; Assessment Center for Dairy Farm Owners and Managers | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Assessment Center for Dairy Farm Owners and Managers

Carl Duley


Assessment Center for Dairy Farm Owners/Managers

Businesses and organizations have used the Assessment Center methodology to select, evaluate and develop individuals for managerial positions since the 1940’s. As dairy farm businesses in Wisconsin (and the Midwest) become more complex, owners and managers need to develop their skills in human resources, financial planning and operational management of their businesses.

The Assessment Center for Dairy Farm Owners/Managers is designed to assess management skill levels through a series of activities and simulations. Trained assessors (county and state faculty members) observe participants and evaluate them on eight attributes: communications, planning and organizing, leadership, decision making/judgment, management control, empathy, teamwork and initiative.

This Assessment Center is conducted in two consecutive days. Assessors are expected to synthesize information and participate in a consensus discussion with other assessors within a short time following the actual Assessment Center. Following that process, each assessor develops a written report, which becomes the basis of the feedback session with his/her lead participants. This verbal and written feedback is delivered to the participant as soon as possible following the actual Assessment Center. Suggestions are discussed with the participant for self-improvement in order to increase their effectiveness. A follow-up session with the group also takes place.

A group of four farm owners, one agricultural lender, and one Extension county staff person were brought together to beta test the center workshop. Evaluations from participants for the center have been very positive. A second workshop is planned for March 2005.