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How to start a fulfilling career in farm management

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Many people are now showing interest in agricultural jobs. A career in agriculture is like no other and offers workers unique insights into the world of farming. With no day being the same as the last, it is easy to see why farming jobs are becoming more attractive amongst those that have not previously worked in the industry. Working on a farm gets you away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but it does come with long hours. 

Like many other worthwhile careers, farm management requires certain skills and qualifications. This said, if you really want to start a career in farm management, it is a reasonably easy career to get into if you're willing to put the work in and train. 

What does a farm manager role entail?

As a farm manager, you will have a lot of responsibilities. You may be responsible for livestock or crops, or maybe even both. In addition to this, you will be required to ensure that the everyday running of the farm goes smoothly. This means being responsible for planning, production, and the management of other staff members. Not only will you need to be highly knowledgeable in the area of farming that you work in, but you'll also have to possess excellent management skills. This means being able to communicate with staff members effectively and use your knowledge and skills to teach and guide. 

Skills you'll need

As with most agricultural jobs, you'll need to have a good level of physical fitness. Farm jobs can require a lot of manual labour, even for managers. You'll need to set examples for those that you lead, so being in good shape will help you to do this. One of the most important skills that you'll need to utilise is teamwork. Your team are crucial to the farm. Without a good team and the ability to work as part of that team, the farm is sure to fail. You will also be required to motivate your team and delegate responsibilities effectively, so your people management and time management skills need to be up to scratch. 

There are also many practical skills that you'll need to display to manage a farm. This includes having knowledge of mechanics, being computer literate in order to complete administrative tasks, and being able to successfully manage a business. 

Where can I gain these skills?

Many farm managers use skills and knowledge that they have obtained in areas other than agriculture to manage a farm. A lot of the skills and knowledge required is transferrable, meaning you don't have to have worked in farming your entire life to succeed as a farm manager. Some students from science and geography-related subjects can find that their skills and knowledge help them in a farming environment. Furthermore, those that have studied animal science, or even business will have skills that can be beneficial in farm management. However, it is important to recognise that you don't need to have studied at university to become a farm manager. As with many agricultural jobs, there are vocational routes into a career in farm management. In fact, the only essential qualifications you'll need are a driving licence and practical experience gained working on a farm. 

Finding a route into farm management

Some choose to take a level 3 vocational course focusing on areas relevant to farm management. These are usually available through local colleges and some farms may also be able to arrange the training needed to progress in your role. The courses usually centre around practical farm placements, where you will be able to learn the skills you need to gain the qualification on-the-job. Others choose to take the university route and study for a degree in land management or agriculture. This is usually the best way to ensure you will be able to get a job as a farm manager. However, many school leavers that take the vocational route into agriculture do end up as farm managers. 

What are the challenges faced by farm managers?

As with all careers, there are a number of challenges that farm managers face on a regular basis. This can include working in harsh weather conditions, working long hours, and starting your shift in the early hours of the morning. A farm manager must be prepared to make sacrifices and take these challenges as they come if they wish to succeed in their career. If you are responsible for a livestock farm, you will also be faced with further challenges relating to the care of the animals. This means you'll need to be comfortable dealing with sick or dying animals, birthing, and caring for animals in distress. 

You must be prepared to sacrifice your free time as the farm requires. This means you may end up at work for much longer than you originally intended. This is where commitment and passion for your farm are essential. Without this, it is unlikely that you will last in the role. It is likely that your farm will require you more at certain times of the year. This means you could be putting in a lot of hours during the harvest or lambing season. 

Further to the practical challenges that you will face, you will also be responsible for ensuring that the farm is working well as a business. This means planning operations effectively and keeping profits in mind. This can be a lot to get your head around and is very mentally challenging. Therefore, it is essential that you are able to deal with the pressure and workload that may be put on you. 

What can I expect to earn as a farm manager?

As with most careers, the amount you can expect to earn does vary. You will usually start off as an assistant farm manager and be paid somewhere within the region of £20,000-£22,000. However, once you are fully qualified and have been given the farm manager position your salary should be in the £22,000-£50,000 range. This also increases over time and you will likely be rewarded financially for your loyalty to the farm.

To find out more about the roles available in farm management, check out the Agricultural Recruitment Specialists site today: www.agriRS.co.uk

Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: www.agriRS.co.uk or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk

Alternatively, if you are a client looking to expand your team, whilst using a professional recruitment / headhunting solution, then please call us today on 01905 345155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk