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Nursery Owners and Managers

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Depending on the size and complexity of the nursery, owners and managers need experience in some or all of the following areas: the agriculture of plants, especially fruits, flowers and landscaping plants, and turf; business and accounting skills, including use of computers; agricultural economics, to determine the best methods for achieving maximum production; machinery and grounds maintenance. This experience can be gained through  mentoring from a more experienced manager, course work at a local community college, government sponsored programs to encourage farm education for those who were not raised on a family farm, and lower-level positions in a nursery. Skills required for an agricultural manager include precision and accuracy in monitoring and assessing the quality of their products; critical-thinking skills such as reasoning and judgment to enable managers to improve their harvest and take account of weather conditions; interpersonal skills to ensure effective communication between managers and their workers; and mechanical skills necessary to operate and repair machines used in agriculture. Perhaps the most important personality traits for the successful agricultual manager are a love of the outdoors and the plantings that can enhance our appreciation of nature; a capacity for hard work in the face of all kinds of weather; and the ability to take the initiative in fostering the growth and protection of plants.

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