Do you have a Learning Farm?
From Team Operations Manager, Lynn Glatt
The landscape of agriculture continues to change. Modern row crop farmers are trying to create a Learning Farm to strengthen and gain any available competitive advantages. You may want to read the book The Fifth Discipline which defines the five disciplines needed by the learning organization to reach its potential: personal mastery, building shared vision, mental models, team learning, and system thinking. We focus on this at FamilyFarms Group by sharing farm operations best practices.
As the dynamics of row crop farming continue to progress, the Operations Manager is challenged with finding the latest “best practices” through industry leaders, practices which enable him/her to make sound management decisions based on proven techniques, application of theoretical knowledge, and hands-on life experiences.
FamilyFarms Group has developed a unique training program for the farmer looking to enhance his/her “Learning Farm” through advanced business and technological knowledge. The sessions will help operations managers in all five areas:
- Personal Mastery: developing leadership skills, on-on-one coaching, sharing farm operations best practices
- Shared Vision: learning tactical thinking and how to work with farm owners
- Mental Models: implementing lean six sigma techniques
- Team Learning: group sessions and sharing best practices with other operations managers
- Systems Thinking: putting it all together (probably the most important part)
Lean Six Sigma on the Farm
One of the major focuses of the Operations Manager Program is continuous improvement. continuous Improvement has taken many names in manufacturing over the last thirty years, with titles ranging from Total Quality, JIT (Just In Time), learning organizations, Six Sigma, and TPS (Toyota Production System). Lean is the name most people recognize; it is associated with operational Improvement and the constant removal of “Muda” or waste (a Japanese term for any activity that does not add value).
Details on the Program
This Operations Management Program provides three customized one-on-one farm visits along with three two-day training classes per year. Classes are focused on developing and expanding the Operations Manager’s expertise in four main areas: Leadership, Tactical Thinking, Emerging Technology, and Farm Six Sigma. Classes give opportunity for management discussions, peer-to-peer, interactions, sharing of farm operations best practices, and focused technical training.
Learn more about FamilyFarms Group and how you can improve your Learning Farm and Operations Management skills. But don’t wait; the new Operations Manager program starts in March.