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Shifting from farmer to CEO takes trust and teamwork

  • 1.5 min read

Growth is a natural part of doing business, including on a farm. And with it also comes increased work demands on the primary operator. The more time the farmer spends doing physical work, the less time there is for marketing or managing employees. 

When to delegate

To continue the growth trajectory, successful farmers realize they can’t do all the work themselves.

Successful farmers must realize they can’t do all the work themselves. Transferring work to employees or bringing in custom operators is crucial towards moving from primary operator to farm manager.

As a business begins to expand, farmers should choose jobs that can be handed off to others - even if it’s hard to give up day-to-day tasks. Instead of doing the work themselves, farmer managers must give employees clear instructions for the workday and shift into a supervisory role.

Continued growth

The larger the farm, the more difficult it is for one person to operate effectively and efficiently. Bringing on trusted staff to take over the role of manager allows the farmer to move into the position of the chief executive officer, maintaining the vision and business goals of the operation.

The business operation will continue under the eye of management, while the business planning can be taken care of by the CEO.

Move slowly

For some farmers, it’s not easy to give up control of certain tasks on the farm. However, keeping sight of the business growth potential can help with the shift. Experts recommend not moving too quickly between the roles, deliberately handing off control of one job at a time rather than turning over a list of tasks to an employee.

Keeping an eye on the farm operation’s growth will help the farmer move forward with shifting roles in the barn.

Bottom line

Successful farmers realize they can’t run a large operation alone and take the solid first step toward success by hiring a manager for day-to-day operations. If growth continues, be prepared to eventually take on the role of farm CEO, taking care of the business plan and vision of the operation. Don’t rush, experts say, and practice handing off one task at a time to employees.