Create a farm resume to attract new landlords
How can you prove you are an exceptional farmer? Why should a landlord pick you over another farmer? To grow your operation into the future, you need to be able to nail the answers to these questions.
A farm resume can do just that, says Karisha Devlin, University of Missouri Extension ag business specialist. “It allows you to introduce yourself to a landowner and highlight your abilities, experiences and accomplishments.”
Much like a personal resume, a farm resume highlights your qualifications to do a job. It can be a vital tool in attracting new landlords, as more landlords are removed from the farm and competition is fierce.
Best Face Forward. As the leader of a farm business, you need to relay a professional communication style, says Mark Faust, business author and columnist for AgPro, a sister publication of Top Producer.
“You want to blow your landlords away with your business sense,” he says. “Talk about the vision of your business and where you see yourself in three, five, 10 and 20 years.”
As you craft your farm resume, include elements and examples of your business plan, strategy and tactics. “Showcase how you look at the net return per acre and how it’s a bad business decision not to invest in the soil,” Faust says. “All of a sudden, you’re speaking from a different angle than most farmers are in regard to their landowner relationship.”
Share your farm resume with key industry contacts such as real estate agents and farmland management companies. Post it on your farm’s website so people can find you.
Agriculture is a small world. By providing some background information about yourself, you can establish a common bond and your competitive advantage with a landowner, Devlin says.
Elements of an Effective Resume
A farm resume lets you concisely and effectively describe your farming goals, says Karisha Devlin, University of Missouri Extension ag business specialist. She suggests including the following items in your resume.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Include your background, how long you’ve been farming, and your farm’s size, team and enterprises.
EDUCATION: Highlight any formal education you’ve completed, continuing education and conferences you regularly attend.
LEADERSHIP: List your community, state and national leadership roles, which can include boards, churches, commodity groups, etc.
SKILLS AND EXPERIENCES: Detail your licenses, certifications and other examples to indicate your management ability. Include skills around technology and sustainability.
REFERENCES: Include two references who can speak to your abilities. This can be a banker, CPA or crop insurance agent. If possible, include one-liners from landowners who know your work.
FARM EQUIPMENT: List the major types of equipment you own or lease. Note if any of your machinery improves production efficiency or protects the environment.
YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE: Provide links to your farm’s website and social media accounts.
PHOTOS: Include your photo and ones of your home operation, which will show a potential landowner the pride you take in your work.
PROFESSIONAL FORMAT: Limit the resume to one or two pages. Use easy-to-read fonts and proofread it.
Top Producer columnist Chris Barron shares five tips and negotiation strategies at AgWeb.com/impress-landlord