As a farm manager, you will plan:
- finances and production to maintain farm progress against budget parameters
- undertake practical activities operating machinery, feeding livestock, or spraying fields
- market the farm's products
- buy supplies, such as fingerlings, feeds, fertilizers, and seeds
- arrange the maintenance and repair of farm buildings, machinery, and equipment
- plan activities for trainee staff, mentoring and monitoring them
- maintain and monitor the quality of yield, whether livestock or crops
- understand the implications of the weather and make contingency plans
- make sure products are ready for deadlines, such as outlets and markets
- ensure that farm activities comply with government regulations
- monitor animal health and welfare, including liaising with vets
- maintain knowledge of pests and diseases and an understanding of how they spread and how to treat them
- apply health and safety standards across the farm estate
- protect the environment and maintaining biodiversity
- keep financial records up to date
- apply for funding
Supplement farm income with other activities, which might include:
• providing bed and breakfast
• training on poultry and fish farming
• special herds not available on the farm
• farm shops selling the farm's own and other locally-sourced produce • Snail farming
• processing own products
You'll be on call day and night, seven days a week. The work pattern is seasonally influenced, often with 16-hour days at busy times, such as harvesting and processing.
Seasonal labor can reduce your direct involvement in the day-to-day work on the farm. It can also be possible to build up a management team with different people having advisory and consultancy input to lighten the load.
What to expect:
- The work may be highly stressful due to factors beyond your control.
- Fluctuations in market prices can make long-term forecasting difficult.
- Although much of the work can be office-based, many work activities will be outside.
- You should be prepared for an element of isolation.
- Travel during the working day may occasionally be necessary.
- Previous hands-on farming experience and technical knowledge are as important as academic qualifications.
- However, a related degree is greatly valued
You'll need to show evidence of the following:
- knowledge of food production and an awareness of customer demand, food standards, and sustainability
- organizational and time-management skills
- the ability to work under pressure
- supervisory skills and management ability
- numerical aptitude
- willingness to be outside in all weathers and patience to undertake all sorts of practical, sometimes repetitive jobs
- a full driving license
- self-motivation, with the ability to motivate others
- larger-scale business awareness
- marketing skills
- negotiation skills
- genuine commitment to farming
- IT skills
- good technical knowledge
- a good understanding of modern farming methods
- a commitment to animal welfare
- an understanding of the ways in which farming impacts the environment.