It’s one of those odd jobs isn’t it? You spend all your time on farms, offering advice ranging from business strategy and regulatory compliance to animal health planning and diversification opportunities, but you don’t take your own medicine. Why? Because you’re probably not a farmer. So where does the value come from?
Last year’s winner, Mark Burnell says: “Advisers, first and foremost, need to be motivators – coaches, if you like. Getting people to work together and maintaining a good balance of intelligent and practical advice is at the hub of being a great adviser”. For Mark, director of Dorset vet Synergy Farm Health, an adviser must have the ability to communicate; “I’d really be looking for good communications skills above all else,” he says.
For Mark, the ability to make life simple is also an important skill that a great farm adviser will offer a client. “Farmers are notoriously time-strapped people and often don’t have the time to research the right decisions for business. So a great farm adviser should be able to sift the good from the bad information”. Stripping the wheat from the chaff, it seems, has never been more important.
This year’s independent judge, Roger Mercer, says: “I will be looking for someone who is genuinely delivering high value, innovation and intelligence to their farming clients. What and how they have done this to influence and inspire positive changes to their client’s farm businesses will be critical”.
So is this all part of your daily routine? Are you, or do you know a great farm adviser? If so, entering the 2011 Farmers Weekly Awards is easy. Just visit www.farmersweeklyawards.co.uk and complete the entry form or, alternatively, nominate a friend or colleague who you think would make a worthy winner.
This year, the category is open to all advisers – from agronomists and vets to legal and regulatory specialists, we’re keen to hear from a wide range of specialists.