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Where do great management ideas come from?

Farming is an evolving business that is constantly changing due to weather, markets, prices, politics and other factors farmers have no control of.

“In order to adapt to changes and to compete, you have to embrace life-long learning,” says Rick Dehod, farm financial specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Edmonton. “A professor in ag school told me that a professional does not know all the answers, but knows where to seek them. The more we learn, the more we realize what we don’t know. The bottom line is that we can never know enough. After our formal education ends, how does one find those nuggets of information and management ideas that keep your farm competitive and profitable?”

Attending producer meetings, educational short-courses, and seminars on a wide array of topics allows interaction with academics, specialists and other producers.

“Quite often this interaction with other producers provides the best management ideas,” says Dehod. “These producers are willing to share their methods and results, and what works on their farms. This is often tried and tested in areas that are similar in soil type and weather. This on the farm experience usually provides invaluable management ideas.”

Dehod says what is key is just getting out and meeting with people.

“This summer take some time off the farm to attend field days that our research organizations, our producer commissions and our researchers at Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development are hosting. Attend your local agricultural fair and rodeo, or just go for coffee with a neighbour. It amazing how much information is exchanged out of a pickup window on a country road.”

“Remember that good ideas can come for anyone,” adds Dehod. “Listen for those good ideas.”

For upcoming events check Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s events page.

For farm business management information go to the Farm Manager resource.

For more information
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Rick Dehod
T: +1 780-427-4466
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