This week we are looking at what experience, qualifications and legal requirements are needed to successfully take on the role of a Farm Manager within the UK agricultural and farming industry. We will also look at the working hours and income.
Farm Managers usually work within crop production, animal production or dairy – some may work in each. The livestock sector usually comprises of sheep, pigs and cows, whereas the crop sector usually ranges from salad, vegetables, cereals or oilseed rape.
The job duties of a Farm Manager tend to vary between farm administration work, planning strategies, the management of farm workers, and of course the operation of farm equipment and farm machinery, including tractors, cultivators and sprayers to name a few. This job role requires technical and practical competence but above all it’s important to be a strong decision maker. Usually farms are run by single-owner Farm Managers or management companies.
Farm Managers must ensure to meet the regulations set by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) – to ensure that all produce is farmed safety, and in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Typical Work Activities
Depending on what sector the Farm Manager works in, the farm work tasks generally include:
- Physical activities i.e. operating farm machinery, driving tractors, feeding livestock, spraying land, crops and fields
- Purchasing supplies i.e. seeds and fertilisers
- Maintaining and repairing farm buildings, farm machinery and farm equipment
- Recruiting, training and supervising staff and apprentices
- Ensuring that the quality of produce is of a high standards i.e. yield, livestock, crops and health of the animals
- Understanding how the weather can affect land and produce – and how to plan ahead to prevent any negative impact on produce
- Meeting deadlines i.e. auctions and farmers markets
- Marketing the farms produce
- Making sure that all farm duties comply with government regulations
- Liaising with vets whilst monitoring the health of animals and animal welfare
- Understand pests and diseases, how they spread and how to treat them
- Monitoring the farms progression against budget parameters by planning finances and production
- Maintaining biodiversity
- Protecting the environment
- Making sure that health and safety standards are enforced throughout the farm
- Ensuring all financial records are kept up to date
Many Farm Managers have become more diverse and supplement their income by implementing more services such as:
- Supplying an overnight stay - holiday lets or bed and breakfasts
- Wind power generation – wind turbines to generate renewable energy
- Motor sports and off-roading
- Fishing lakes
- Equestrian - riding schools, livery stables and horse trials
- Farm shops – the sales of their own and local produce
- Worm farming
- Specialist herds – llamas and alpacas
- Processing their own products
Working Hours and Conditions
Depending on the season, a Farm Manager’s working hours vary from early morning starts, to late evening finishes and may include weekend work too. This role includes both office work and working outside on the farm in all weather conditions. The physical activities included in this job can be very demanding.
A drivers licence will be required for this position.
The salary for a starting Farm Manager is around £20,000 – £22,000 a year. Farm Managers with previous experience can earn around £25,000 - £30,000 per year. However, a Farm Manager with over ten years’ experience on a very large farm could earn upwards of £50,000 per year.
Like most jobs, the salary is dependent upon the individuals skills and experience.
Some Farm Managers are provided with rent-free accommodation, such as a house or a cottage, and a vehicle. Other benefits such as a pension scheme or farm produce may also be provided.
*Figures are a guideline only*
Qualifications and Entry Requirements
To work as a Farm Manager you must have previous practical farm experience - previous work as a supervisor, unit manager or assistant manager would be considered.
Most Farm Managers have an agricultural qualification – these can be provided at specialist agricultural colleges and universities, and usually include foundation degrees, HND’s and degree’s in:
- Land Management
- Farm Business Management
- Crop and Livestock Production
Skills, Interests and Qualities
To be a Farm Manager, you will need:
- Business Management skills
- The ability to motivate and organise staff
- To find new activities
- Budgeting skills
- Computer skills
- The ability to work well under pressure
- The ability to work flexible hours
- Excellent communication skills
- Excellent knowledge of farming legislations and regulations
If you are looking for a new job opportunity as a Farm Manager within the UK agricultural and farming industry, please register free as a job seeker with us today by following the link below – we could have the perfect job for you! http://www.agrifj.co.uk/jobboard/cands/fastCandRegister.asp