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Brittany Comer works with Pepe Calderon (left) and Jonathan Croft on a fictional, yet fact-based case study to practice the management tools emphasized during the Executive Farm Management program. The tools allow participants to hone management strategies needed to successfully manage today’s large, family-owned farms through the use of the Business Model Canvas.

Brittany and Garland Comer, operations manager and president of Lazy C Farms, Inc. in Vernon Hill recently completed the Executive Farm Management (EFM) program.

In this program, participants focus on all aspects of management needed to successfully manage today’s large, family-owned operations across the southeast.

The 12-day program is delivered over six weeks in three locations; Savannah, Georgia, Raleigh, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina.

EFM is in its third year and is offered by NC State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its partners; NC State’s Poole College of Management, Clemson Cooperative Extension, East Carolina University’s College of Business and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

All participants are put into teams on the first day of the program and work within their teams throughout the duration.

The program implements a fictional, but fact-based case study to teach the 30+ management tools emphasized during the program, allowing the opportunity for the participants to practice applying these tools and ensuring that when they return their operations they have both the confidence and competence to apply them.

The foundational tool of the program is the use of the Business Model Canvas (BMC).The BMC provides both a tactile and visual methodology for identifying new value propositions and is an excellent first step in creating new business plans, as it forces the user to consider all nine blocks of the tool, which align with the nine essential components of a business plan.

During the 2020 Executive Farm Management (EFM) program, 41 individual participants representing 30 unique operations and organizations in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia were exposed to new tools and practices in areas of strategy, innovation, financial management, human resources, labor management, risk management, succession planning, market research, marketing, social media and crisis management and communication.

EFM’s managing director, Michelle Grainger, recently delivered a TEDx Talk on the value of the program, including early success stories of past participants, her talk can be found on the TED.com platform. Additional information can be found at go.ncsu.edu/efm.

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A total of 41 individual participants representing 30 unique operations and organizations in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia participate in the 2020 Executive Farm Management (EFM) program.