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California Farmland Facing Sustainability and Labor Challenges

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

With California farmland becoming one of the country's hottest commodities in recent years, many investors are looking to get into the booming sector themselves. However, the industry is not without its own set of faults and issues that will need to be addressed, including a shortage of labor that is currently affecting a significant percentage of the state's farms. Of course, an insufficiently staffed farm will typically resort to hiring foreign and inexperienced workers, while also burdening those employees with longer hours to make up for the lack of manpower. In addition to labor shortages, farm owners also must consider the practices necessary to keep their farm operating clean, mitigating the effects that agricultural pollution and soil degradation could have on the quality and purity of future crops.

Industry Leaders Implementing Advanced Sustainability Practices

While there are still many farms in California that haven't been optimized with sustainability in mind, fortunately, industry leaders like Crawford Park Farming AG and other large California farmland companies, are making strides in the right direction. By investing in farmland that receives water from multiple sources, progressive investors are able to facilitate optimal water conservation, which has been particularly important during the state's recent drought. Likewise, the state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of farms using solar panels in the past five years.

Keeping Farms Clean While Still Following Regulations

All farms have to appease the regulatory authorities, as well as the clients they'll be supplying their product to, and oftentimes, this will involve the mandated use of certain pesticides or other farming chemicals. As such, many farms are utilizing routine soil testing and carefully managed field spraying techniques to stay within guidelines, without damaging the cleanliness of their fields or produce. Alternative pest control methods are also becoming increasingly popular as farms explore the possibility of using non-toxic agents to get the job done.

Farms Slow to Adopt Technology to Combat Labor Shortages

Despite being the most technologically advanced region in the country, California's farms have yet to create robots that can perform the tedious manual labor required to harvest the state's more than 200 crop types. Even with the advent of state-of-the-art apps, drones, and other robotic inventions that are always burgeoning in Silicon Valley, farms have been slow to adopt technological changes that could fill in the gaps human laborers are struggling to accommodate.

Is California Farmland Worth Investing In?

While the answer to the above question will depend on the farm and its location, in general, most areas in the state offer ideal opportunities for investors looking to purchase farmland. Likewise, the state has always been the leader in agricultural output, and that trend is expected to continue during the next decade. Furthermore, there are also millions of acres of unfarmed plots that can be converted into farmland by industrious investors. Many investors are concerned about the state's drought and whether an impending water shortage could have disastrous consequences for farms, but savvy investors know that droughts are the best times to buy farmland because the price declines rapidly and then, when the drought (inevitably) ends, the prices go back up. 

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Working with the Right Partners to Optimize Your Company's Systems

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

There are many things you can do to improve the efficiency of a business nowadays, and many companies can benefit from an advanced technological touch. Even those that don’t directly have anything to do with technology in their line of work can typically benefit a lot from some specific advancements, and if you’re still not relying on advanced solutions, you’re probably running far below your potential.

It doesn’t take too much effort to get your company outfitted with the right solutions either, and all it takes is to reach out and search for the right partners.

Improving Internal Communications

There is a lot to gain from giving your employees access to better communication tools and an improved ability to get in touch with each other and their superiors on an urgent basis. It’s not just about mobile phones either – there are some interesting things to explore on the software side of things as well.

Slack is a common presence in business environments, and many companies have started to realize the benefits of having an instant messaging network for their internal communications. This can be especially beneficial for companies that frequently have to deal with projects that span across multiple different areas and involve getting quick input on images, videos, sounds and so on.

Better Physical Security

Relying on a guard to ID employees in sensitive areas of the organization is a huge waste of resources, not to mention far from the ideal solution in terms of security. If you’re still not working with security badges, you should revise that point of your operations. ID card printers from IDSecurityOnline are easy to come by these days and even if you don’t want to invest in one for the company, you can still rent it for a few print runs and have a set of badges done for your employees.

Advanced Data Collection and Retention

Data is the currency of tomorrow and if you’re still not putting a lot of effort into collecting and organizing all the information your business produces, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. We may not have the capability to process certain kinds of data yet, but we can certainly collect and store that data for prolonged periods of time, and this can be a very good boost to your future operations.

This is particularly true for companies involved in manufacturing; the Industrial Internet of Things is right around the corner and it’s going to be the next big thing. There is a lot of buzz around developing complex systems that can collect large volumes of data and store it in a way that it can be referenced easily in the future. Investing in something like that as early as possible is going to have a tremendous impact on your performance later on.

There is a lot more worth exploring and we’re barely scratching the surface here. But, the general point is that a business owner must make it their top priority to pay close attention to modern technological trends if they want to secure their company for the future.

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The Skills and Education You Need to Be a Successful Manager

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 30, 2018

With the economy growing at its present rate, companies are making more management positions open and seeking qualified candidates to fill them. Getting promoted to the position of your dreams, however, is only the beginning. You are also required to perform and be a successful manager. 

There is no recipe for skills and knowledge that guarantees success in business. What you need to be a successful manager depends highly on the industry you are in, the kind of organization or team you lead, and other factors. That said, some skills and knowledge are essential for success in this field and we are going to discuss them in this article.

Team Building

Leadership and organizational skills are very important, but the most important skill to have as a business manager is team building. You need to have the ability to bring out the best in your team members for the entire team to achieve its goals.

Top universities such as Arizona State University Online and their business management programs are emphasizing the need for better team building skills in their curriculum. There are classes designed to help students learn how to construct, develop, and refine teams in different situations.

Business Management Knowledge

Speaking of business management programs, having a business management degree is a big plus too. Completing an online business management degree lets you master the basics of business management and be ready for real-world challenges.

Online programs are considered the better option because you can earn a degree from top names such as ASU Online while working a fulltime job and gathering experience in the field of business management.

Domain Knowledge

Aside from the general knowledge about business management and its basic principles, great marketing managers need to know marketing like the back of their hand. Someone in charge of sales must have the experience of making sales calls or visits and closing deals to be effective.

This is knowledge you gather from doing, which is why the most successful managers on the market right now are those who started off working as a junior and patiently collect experience from their day-to-day activities on the job.

Communications

Naturally, being able to communicate well is another essential that is commonly found in great managers. You can’t expect to run an effective team if you cannot convey directions and ideas effectively.

Good communications skills are not just about communicating with team members either. As a manager, you are required to listen to input and observe how the team performs in the field. The more you listen, the more you can improve your team and achieve shared objectives together.

Planning

There is one additional secret ingredient that will make you a great manager, and that is having an exceptional ability to plan. Planning is at the heart of every management task; planning is the first step you take to achieve your – and the organization’s – goals. Combined with other skills and knowledge we covered in this article, good planning skills are how you become an effective manager in any industry or field.

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Key Career Areas In The Automotive Industry

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 29, 2018

For recent graduates, those about to finalize their career choices or even those considering a change in business sector or career plan, the automotive industry is one of the more positive directions to explore simply due to its size. Covering the key areas from design to sale, the automotive industry offers a way for those seeking a focus in regards to their career goals to explore which avenue suits them the most. Looking at the key skills for each level of the automotive industry can help to clarify the position that you should be aiming for.

Designing the future

No matter the form of transport, it all starts with the designers. You’ll need a lot of creativity of course, but that’s not going to get you far without some impressive numeracy skills and some IT skills. If you have a history of mechanical engineering or electronic engineering, then you'll find it easier to break into this tough field. An important element to consider is that many people consider a design job to entail drawing pictures of cars all day, but there is obviously a lot more to do than that, with every single piece of the car needing exact specifications. You continue to invent revolutionary trailer spares, or you can go more technical and consider the electronics of the car. Every step of this process ensures a better vehicle at the end of it, and having a perfectionist personality will help.

Manufacturing and building

You don’t need a degree to get in on the ground floor of a vehicle manufacturing job. Although a BA won’t be dismissed, an apprenticeship or some simple work experience will be more useful to you. There is a fear that this element of the automotive industry is going to see fewer humans on the factory floors as automation takes a greater and greater role. Although we may be some way from total factory automation, it is worth bearing in mind if you’re considering manufacturing as a long-term career.

Marketing to the world

It’s all well and good designing and building a vehicle, but if people don’t know about it, then nobody is going buy it, which is where the marketing department comes in. There are a few things you’ll need to get into this role, and competition is often fierce. Creativity is a key skill, and you’ll need a lot of confidence and the ability to think analytically. However, the most valuable skill you can bring to this position is communication. Advertising has to communicate to the masses, so your ability to connect with public opinion is vital.

Selling and creating customers

If you’re the kind of person who can talk the hind legs off a donkey or convince a man without a car to buy some petrol, then you might be perfect for a sales role. Your key skills would be product knowledge, of course, but you’ll also need to be a good active listener and a great overall communicator. Confidence is going to be key, as is the ability to recover from disappointment. The good news is that forecasts for car sales in 2018 are looking increasingly positive, so you might be choosing exactly the right time to be considering a position on the salesroom floor.

Depending on your core skill set, it’s very likely that you will find a niche area of the automotive industry that suits you. The range of personality types and the variety of required skills means that there is a place for you whether you have an interest in cars, motorbikes, trailers, caravans and beyond.

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How to Advance Your Psychology Skills

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 29, 2018

Psychology can be applied to your life every day, and if you have an understanding of psychological processes, it can help your communication and leadership skills, offering a boost to your career too. There are various ways that you can advance your psychology skills and integrate them into your daily life, such as through mindfulness and meditation, cognitive psychological processes to improve your memory, or undertaking study of a specific field of psychology to further your understanding.

Live in the moment

Mindfulness is a psychological process whereby your attention is focused on the present moment, it is a state of being active yet calm with your attention on the present. The practice focuses on a series of meditation techniques that can help you to let go of worries about the past or the future, focusing instead of this very minute. Mindfulness has been proven to improve mental wellbeing, as well as improving the physiological responses that occur under stress, such as reducing blood pressure, reducing chronic pain and improving sleep. It can be used as part of a treatment package for depression, addiction, anxiety, and eating disorders, among other diagnosis.

Improve your memory

Improving your memory can help when studying for exams, preparing for a big presentation or just generally on a day to day level, helping you to remember where you put your keys. Many psychological techniques can help, such as making up rhymes, tunes or jokes featuring the new information, which can help to embed it in your mind. Or if you are finding remembering certain words or events difficult, then reconstructing the context can help. For example, when trying to recall a specific event, remembering as much as you can about the events that came before can trigger the memory, include sensory memories and as much detail as you can.

Boost your confidence

Building your self-confidence can pay off in all areas of your life, from improving your self-esteem and boosting your love life to helping you to move your career forward. Improving your confidence needs to be a habit you build into your daily life, including positive affirmations – positive statements such as ‘I am a strong leader’ or ‘I am popular’, that act like a mantra, repeated to yourself daily. Other confidence tricks include dressing for success to help ensure you feel like a leader, embodying confident body language, and accepting and believing compliments about yourself.

Further your knowledge

There are various routes should you wish to further your study in the vast field of psychology. If you are interested in helping people to overcome substance abuse issues, helping with education, prevention and treatment, then looking further into the best addiction studies careers could be the ideal move for you. Or, perhaps a career within the field of forensic psychology, focusing primarily on the psychological assessment of those within the legal system and devising evaluation and treatment programs for those within the justice system, is more suited to your interests? Do your research well as whatever avenue of psychology peaks your interest there is a course tailored to furthering your knowledge.

The world of psychology falls under a vast umbrella. To improve and advance your psychology skills, you can either return to school and study the subject, allowing yourself a fulfilling psychology career, or you can improve your psychology skills for your own personal benefit. 

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