Your Farm Resume

The competition for rental acreage is increasing. Established farmers want access to more land so they can expand their operation. Or, maybe someone just beginning their farming career needs rental land to get their business started. In both cases even though you’ll pay rent, you’re basically asking someone to hire you to farm their valuable ground. Ask yourself, why should this person hire me?

Melissa O’Rourke is an extension farm and agribusiness management specialist at Iowa State University. She says walking up to someone’s door and just saying you’d like to farm their land may not be the best way to convince them. Instead, hand this person your resume. This one-page summary should answer the questions that a landowner would want to know.

"A little bit about who you are, your family background, your history in agriculture, business, farming, things like that. How about education? You have a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, but it also could be let’s go back to high school, or technical or community college," says O'Rourke. "What have you done in ag-related work or other kinds of business decision making? Were you involved in FFA or 4-H?"

Just like with any job application, who could vouch for you? Be sure to include references.

"And it might be something as early as doing chores for a neighbor," she says. "Some other kinds of work that showed you were able to work independently, make good decisions, that you worked honestly, that people could trust you. And you pick two or three of who the top references are that you would have and include them as a contact."

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