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International Farm Management

The IFM specialisation is part of the Minor ‘Toekomstgericht Ondernemerschap’. Some subjects, like Lean Management, are organized broadly in the minor. For the specialisation students work on specific subjects and assignments. The language of communication in the specialisation IFM is English.

In the international (dairy) farm business, Dutch / Western-European experts are highly in demand for (middle level) management functions. They are highly appreciated for their combination of up-to-date knowledge of modern farming, practical experience and hands-on mentality.

Dutch (farm) experts are working in a variety of countries; some working under similar circumstances as in the Netherlands (e.g. Denmark), others working under circumstances which are very different from those in Western-Europe (e.g. Russia, Africa, Middle-East). Wherever cows are kept or crops are grown the basic needs for the animals and crops are not different. But on other aspects there is a distinct difference between operating and managing a farm in the Dutch setting and in an international setting.

By its nature the farm manager should be an expert (by education and experience) in the primary production process. His/her task mostly is to motivate the ground-level staff and to convince the owner/ higher management of improved practices. Therefore he/she needs to have good communicative skills; at least in the English language.

In motivating ground-level staff it is an asset if the farm manager is trying to speak the local language and adapts / understands / accepts the local habits or culture of the area. Further ground-level staff is often motivated by the expert showing his practical experience; the manager should be able to do what he “preaches”. Once staff is motivated, they have to be further instructed. Therefore the manager should have basic instruction skills.

After arrival on the farm the farm manager mostly gets limited time to “proof” him- or herself. He/she should be able to familiarise himself with the farm practices and organisation within a short period of time. Mostly the owner / higher management expect regular reports and within limited time a proposal for improvement is to be presented.

The module starts with lectures and basic training in the first weeks.
In a number of weeks students work on developing a quick-scan and corresponding checklists most of their time.
Also visits to, for Dutch standards, large farms in the Netherlands are part of the program, in which assignments are practiced.
To improve the skills in animal handling and treatment some practical trainings are included.
Halfway the minor students will pay a work-visit for three weeks, to a large farm abroad.
During this work-visit the developed quick-scan will be applied. A Strength/Weakness analysis will be the result.
Another project students are working on is the ‘Farm plan’. In commission of a client or an consultancy company a feasibility study will be carried out on developing a new (largescale) farm from ‘greenfield’, at a location the client is concentrated on.
For the purpose of quality control protocols are developed for several daily work routines.
To implement a new protocol a training for the (new) staff is organized an given on in practice at a farm.
At the end of the minor, as a final assignment, an application letter is written, responding on a vacancy for an international farm-manager.
A recruiter from a consultancy company will have a job interview with the student concerned, aiming on the suitability for being or becoming an international farm-manager in nearby future.


The student can:
• record economic data and analyse them for improved management;
• design a farm from greenfield (cropping plan, housing plan, organisation and mechanisation);
• draw up an analysis report and advice on basis of farm, animal and data inspection;
• draw up an implementation plan;
• convert business objectives in operational management;
• direct personnel and manage change processes;
• formulate norms and standards and adjust these for quality control or certification;
• differentiate between facts and opinions;
• and has insight in the development possibilities of professions.


Completed propedeuse Dier en Veehouderij (Animal Husbandry) or Agrarisch ondernemerschap (Agricultural Entrepreneurship).


To be determined.


A mix of working methods is used in this module: lectures/tutorials, workshops, practical training, working in project groups, self-study. The minor has a study load of 840 sbu, which are roughly divided as follows:

  • Basic Part: 420h
  • Personnel management: 90h
  • People and culture: 50h
  • Production management: 140h
  • Financial management: 40h
  • Excursions: 100h
  • Project 420h


Basic Part
LDV353VE1-01 Farm Plan for new dairy project (group of 4 students).
LDV353VE1-02 Protocol and Instruction of Personnel (group of 2 students).
LDV353VE1-03 Portfolio with Personal Profile (individually).

LDV353VE1-04 Quick Scan and Presentation on Work Visit (group of 2 students).
LDV353VE1-05 Research (group of 2 students).
LDV353VE1-06 Advice (group of 2 students).

Aanvullende informatie

In case of a low number of applications for the minor, the minor may not be offered. After closing the registration period, you will be informed as soon as possible.

Capacity/waiting list:
Minimum of 15 students. If there are too few applications, the minor will not take place.