Beef business management

Karl Behrendt, Bill Malcolm, Thomas Jackson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review

Abstract

Managing a beef farming business well requires combining land, labour and other resources to make products to sell. This process needs to be consistent with the values, objectives and goals of the business owners in regard to profit, cash and wealth as well as meeting personal and family needs. This is a challenge because farm managers make choices and implement decisions in a natural and economic environment characterized by vagueness, riskiness and uncertainty. This makes farming an exceptionally challenging activity. Extraordinary passion, drive and knowledge are the hallmarks of the operators of successful farm businesses. Done well though, farming is a rewarding business which meets farm family goals, including the aim of earning returns to capital that are as good as many other investments in the economy. Managing a farm well requires understanding of agriculture, farm economics, and human behaviour. Situations, problems and choices that managers must manage are made up of a complex interaction of combined phenomena occurring in a risky and uncertain future that can only be predicted by using knowledge from many disciplines. From this, three important consequences flow for managers of farm businesses: Understandings of, and solutions to, parts of problems are not understandings of and solutions to the whole of problems, and therefore, a whole farm approach is the best method to analyse, understand and solve the problems and choices involved in managing farm businesses, and good farm management decisions are based on the best information available at the time; whether a good decision turns out to be the right decision is affected by uncontrollable, risky and uncertain future events.The manager's task often is presented as a sequential, linear process of identifying problems, gathering information about the problem and solutions to it, analysing options, Therefore every farmer and farm system is unique, though they confront common natural and economic forces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeef cattle production and trade
EditorsDavid Cottle, Lewis Kahn
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
Chapter20
Pages493-513
Number of pages21
Edition20
ISBN (Print)9780643109889
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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