For any farmer, focusing on learning and development allows them to continuously improve in a vast amount of areas. As agriculture evolves, so do agronomic practices, risk management tools, and technological advancements. By constantly learning and expanding their skillset, farmers can identify new opportunities, increase profitability, and productivity. Developing new skills can also improve problem-solving abilities, increase confidence, and foster innovation at the farm and broader industry level.
As different generations work on the farm, there will be differences in what skills they see to be a priority to enhance their success.
In February 2023, RealAgristudies asked farmers across Canada about their attitudes, actions and intentions around skill development. We were fortunate enough to also look at this topic through the eyes of generational differences on the farm.
The survey asked the older and middle generations on the farm to rate the degree to which they felt the younger generation would benefit from skill development in various areas. The areas included succession planning, human resources, financial management, crop management, livestock management, and technology.
The survey found that there was a desire for skill development in almost all of the areas, with succession planning and human resources ranking lower on the list. These results may be driven by a desire to give the next generation every opportunity to succeed or to make up for areas where the older generation may feel they have weaknesses.
When RealAgristudies asked the younger generation which areas they felt would benefit the farm most strategic planning, production/agronomy, accounting/finance, and marketing ranked the highest among these same options shown above.
In terms of how this youngest generation on the farm prefers to learn, 49 per cent of them prefer hybrid learning opportunities over exclusively face-to-face or virtual.
Learn more about the study findings by watching Shaun Haney and Justin Funk break down the results