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Types of Farm Jobs

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Types of Farm Jobs

Farm work in the UK can be extremely varied depending on the type of role, location or farm type a person is hired for. This can be what people find appealing about the farming sector as it can suit all kinds of individuals and may not always require any formal qualifications. Farm work can be quite unsociable with long hours, early starts, late finishes and weekend work. Individuals need to be committed and loyal as well as passionate about agriculture. 

Types of UK Farms

In the UK there are different types of farm broadly split between arable and pastoral (livestock) - some farms can be both. 

Arable farming 

This is essentially producing crops and in the UK, these can be cereals like oats, barley and wheat. They can also be root vegetables like potatoes or pulse crops which may consist of beans, peas, rape, kale and cabbages. There are also fruit farms in the UK producing apples, pears, and even grapes. Hay production for animal feed is also a feature for some arable farms. Depending on the type of soil, weather, air, water and other environmental factors may mean different areas of the UK grow a particular crop.

Pastoral/livestock farming

Livestock farming in the UK is for the most part the biggest chunk of agricultural output. It essentially includes any farm involved in the production of milk, eggs, wool and meat. Farms involved in livestock can be divided as follows, sheep farming, cattle farming, dairy farming and pig farming. 

Jobs on UK farms can vary depending on the type of farm looking for works. For instance, a dairy farm may look for those with milking experience over and above someone with only experience of arable farming. Some of the main roles on farms are as follows:

Farm Worker or Farm Labourer 

Showing initiative, being used to working outside in all weathers. Practical application as well as local knowledge could all improve the possibility of being hired as a farm labourer.

A position as a farm labourer at any of these settings could be wildly different but for the most part a typical list of responsibilities could be as follows:

- work with animals (feeding, mucking out, bedding down, transporting or moving, milking, hand rearing, caring for sick or injured animals, caring for new-born animals etc
- ploughing/preparing fields, sowing, fertilising, spraying and harvesting crops
- working with farm machinery
- operating and maintaining farm machinery
- cleaning and maintenance of farm buildings
- looking after field and farm perimeters (ditches, hedges, fences)

Some farm workers might be offered accommodation as part of their role. This could depend on the nature of the task for which they are hired and could only be temporary e.g. during lambing season. 

Farm Manager

As farm manager a person can expect to be responsible for the maximum yield for the farm for any of the farm types. It is even possible that this could involve crop, dairy or animal production as a whole. A farm manager would need to work within the regulation parameter set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). In addition, the farm manager would be responsible for: 

- planning and executing farm finances including farm production and budget control
- practical tasks such as driving farm vehicles, feeding livestock, fertilising crops etc
- marketing farm products
- buying supplies
- allocating resources and recruitment of seasonal staff
- pest control and disease management
- weather planning and contingency of poor weather
- health and safety 
- animal welfare
- preparing products for sale - i.e. auction./markets
- financial recording 

Herdsperson/Stockperson

A person in this role could be responsible for one or all of the types of animal on a farm. This could be pigs, sheep or cows/cattle. The herdsperson will need to be able to look after, clean, feed and generally protect the wellbeing of these animals on the farm. Depending on the size of the farm means the number of stock could vary. A reliable herdsperson will get to know their herd well so that they can accurately pick up on anything that might impact the health or wellbeing of the herd in general. The responsibilities could change day to day and also include looking after pregnant animals and their young.

Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are the UK and worldwide market leader in agricultural, farming, horticultural and food recruitment.

If you are looking for a new role, please send us your CV in complete confidence to info@agriRS.co.uk and one of our consultants will call you to discuss options.

Alternatively, if you are a client looking to grow your team, then please contact our highly successful team on 01905 345 155.

If you would like to find out more about Agricultural Recruitment Specialists Ltd, then please visit www.agriRS.co.uk