Survey shows how farmers successfully learn management skills
Graduates of the Canadian Total Excellence in Agricultural Management (CTEAM) program report significant improvement in their management skills and ability to manage their farms.
Seventy-seven per cent of program graduates recently surveyed report a moderate or significant benefit to their farm’s profitability as a result of what they learned participating in CTEAM. Ninety-one per cent also gained a moderate or significant benefit in confidence in their ability to manage their farm as a result of CTEAM.
The results are part of a survey conducted this summer by Farm Management Canada (FMC) and Agri-Food Management Excellence (AME), which run the CTEAM program. While annual evaluations follow each participating class as part of the regular CTEAM program, never in the history of CTEAM has there been an in-depth analysis of the program in terms of the program’s effectiveness and opportunities for enhancement. Originally commissioned as an internal study, FMC and AME have chosen to make their report public to help shed light on the learning preferences and practices of Canada’s farmers while also encouraging farmers to invest in their business management skills development as evidenced by the tangible results of program graduates. “The results of the survey show that farmers get significant benefit from programs that give them hands-on instruction on finance, planning and policy, based on their own farm’s situation and using their own farm’s numbers,” says Heather Broughton, one of AME’s principals along with Larry Martin.
The CTEAM program is presented in four modules over two years across Canada. All survey respondents indicated that the national nature of the program is valued highly, and that becoming part of CTEAM’s national network of top farm managers has life-long advantages.
“We deliver our programs in an unconventional format that includes creating a plan for the farm using the farm’s own data,” says Martin. “As evidenced by the survey respondents, this format has helped graduates retain and continue to apply the learnings. We also hand pick the instructors. They also received high marks from graduates in the survey.”
Other significant findings:
- All the graduates have recommended the CTEAM program to others, averaging 5-10 people.
- 77% of respondents have experienced a moderate or significant benefit in Opportunities for Expansion as a result of CTEAM
- 91% of respondents have experienced a moderate or significant benefit in Networking Opportunities as a result of CTEAM
- 95% of respondents indicate CTEAM at least met their expectations, while 64% said the program exceeded or greatly exceeded their expectations
- Before entering the program, only 14 per cent of survey respondents had a formal written plan for their operation. In contrast, 55 per cent of survey respondents indicate they have a formal written plan for their operation in place, while another 40 per cent are revising their original plan. This contrasts with existing data that indicates approximately 20% of farmers across Canada have a written plan.
“Not only does this survey highlight the benefits of CTEAM as a leading farm business management skills development program, but also the tangible impacts of this type of learning on program graduates and their desire for enhanced, ongoing learning opportunities,” says Heather Watson, Executive Director of Farm Management Canada, who participated in the project and helped author the report. “Farmers across Canada should be paying attention to the return on investment these farmers are realizing by investing in their business management skills. A 20% ROI is significant to every farm business”. To obtain a copy of the report and find out more about CTEAM’s 2014 program beginning in December, visit www.agrifoodtraining.com .
Agri-Food Management Excellence (AME) is inspired by empowering people to realize their goals. We empower farmers, ranchers and other agribusiness professionals through leading edge courses delivered in an unconventional format. It is Canada’s only national farm management learning program.
Farm Management Canada is a national umbrella for farm business management activity and the only organization dedicated exclusively to the development and delivery of advanced business management information, tools and resources to position Canada’s farmers for success.
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