Farm management or operation programs teach farmers and future farmers basic financial management skills, like how to create and follow a business plan and how to use computerized record keeping software. They also might provide more complex instruction, such as how to attain financial assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency. Additional concepts covered in these courses include:
- Productivity and profitability
- Goal-setting and fulfillment
- Crop and livestock management and protection
- Farm machinery valuation
- Crop insurance
- Tax issues
- Soil fertility and maintenance
List of Common Farm Management Courses
Farm Management Business Practices Course
This course addresses basic farm management skills, such as farm organization and operation techniques. It also focuses on accounting and budgeting practices, which can help students create and maintain a successful financial business plan for their farms. Advanced courses in farm management business practices are available in some programs. These might address more complex financial issues, such as agricultural credit, estate planning and tax management.
Soil Management Course
Students receive instruction in various types of soils and their composition. They also are taught techniques that promote soil fertility, such as crop rotation and use of chemical and organic fertilizers. Additional topics might include soil and water conservation, soil chemistry and soil formation.
Crop Management Course
This course includes instruction in plant anatomy, reproduction and genetics. It often teaches students to identify crops in their seed and seedling forms. It also might address methods of crop protection, such as herbicides and pesticides. Some programs include a field study component that gives students the opportunity to put their skills into practice.
Livestock Farming Management Course
Specialized instruction in dairy, beef and swine farming is available in some farm management programs. Such a course might include topics like breeding, herd maintenance and livestock anatomy. Technological advances in different types of livestock farming also might be addressed in seminar lectures and field demonstrations.