations and legislation
    • Land care programs
    • Rehabilitation
    • Trees; erosion control
    • Soil degradation
    • Salinity
    • Soil acidification
    • Compaction
    • Chemical residues
    • Water management
    • Water quality
    • Irrigation and watering systems

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Develop strategic planning methods for an agricultural business.
  • Learn how to prepare a Farm Business Plan.
  • Develop methods for assessing the operations of a Farm Business.
  • Analyse the viability of different production enterprises:
    • assessing profits
    • risk analysis
    • cost efficiency
    • quality standards
    • financial records
  • Develop strategies for managing different farm production enterprises, covering workplace organisation and crop scheduling.
  • Plan the management of human resources in a farm business covering:
    • supervision
    • types of leadership/managers
    • orders & instruction
    • motivating employees
    • recruitment
  • Develop methods for managing the physical resources of a farm business including managing equipment, machinery and buildings.
  • Develop methods for managing the natural resources of a farm business, covering topics:
    • regulations & legislation
    • landcare programs
    • erosion control
    • soil degradation
    • salinity
    • soil acidification
    • chemical residues
    • compaction

Sample extract from the course:

"Many farms are set up as family enterprises, with emphasis on continuing the business throughout the generations. One of the most tax effective ways of setting up a family business is to create a trust.

 

A trust consists of three parties; the creator of the trust, the trustees and the beneficiaries. The trustee's responsibility is to act on behalf of the beneficiaries, with the trustee owning legal interest in the property and the beneficiaries the equitable interest. A trust is different from a company in that it is not a separate entity from its owners, so the trustees are legally responsible for the trust. This includes liability for administering the trust, management of the trust, raising funds (apart from the initial funds, which are a gift from the creator) and paying tax on any income not passed on to the beneficiaries.

 

The beneficiaries of a trust are entitled to any interest as designated. The funds they receive can be used by the trustee to pay the expenses of the trust. They cannot interfere with the management of the trust, without taking legal action, and are personally liable for the income tax on any income they receive. There are no limits to the number of beneficiaries named.

 

It is advisable to consult both your Accountant and your Solicitor when considering setting up a trust. An Accountant would be most qualified to advise on what tax benefits the trust would be eligible for and how best to account for and distribute the money in the trust. A Solicitor is best suited to advise on the legal aspects of ownerships, rights and responsibilities of those involved. As with most legal matters, the initial outlay can be quite costly, but the long range benefits can be worth the price. In Australia family trusts are not as great a tax saving as they have been in the past, due to changes in tax laws.

What Should You Study?

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  Alison Pearce

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students. She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures. She has worked in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. She has extensive experience of handling, husbandry, and management of a wide range of both small and large animals and has a particular love for nature and wildlife. Alison has a BSc (Hon) Animal Science.
  Bob James

Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC
  Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation. Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
  Peter Douglas

Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.
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