Imagine transforming a bare piece of land into a fertile field filled with crops ready to be packed and sold. Imagine running a thriving livestock or poultry enterprise, and seeing your farm’s products lined up on supermarket shelves. These are some of the rewards that come with being a successful farm manager!

What do farm managers do?

Farm managers make sure that their farms run smoothly, that the equipment is well-maintained, and that the animals and/or crops are healthy. A farm manager does the daily planning, organising, supervising and administration of activities on a farm. Farm managers are in charge of all the different tasks involved in farming production, this includes tasks such as land preparation, crop production, and animal breeding and feeding.

As the farm manager, you will probably supervise and direct various teams of workers on the farm to make sure that all duties are carried out. You will also have some admin work to do. You will need to keep records relating to the production of your crops or animals, and you’ll be responsible for things like equipment orders and costing.

What qualifications and experience do you need?

To become a farm manager, you will need a good mix of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

A good starting point is to find college courses that will provide you with the theoretical knowledge. Starting with an N4 National Certificate will give you a better understanding of what farming management is all about. You can build on this knowledge by completing certificates at N5 and N6 level. After this, you will have not only the knowledge, but also the necessary qualifications to start applying for jobs on farms.

Farm managers need to really understand everything that goes on in a farm, and they need to have the knowledge to deal with all sorts of farming issues. This type of deep knowledge comes from experience. So before you get your dream farm manager job, you will still need to get some practical experience of working on a farm. You can gain this experience by working as a supervisor, foreman or assistant manager.

To get a head start on gaining practical farming experience, you can look for part-time work while you’re studying. You could also contact a farm and ask if you can job shadow a farm manager for a few days or offer to assist with the tasks that they do.

What are the most important skills that you need for the job?

While you’re studying, you should also begin to develop the skills that you will need to work in a management role on a farm. These include:

  • Strong organisational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Effective communication with people of various backgrounds
  • Flexibility (in terms of work hours and being able to respond to unexpected happenings on the farm)
  • Teamwork and leadership skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Time management skills
  • Willingness to work outside in all weather conditions

If you’re considering becoming a farm manager, then there is a lot to be learnt along the way. But once you have the qualifications, skills and experience in place, you will no doubt enjoy the challenges and benefits of this rewarding career.

Get the qualifications that you need to kick-start your farming management career. Get more information and explore our farming management courses.