Report outlines the importance of leadership in farm success

Somerset-based agricultural manager Chris Manley NSch 2021 has published his Nuffield Farming report entitled “Leading your farm to success”, sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Farmers with Savills.

During his Scholarship, Chris travelled to the Netherlands, USA, Brazil, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Rwanda to understand the qualities of a good leader and to map out how outstanding leadership can be achieved in agriculture.

“Leadership is an area within agriculture which often lacks attention,” says Manley in his report. “Despite being natural leaders and innovators, due to the nature of their work many farmers don’t fully understand the value that good leadership can have on their business. Farms must aspire to be a great place to work to improve their reputation, employee retention and recruitment prospects.”

He notes that there a number of ways that people can become leaders in agriculture: “Grass-roots leadership is possible within agriculture, where everyone involved in food production can make a contribution. By working with others and exchanging ideas, small ideas can turn into lasting innovations.

“Leaders can work with employees to produce farms which become great places to work. Looking after all the needs of the people who work for you will result in employees who are committed to, and take pride in, the business they work for.”

In Kenya and Rwanda, Chris saw the importance of leadership within the community. He also found that successful leaders take care of themselves and those around them to create a strong team.

Manley said, “Farmers must prioritise their own physical and mental health to build resilience. Leaders must be role models for a caring attitude and cultivate a strong support network for themselves and those they work with. Good leadership is characterised by developing self-knowledge, knowing your employees and knowing your community.”

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