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6 signs farm management is the career for you

Posted 11 months ago by Rebekah Shields

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If you’re searching for agricultural jobs, the chances are you’ll have seen various opportunities for farm manager or agricultural managers. Farm managers are often employed when the farm owner wants someone with specific skills to ensure their farm is successful and profitable, or if they want to take a step back from managing the farm themselves. Flexibility and a positive attitude will get you a long way, plus some of the talents we’ve highlighted below.

You have great communication skills

On a farm, communication is so vital. Tasks have to be done in a specific way and at specific times to keep the farm running smoothly and efficiently. Good farm managers ensure their staff know exactly what needs to be done on a daily basis, and they listen to their staff and respond appropriately. They also need to communicate clearly and honestly with suppliers and customers. If you’re a great listener and problem solver, farm management could be the ideal career step for you.

How you communicate is often as important as what you are communicating. Farmworkers report being more engaged and motivated by managers who are quick to praise good work, and who offer constructive feedback in effective and sincere ways. Being clear with your staff about their opportunities to progress within the farm team is crucial too. Recognition and praise are cited by staff as being far more important than their pay-packet when it comes to motivation.

You are open to new technologies

The farming industry is one of the fastest adopters of new technologies. From hydroponics to robots, to apps in development that help monitor health and safety concerns, technology is the future of farming. Farm managers need to be aware of emerging technologies, and how those technologies might be implemented successfully to make their farms more profitable, safer or more environmentally friendly.

Government funding might be dependant on how ‘green’ your farm is, so looking at ways to conserve water and energy can be crucial in modern farming. The farm manager might look at onsite solar panels or wind turbines and decide if they are viable options or not. Avoiding waste is another key factor, so looking at more energy efficient cold storage and clever logistics to get produce to retailers and distributors quickly could be an exciting challenge for the modern-minded farm manager.

You have a passion for agricultural economics

Managing a farm is all about making decisions which will ultimately lead to productivity and profit. In order to do this, you need to understand how to allocate and distribute your available resources. This is just one aspect of the field of agricultural economics, a field which covers a wide range of topics including agribusiness management, agricultural law and finance.

You enjoy turning challenge into opportunity

All effective managers see challenges and problems as opportunities and being a farm manager is no different. The difference comes in the kind of challenges you’ll face. This might include dealing with unpredictable weather conditions and making contingency plans for sudden changes. You’ll have to be aware of government regulations regarding farming, and be prepared to adjust your team’s working practices as and when those regulations change.

As well as being aware of the welfare of your staff like any good manager, you also need to have your finger on the pulse when it comes to your animals’ health and wellbeing. For arable farm managers, implementing effective crop rotation and pest control could be some of your biggest challenges. Knowledge and adaptability are the keys to turning challenges like these into a chance to grow and improve the farm you’re working on.

You’re great at organisation and decision making

Farming is a fast-paced, ever-changing industry and all farming jobs require the ability to prioritise and make snap decisions. As a farm manager, you’re not just making decisions for yourself, but for the whole farm, including all the staff and animals.

You might be in charge of farm recruitment, deciding on which individuals are the best fit for your team. This includes checking references, holding interviews and understanding your existing team and what makes them tick. You’ll also make crucial decisions about rotas and holidays for your team, ensuring busy periods like harvests are fully covered, but also ensuring that you have contingencies in place for sickness and family emergencies.

You’ll want a team that’s as adaptable and organised as you are, so think about creating a staff handbook with guidelines about how you want things run on your farm. An organised induction can help iron out wrinkles before they turn into problems. If you have a passion for organising others, farm management could be ideal for you.

You love getting your hands dirty

If you think a farm manager is stuck in an office all day, think again. All farm jobs have practical elements, and the manager is no exception. You’ll have times when you have to be out working side by side with your team, ensuring they are well-motivated and monitoring their performance. You’ll take the lead on difficult tasks and show by example how things are to be done. This is in between looking after the finances of the farm, business planning and forecasting. Ultimately, your role is to keep the farm profitable and productive, and understanding how your farm runs day to day is vital to this. A successful farm manager will ensure they take a step out of the office every day and see for themselves how well the farm is running.

Qualifications in agricultural or horticultural subjects can be an advantage but so is sheer practical experience. A combination of a good knowledge of a working farm with the skills highlighted above could make you the ideal candidate for a farm management role.

Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are the worldwide leader in recruitment for agricultural and farming positions. Take a look at our website today www.agriRS.co.uk to see what farming and agricultural jobs are available within the management sector and progress your career in the right direction. Alternatively, contact our team on 01905 345 155 or email us for more information at info@agriRS.co.uk.

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