Wikipedia defines a project manager as, " Project managers have the responsibility of the planning, execution and closing of any project." To me, this defines most any farmer. A farmer typically has many projects going on at anyone time. For example, here at Cinnamon Ridge, we had a tour from a Heritage Club at a bank, we are constructing a new heifer barn, bean planting is in full swing, and we are going to start chopping triticale hay. Some projects are small, others are more complex.
Farmers have drop-dead dates. Most of these deadlines are not self-imposed, but weather dictated. There are a few other deadlines that are not weather related, family events will cause certain project to get done by a date: graduation, weddings, and on some occasions, vacations.
Most project management skills are learned on the job. Children learn from their parents and not getting a task done in time sometimes can have catastrophic consequences. Not getting hay baled and put in the shed prior to the rain can cause thousands of dollars of loss. Not getting cows moved to a different pasture before it rains can cause a cow to lose a calf. However, even the best project managers have to work around obstacles when their best laid plans do not work. That is when, I believe, farmers shine. Farmers deal with rainstorms, equipment breakdown, and livestock. If it starts raining and the corn can't get planted, usually there are other things to do: i.e. manure to haul, a squeaky wheel that needs looking into. The only times I see farmers get impatient is when the rain lasts too long. There is only so much manure or repairs that can be done. However, when the fields dry out, farmers put in the hours needed to get the crops in.
Each year farmers have the opportunity to honetheir project management skills. Each year, farmers determine what worked well and what needs to improve or change. Some farmers even add new projects or enterprises to their roles.
Life on the farm is rarely boring and rarely routine, most days we hope for ordinary. However, as any person that works on projects, there is always the unexpected that comes up and I guess, that is what makes life interesting and what I look forward to each morning.