Agribusiness Manager Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 8 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Agribusiness is an operation in the agriculture industry that involves the production and distribution of agricultural produce. An agribusiness manager conducts similar duties to managers in other industries, such as planning processes, implementing changes, supervising employees and evaluating performance. Exploring the skills of an agribusiness manager can help you improve your employability for this managerial role. In this article, we define agribusiness manager skills, list some examples of these skills, outline how to improve them, share some tips for showing them in the workplace and provide a guide on how to highlight them when applying for a job.

What are agribusiness manager skills?

Agribusiness manager skills are a combination of soft and technical skills that allow a manager in this industry to oversee and improve business processes. Soft skills are usually interpersonal qualities that help a manager communicate with team members, lead by example and solve workplace problems. An agribusiness manager's technical skills often relate to their specific knowledge and expertise in managerial duties, such as evaluating performance, managing change and resolving conflicts.

Related: How to Manage Effectively (With Steps and Tips to Improve)

Examples of agribusiness manager skills

Here, you can discover a variety of skills that can help you conduct your duties professionally as an agribusiness manager:

Product knowledge

The agribusiness industry typically involves growing, harvesting and distributing products for human consumption. A part of being an agribusiness manager involves optimising processes, such as the growing and harvesting of crops. To optimise these processes, you usually require an expert understanding of the product. For example, if you understand the ideal growing environments for potatoes, you can plan effective growing procedures for potato growing operations.

Related:

  • What Is Agribusiness? (Plus Different Jobs to Apply For)

  • A Step-By-Step Guide to the Product Life Cycle (With Examples)

Leadership

In most managerial roles, you require leadership skills to inspire employees, encourage teamwork and maintain the quality of work. There are many leadership styles that may be appropriate in different situations and operations. Your leadership skills can help you identify when to adopt these different styles to ensure effective and professional management. For example, when identifying new technology for the growing phase of the operation, you might adopt a democratic approach, where you consider the advice and perspectives of your skilled workforce.

Related: How to Be a Good Leader (With Qualities and Benefits)

Collaboration

Teamwork and collaboration are often crucial for any management position. As a manager in an agribusiness, you typically oversee and supervise team members and employees. If you can operate effectively with others, you can usually help facilitate a collaborative environment, improving productivity and efficiency. Showing employees that you have a team-oriented mindset can also help foster trust and strengthen your relationship with them. This usually improves your ability to inspire motivation and maintain a healthy working environment.

Related: Top 10 Tips on How to Work Collaboratively In the Workplace

Change management

As a manager in an agribusiness, it's helpful to have skills in facilitating and overseeing changes in the workplace. Industries, including agriculture, change with new technologies and insights into procedures and processes. For example, many commercial agricultural businesses now incorporate automated watering machines that operate on timers and sensors. New technology and information can drastically change how businesses operate, requiring effective change management to ensure a smooth transition between old and new operations.

Related: 9 Change Management Skills (And How to Improve Them)

How to improve agribusiness manager skills

Below, you can explore several steps on how to improve your skills as an agribusiness manager:

1. Conduct regular product research

You can improve your management skills in any industry and operation by having an expert understanding of the products and services the business provides. For example, if you're planning processes to improve production efficiency, you usually require an understanding of how the business produces the product. If you conduct regular research about the business's products, you can improve your planning, product knowledge and change management skills.

Related: Importance of Research Skills (With Examples and Tips)

2. Complete educational courses

Educational courses, such as certificates and degrees, can be an excellent method for developing your agribusiness skills in management. There are many certificates and degrees specific to management responsibilities, such as performance evaluation, change implementation, budgeting, leadership, communication and decision-making. The length of these educational courses typically varies. Some certificates might involve only a few hours of content, while some degrees may take several years to complete.

Related: What Is Training and Development? (Types, Benefits and Tips)

3. Increase your work experience

Work experience can be a great way to develop and use your management skills in a practical setting. You don't necessarily require experience in the agribusiness industry, as many managerial positions have transferable skills. For example, if you gain employment as a retail manager, you can develop your planning, leadership, performance evaluation, problem-solving and communication skills. If you gain employment in any position involving the management of people and processes, you may improve your management skills.

Related: Farm Manager Responsibilities (With Job Requirements)

4. Find a mentor

A mentor is an individual you can observe and potentially work with who possesses extensive skills and knowledge in the position where you hope to gain employment. For example, if you want to become an agribusiness manager, you might identify a highly experienced agribusiness manager who can provide you with tips and advice on how to perform your duties professionally. A personal relationship with your mentor can be ideal, as they can provide you with specialised advice and training. You can also identify a mentor online who provides mentorship through online videos and content.

Related: What Is a Mentor and How Can It Improve Your Career?

Tips for showing agribusiness manager skills in the workplace

Below, you can consider several tips on how to show your management skills in an agribusiness workplace environment:

  • Communicate regularly with your team. Setting regular meetings and discussing processes with employees can showcase your communication skills.

  • Set achievable goals in the workplace. If you set achievable goals that the team is likely to complete, it can highlight your strategic planning and leadership skills.

  • Conduct accurate performance evaluations. When evaluating employee performance, providing accurate evaluations can show you have attention to detail, leadership and analytical skills.

  • Use data to make informed business decisions. Using business data and analytics when making decisions for the business can show you have excellent decision-making and management skills.

  • Practise accountability in the workplace. If you admit your mistakes when you're wrong and encourage accountability in the workplace, it can foster trust in the team, showcasing your leadership and interpersonal skills.

Related: What Makes a Good Manager? 11 Qualities and 5 Skill Examples

How to highlight agribusiness manager skills

When applying for an agribusiness management position, it can be an excellent idea to highlight your skills in your job application. Job interviews can also be a great opportunity for showcasing your specific management skills for an agribusiness management job. Below, you can discover how to highlight your skills on your resume, cover letter and in a job interview:

1. Agribusiness manager skills for a resume

Your resume can be an excellent document for highlighting your skills as an agribusiness manager. Depending on your resume format, you usually have a skills section where you can list your soft and technical skills. A resume is essentially a summary of your employability, so you might not have the opportunity to discuss your skills in extensive detail. If you want to dedicate a sentence or two to showing your skills on your resume, it might be worth discussing them in your professional summary.

2. Agribusiness manager skills for a cover letter

Depending on the hiring organisation, they might request you to provide a cover letter alongside your resume. A cover letter is a document highlighting your employability, but it's typically in paragraph format rather than bullet point summaries like your resume. This means you have more freedom on your cover letter to discuss your skills in more detail. You can explain how you use your skills to improve business processes and how they helped you in professional working environments. It's usually beneficial to avoid repeating information already stated on your resume.

3. Agribusiness manager skills for a job interview

A job interview can be an opportunity for discussing your skills directly with the hiring organisation. Your interviewer may ask you a variety of questions focused on your personality, experience, background and technical capabilities. Some questions may directly relate to your soft and technical skills, such as What are your strengths? or What do you believe are the most important skills for this role?. It's helpful to understand that an interviewer may have a copy of your resume and cover letter, so it's beneficial to match your answers with the content in your employment documents.

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