Farmers and farm managers undertake farming operations to raise livestock and cultivate crops, fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products.
A farmer is a self-employed person who farms their own land or a leasehold property rented from a landowner. A farm manager is an employee who is paid a salary to manage a farm or group of farms.
Duties & Tasks
Farmers and farm managers may perform the following tasks:
- decide or advise on the kind of crops to be grown, the area to be sown or planted and the livestock to be raised
- plan the type of farming activities to be undertaken, estimate operating costs and order supplies such as seed, fertiliser, livestock fodder and farm equipment
- recruit and coordinate farm workers and direct them on crop growing and livestock raising
- plant, spray, fertilise, harvest and sell crops
- handle, load and transport livestock for showing, slaughter or sale
- clean and maintain buildings, sheds, pens, equipment and facilities to maintain health standards and high-quality of produce
- monitor animal health and seek veterinary advice when necessary
- ensure there is adequate food supply, water and protection from the weather for livestock
- ensure temperature, ventilation and lighting conditions are comfortable for livestock kept indoors
- observe and record produce quality or livestock body weight and condition, adjusting management or feeding programmes if required
- manage the strategic direction of the business
- manage the financial aspects of the business by controlling income and expenses
- plan activities to minimise environmental degradation, monitor environmental effects of farming activities and repair existing damage through programmes such as tree planting.
A permaculturalist cultivates plants and crops through the use of sustainable practices and renewable resources to minimise the impact upon local ecosystems while maximising natural productivity.
A production horticulturist is involved in the cultivation and maintenance of such produce as berries, nuts, fruit, vegetables and other crops. These products can be exported as either fresh or dried produce. Production horticulturists are involved in all of the associated production processes.
Farmers may work on large or small enterprises, or they may need to travel between a number of properties to manage activities. They spend much of their time working outdoors.
- good at planning
- able to analyse and solve problems
- good organisational and supervisory skills
- good communication skills
- responsible approach and attitude
- enjoy working outdoors in all kinds of weather
- able to work both in a team and with limited social contact
- able to handle animals with confidence and patience
- mechanical aptitude
- aptitude for working with computers
- able to work independently.