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Prepare your farm résumé

Your Farm Business

January 13, 2012
From Wayne Schoper and Rich Baumann , The Journal

From Wayne Schoper and Rich Baumann

South Central College

Competition for rented farmland is constantly on the increase. That means that producers looking to rent more land must become "salesmen" of their management practices and abilities to differentiate themselves from the competition.

To make matters more complicated, the land you are considering renting may be quite a distance from your current operation and the landlord may not know you. The land may not necessarily always go to the highest bidder, either. Landlords may have concerns about the tenant's environmental and management practices. One way to "promote" and distinguish yourself as a land manager and steward is to develop a "farm rsum" to give to perspective landlords. The resume should be updated as your farming operation changes.

A farm rsum is similar to a job rsum in that it should highlight your qualifications as a tenant. Here are some tips to help farmland tenants creatively "sell their services."

A farm rsum might contain the following information:

Biographical background. We live in a small world. By providing the landowner some background information, you may find a common thread.

Management objectives for the future. Include a brief statement of the ideas you have for the future and how they distinguish you from your competitors for that land.

Experience. Things to include here are: How long you have farmed, how many acres you run, special technologies you employ or advanced training you have had, licenses you hold, etc.

Equipment. List the major types of equipment you own and lease. Make special note of pieces that improve efficiency or somehow protect the environment, such as a tracked tractor for reduced soil compaction.

Environmental statement. Note your philosophies on the size of waterways, distance of your livestock buildings, etc. from nearby homes and water sources and soil erosion-reducing practices.

Risk management strategies. For a crop-share lease arrangement, the land owner is at risk and wants to be sure of your management skills. This is good information for cash rent situations, also.

Information on insurance coverage and limits.

References. Have these ready on request. Include one line statements from current landowners from whom you rent, if available. Also include the financial institution(s) where you transact the majority of your business. Make sure you have permission from the references before you provide their names.

Limit the rsum to one or two pages. Choose type fonts that consider the age of your landowners and their potentially failing eyesight. Don't clutter the pages. Use one-inch margins all around and leave space between sub-headings.

Either Wayne or Rich would be glad to review your rough draft and make suggestions.



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