Farm Managers invest in agriculture, which is the most long-term weapon against hunger and poverty. They improve the lives of billions by ensuring the smooth operation of a farm or estate through seamless operations and sound business decisions.
Similar Job Titles
- Agricultural Manager
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Farm Managers do?
A Farm Manager would typically need to:
- Work in animal, dairy, or crop production, or a combination of the three; oversee all aspects of crop production and ranging, including planting, fertilizing, harvesting, and herding.
- Evaluate factors such as market conditions, disease, soil conditions, and the availability of government programmes to determine how to raise crops or livestock.
- Implement yield-maximizing strategies; employ various techniques to protect the farm from market fluctuations.
- Apply for funding, if necessary; negotiate with banks and other credit lenders to obtain financing for the purchase of seed, livestock, and equipment. upkeep farm infrastructure such as water pipes, hoses, fences, and animal shelters
- Choose and purchase supplies such as seed, fertiliser, and farm machinery; and ensure the repair, maintenance, and replacement of all farm buildings, machinery, and equipment.
- Adapt their responsibilities to the seasons, weather conditions, or the growing cycle of a crop; decide how to store, transport, and sell crops
- Assist in the preparation of products for deadlines such as auctions and markets; act as a sales agent for livestock, crops, and dairy products.
- Monitor constantly changing product prices; maintain relationships with vendors and clients to ensure maximum farm profitability
- Ensure that farm activities are in accordance with government regulations; implement health and safety standards throughout the farm estate; and protect the environment and biodiversity.
- Maintain animal health and welfare, including liaising with veterinarians; stay current on pests and diseases, how they spread, and how to treat them.
- Evaluate current operations, crops, animals, personnel, and financial documentation; offer appropriate improvements
- Arrange activities for trainees; mentor and supervise them.
- Maintain financial, tax, production, and staff records; advertise and market farm products or the farm itself
- Create professional networks and stay up to date on agricultural science advances.
Standard Work Environment
Although much of the job can be done in an office, some work-related activities must be done outside and are thus strongly reliant on the weather. The time spent indoors is spent on administrative tasks for the firm, such as conducting internet research and reviewing and paying bills.
Many Farm Managers use computers to maintain financial and inventory information as farms and the procedures used on them become increasingly complex. On the farm, they employ computer databases to manage breeding or output.
You may need to travel to attend farmers’ markets, seminars, and workshops. There may be opportunities to work abroad where farming corporations and growers have interests abroad.
Farm Managers dress in a number of ways, but the bottom line is that they must be prepared for anything. Because your clothes may be ruined, the budget for everyday clothing is often quite minimal. Farm Managers dress in used clothing, hand-me-downs, or shirts were given out by agribusinesses at some stage.
Although many farming villages have a thriving social life, you should be prepared for some seclusion.
The majority of managers work full-time. You will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Seasonal labour patterns influence farm work patterns; 16-hour workdays are frequent during harvesting and lambing. Managers who oversee multiple farms may spend time traveling to meet farmers and landowners and staying in their offices to plan farm operations.
During the planting and harvesting seasons, agricultural farm managers typically work from sunrise until sunset. During the rest of the year, they plan the crops for the following season, advertise their products, and repair and maintain machinery. Some employees work more than 40 hours per week.
Work is required on livestock-producing farms and ranches all year since animals must be fed and cared for on a daily basis.
During the workweek on big farms, Farm Managers meet with farm supervisors and farm owners, discussing any problems that develop and proposing solutions and well-thought-out plans of execution.
Farm Manager positions are often advertised by specialized recruiting agencies, in local media, and in trade journals, both online and in print.
Farm Managers are generally employed by:
- Large Estates
- Agricultural Colleges
- Scientific Research Institutes
- Government Departments for Food/Environment/Agriculture/Rural Affairs
- Large Food Production Companies
- Small Farms
- Fresh Produce Companies
- Farm Management Consultancy Companies
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional associations and organizations are essential for Farm Managers who want to further their professional development or interact with other professionals in their industry or career. Participation in one or more of these organizations adds value to your resume while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Work that is extremely stressful owing to unpredictable causes; difficulties in long-term forecasting due to market price volatility
- A dangerous work environment in which tractors, tools, and other farm machinery are present and used.
- Strenuous and tiring work that lasts for long periods of time in all weather conditions; rare days off between planting and harvesting seasons; the need to work from sunrise to sunset during planting and harvesting seasons; the possibility of isolation
- The need to correctly handling chemicals in order to protect the environment and avoid accidents
Suggested Work Experience
Practical knowledge and experience in hands-on farming are as important as academic qualifications; management experience would also be an asset; some employers may hire you solely on the basis of your experience. This experience can be gained through a sandwich course, holiday job, or a gap year internship. Some professional organizations provide students and recent graduates with job experience and training programs.
Aspiring Farm Managers often work as agricultural laborers for several years, gaining the skills and expertise required to run their own farm or transition to management. Some of them may have grown up on a farm and learned this manner.
The level of experience required varies depending on the complexity of the labor and the size of the farm. Individuals with post-secondary agricultural education may not need prior work experience.
Colleges and different government programs provide viable alternatives to growing up or working on a farm for aspiring Farm Managers. The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a fantastic organization for organizing work experience abroad (WWOOF).
A high school diploma is required for future Farm Managers. Farm Managers are increasingly in need of post-secondary education as farm and land management become more complex and costly. An associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, agricultural engineering, crop management, farm business, horticulture, animal science, or land/estate management will be invaluable.
Every government university system has at least one land-grant college or university with an agricultural school. Business (with a specialty in agriculture), plant breeding, farm management, agronomy, dairy science, and agricultural economics are all common courses of study.
Numerous government programs assist young farmers in obtaining agricultural education. These initiatives may provide financial support for land and money, assist in the completion of a business strategy, and aid in conservation planning.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Farm Managers may choose to become certified in order to demonstrate their expertise in their chosen pitch. It is recommended that you obtain additional certification in business management or administration. A valid driver’s license is an absolute must.
Projected Career Map
New hires can expect to start as an assistant to the present Farm Manager or as the manager of a subsidiary enterprise, such as a dairy unit. With experience, you can advance to positions of more responsibility and management. You could eventually be in charge of monitoring the work of multiple farms, each specialising in a distinct aspect of farming, such as a dairy herd, potato cultivation, or poultry.
Because most farms specialise in a single activity, you may want to move from farm to farm to get a diverse range of expertise. Because temperature and soil dictate what grows best in a certain place, different parts of the country specialise in different product categories.
It is also feasible to move into other sectors, such as advisory work for government departments or consultant work where you would provide guidance and assistance to farmers and management. Another option is to teach agriculture in secondary and higher education institutions.
If possibilities arise, Farm Managers and Assistant Farm Managers with relevant experience and higher-level qualifications may be able to work in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Europe, and Russia. Another alternative is to join volunteer organisations and help in impoverished nations.
In the job market, prospective Farm Managers may encounter severe competition. The retirement of senior workers will create some job openings. Those with prior experience and a preference for working outside will have the best career possibilities.
Beneficial Professional Development
If you join a management trainee scheme, you will receive structured and extensive training. In other cases, it will primarily be on the job.
Several external courses assist with initial training and ongoing professional development (CPD). Farm managers must stay up to date on the latest legislation and technologies. Regional and national farm management courses may address farm conservation, animal health and welfare, bookkeeping, taxation, and coaching for farming firms.
Some government programmes offer funding, advice, and information to farm managers who want to improve the environmental management of their land.
It also helps to join a professional organisation that may provide you with fantastic networking possibilities, knowledge of the newest breakthroughs in agricultural research, conferences, and trade press.
Obtaining a post-secondary education is another approach to develop experience. Modern farming necessitates increasingly complicated knowledge of the industry’s scientific, financial, and business aspects. Farm Managers are increasingly interested in earning a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree in agriculture.
If you desire to pursue an MSc or a Ph.D. in related fields rather than farm management, you should pursue additional study for an MSc or a Ph.D.
Farm managers work hard to leave the land in better shape than they found it. They strive to provide greater value with fewer resources, decreasing their environmental effect.
Advice from the Wise
Competent knowledge, a judicious work ethic, and a continually evolving rural culture are tools that exemplary Farm Managers bring to their workplace. We are not talking here about “job training” but rather about an artist’s lifelong education, the wisdom that comes from unceasing attention and practice.